Ravens' Jernigan ready to fill 'huge shoes' of Ngata


The Baltimore Ravens' trade of Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions for two mid-round draft picks surprised some, including the man who will help replace him: Timmy Jernigan.

The second-year player was part of the reason -- along with third-year player Brandon Williams -- the Ravens could jettison Ngata's contract without feeling like they decimated their defensive front.

Jernigan believes he's ready to step into Ngata's spikes.

"It's definitely something I've been waiting for for a long time," Jernigan said, via the team's official website. "I've known I'm more than capable of doing the job. Now it's just a point of proving it. Last year, I showed flashes. You've got to be able to do it consistently day in and day out. It's huge shoes to fill."

Jernigan appeared in 12 games as a rookie, starting the final three to close out the regular season. (Ngata was suspended for the final four contests.) He compiled four sacks and 23 tackles. Despite playing just 312 snaps last season, Pro Football Focus rated him their 14th-best 3-4 defensive end.

While the 22-year-old knows there are "obviously expectations" for him to fill Ngata's vacant shoes, he is not in Baltimore to imitate the behemoth.

"I'm a slasher, I get off the ball quick," he said of his playing style. "I'm not really the big, two-gap, 350-pounder. That's not me. Haloti and I are two totally different players."

They are different players, but the Ravens are counting on Jernigan to put up similar production.

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