The Ravens had one entry on the 2017 Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team, but the individual will surprise you.
Despite appearing in only eight games and making just two starts overall, guard Jermaine Eluemunor received the honor, which was much more of a reflection on the shortage of rookies playing the position this season rather than his play. The fifth-round pick from Texas A&M started at right guard in Weeks 6 and 7 while Matt Skura was out with a knee injury and finished with the 12th-worst grade among all guards playing at least 198 offensive snaps this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Eluemunor dealt with a shoulder injury for most of the second half of the season and was inactive for the final six games, but head coach John Harbaugh provided an honest assessment of where the rookie lineman stood during the bye week.
“We knew he was a project. In all honesty, he didn’t play much football,” Harbaugh said. “He was in a spread offense in college. You have to give him a lot of credit for how well he’s done so far just as a really inexperienced player. He’s done pretty OK. Is it good enough to win? No. He knows that, but he’s not there yet.
“But he practices out here really hard every single day. He listens, he’s coachable, has talent, [and is a] big, strong guy. I think he’s going to be a good player.”
Los Angeles Chargers lineman Dan Feeney and Seattle’s Ethan Pocic were the other guards on the All-Rookie team. Both played substantially more than Eluemunor this season, but Pocic actually finished with a lower PFF grade than the Baltimore lineman.
First-round pick Marlon Humphrey was the only other Ravens player who would have garnered any real consideration to make the All-Rookie team, but the Alabama product predictably lost out to Marshon Lattimore of New Orleans and Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White at the cornerback position. Lattimore was voted the PFWA’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt was named the PFWA’s 2017 Rookie of the Year and shared Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara.
Below is the full All-Rookie team:
2017 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
QB – Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
RB – Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs; Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
WR – Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams; Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
TE – Evan Engram, New York Giants
C – Pat Elflein, Minnesota Vikings
G – Dan Feeney, Los Angeles Chargers; Jermaine Eluemunor, Baltimore Ravens, and Ethan Pocic, Seattle Seahawks (tie)
T – Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos; Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints
DL – Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles; Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns; Carl Lawson, Cincinnati Bengals; Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants
LB – Jarrad Davis, Detroit Lions; Reuben Foster, San Francisco 49ers; T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
CB – Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills
S – Jamal Adams, New York Jets; Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints
PK – Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs
P – Rigoberto Sanchez, Indianapolis Colts
KR – Ryan Switzer, Dallas Cowboys
PR – Jamal Agnew, Detroit Lions
ST – Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals