Monday, July 15, 2019

3 reasons Marshal Yanda is a top 5 Ravens player of all time

by Chris Schisler 2 days ago

The four best players in the history are obvious. This is the case for why Marshal Yanda is the fifth best Ravens player of all time.

Marshal Yanda is one of the greatest Baltimore Ravens of all-time. He doesn’t get the glory that Ray Lewis had. He isn’t as flashy as Ed Reed. Nobody is like Terrell Suggs and Jonathan Ogden may have been the best left tackle in NFL history. Yanda belongs in a category with these four names. Here is why Yanda is the fifth best Ravens player of all-time:

1. A Legacy of consistency:

This will be Marshal Yanda’s 13th season with the Baltimore Ravens. He was drafted in 2007 as a third round pick and he has been a rock for the offensive line ever since. In the 162 games since he donned the number 73 for the Ravens, Yanda has 151 starts. That’s a fairly remarkable accomplishment when you consider how brutal life is in the trenches. Yanda has had a few major injuries that have sidelined him for major chunks of time however he’s proven to be one of the toughest and most durable linemen in the NFL. When the Ravens needed him to kick out to offensive tackle, he did it well. There’s nothing he can’t do for the Ravens’ offensive line.
The Ravens offensive line has had some real inconsistencies over the course of Yanda’s career. The Ravens struggled to find a post Ogden answer at left tackle before finding Ronnie Stanley in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Ravens have seen a handful of centers play next to Yanda. In fact, the Ravens have shuffled through every offensive line position except the right guard position. Other than maybe Justin Tucker, there hasn’t been a more consistent player for the Ravens. Yanda almost never gives up sacks and he is a great run blocker.

2. He’s the best at his position:

To be in the same class as players like Lewis, Reed, Ogden and Suggs you have to be a legend. It’s not just about being a top-tier player. Reed has an argument for being the greatest safety in the history of football. He holds numerous NFL records and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lewis was a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee for a reason. He was a once in a lifetime player. Many believe that Ogden was the best left tackle in the history of the game. Suggs may not have been the best outside linebacker ever to lace them up, however he produced over 132.5 sacks and was with the Ravens from 2003-2018.
Yanda has to be in the conversation when you’re talking about the best right guards in football. Pro Football Focus has Yanda scored as the second best guard since 2006, with a career score of 92.7. Yanda is always one of the highest rated players in every edition of the Madden football video game. He has been to seven Pro Bowls and has twice been named to the All-Pro 1st team. Yanda isn’t just a great player in the scope of Ravens football. He’s one of the very best players the league has ever seen.
There are very few players you can even compare to Yanda. He is the gold standard when it comes to the offensive line. He is in the same category of players that Jonathan Ogden is in. He’s a rare kind of player that belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame five years after his retirement.

3. Longevity

Yanda has seen so many phases of Ravens football in his career. When he entered the NFL, the Ravens had one of their most disappointing seasons ever.  The 2007 Ravens went 5-11 behind a nightmarish quarterback back and forth between Kyle Boller and Troy Smith. The next season the Ravens had just gotten John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco. The Ravens went to the playoffs five straight years and won Super Bowl XLVII. 2013-2017 were years the Ravens mostly squandered. In those years the Ravens missed the playoffs in every season except, 2014. All of the sudden, Yanda is on the reigning AFC North champions.
Yanda retirement talk picked up this offseason but he put that to bed quickly. The Ravens gave him a contract extension through 2021. One of the biggest reasons Yanda has such a strong legacy is his longevity. He’s been with the Ravens over a decade and he’s not done. Should Yanda have two or three more seasons at his standard level of play the argument that he’s not a top 5 Raven of all time would start to become absurd.
There are very few offensive lineman in NFL history with the kind of resume that Yanda has. Ogden is the only offensive lineman the Ravens have ever had that compares to Yanda. Because of the nature of his position, people don’t give Yanda enough credit. He’s a legend and he’s a top 5 Raven of all time.

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