He’s one of the best off-the-ball linebackers in the league, and it’s not even close.
So, adding him to an already impressive defensive unit was only going to make them more of a juggernaut on that end of the field.
However, not even the most optimistic Ravens fan could’ve predicted how good Smith was in his first half-season with the organization.
According to PFF, his 2022 campaign earned him the third-highest grade (84.7) by a LB in franchise history, trailing Ravens legend Ray Lewis in 2006 and 2009.
Roquan Smith has been a great addition for the Ravens 👀 pic.twitter.com/qwC7xbi8DA
— PFF (@PFF) January 10, 2023
“He’s made us a better defense for a lot of reasons,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told The Athletic. “The spot in our defense is really important. He’s another level of player. And he’s one of those players who makes everyone around him better. He knows how to treat people. He has a really nice demeanor. But while he’s good with people, he’s here to do a job. He’s on a mission. A football mission.”
Unsurprisingly, the Ravens decided to lock him up for the foreseeable future, signing him to a 5-year, $100 million contract extension.
Of course, that also fueled some controversy regarding Lamar Jackson‘s situation, as the former MVP has yet to sign a new deal, and some fear he might leave the organization in the offseason.
But hey, to each his own, and there’s no doubt that Smith has earned every single penny of that very lucrative deal.