Baltimore Ravens: Ranking 4 Top Defensive Stars

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIISeptember 14, 2011

Baltimore Ravens: Ranking 4 Top Defensive Stars

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    The Baltimore Ravens have always been built on the foundation of defense.

    The 2011 team has four all-world players on its unit, and each player performs a pivotal role in the Ravens' success. 

    While each is the best at his respective positions, which player is the best out of the Fantastic Four?

    This is a problem any team would love to solve, and there are only of a handful of teams that even have it.

4. Terrell Suggs

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    Terrell Suggs has been a force to be reckoned with during his time in Baltimore. 

    The hybrid defensive end-linebacker has appeared in four Pro Bowls and was once a second-team All Pro selection.

    Suggs is able to see more one-on-one opportunities because the offense also has to worry about Ray Lewis and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

    While Suggs is a terrific player, he is also the least valuable out of the four stars on this defense, which is saying something about the other three.

3. Ed Reed

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    Ball-hawking safety Ed Reed comes in next on the list.

    Ed Reed has been a vital part of the Ravens' success over the years and is arguably the best safety playing the game today.

    Ed comes in at No. 3 on the list because of his high volume of turnovers and his disruption in the passing game.

    The safety always seems to be in the right place at the right time, which makes the average Ravens secondary look world class.

    Reed is also a factor in shutting down the running game and has had his fair share of sacks. 

    Reed is the complete package at the safety position, and like Ray Lewis, it is hard to image this Ravens team playing without him.

2. Ray Lewis

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    This may come as a surprise to some, but Ray Lewis is clearly the second most valuable player on the Ravens defense.

    A dominant linebacker is always complemented by a formidable defensive line, and that's exactly what they have down in Baltimore.

    Lewis still blows up the running game because of it, and he has also proved his worth against the pass. 

    Ray has the best interior lineman that he has ever played with, which is the reason for his level of success this late in his career. 

    In the end, the defense would lose a lot of its swagger without the man in the middle, making him irreplaceable.

1. Haloti Ngata

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    Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers proved why Haloti Ngata is the most valuable defender on the Balitmore Ravens.

    Ngata clogged up the Pittsburgh running lanes which allowed Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs to make some key plays, and he forced an enormous fumble by running back Rashard Mendenhall after delivering a punishing blow.

    Ngata also put some pressure on Big Ben, which forced some key interceptions by the Ravens secondary.

    Since being drafted in 2006, Ngata has been considered one of the best defensive lineman in the game.

    The defensive tackle is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2009, 2010), and a three-time All-Pro selection (2008, 2009, 2010).