Baltimore Ravens 10 Best NFL Draft Picks

    Who are the Baltimore Ravens' best NFL draft picks? Here are the top 10 in franchise history.

    February 26, 2016

    Who are the Baltimore Ravens best NFL draft picks? Here are the top 10 in franchise history.

    Daily Draft: Baltimore Ravens Greatest NFL Draft Picks

    When you start out your draft history by taking Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, you’re going to get the reputation for being able to draft well.

    Take a Lewis with the 26th pick, and an Ed Reed a few years later with the 24th pick – in the team photo for the greatest players of all-time at their respective positions – and nail another future Hall of Fame selection in Haloti Ngata with a 12 pick in 2003 and yet another in Terrell Suggs at the ten of the 2003 draft, and the drafting prowess becomes legendary.

    However, Baltimore has always struggled to draft defensive linemen and wide receivers who can produce, and while the front office hit a few mammoth home runs, the track record overall has a few more whiffs than you might think.

    Even so, considering the franchise was created in 1996, having as many special players in the top ten as many of the legendary teams is amazing.

    To get on this list, a player had to be drafted by Baltimore and do most of the big things in his career with the franchise. Longevity counts in a big way, but Pro Bowls and All-Pro recognition makes a big difference, too.

    1. LB Ray Lewis, Miami

    1996, 1st round, 26th pick overall
    Pick Before: OG Jermane Mayberry, Texas A&M-Kingsville, drafted by Philadelphia
    Pick After: OT John Michels, USC, drafted by Green Bay

    The future Hall of Famer turned into one of the best linebackers and on the short list of the greatest defenders to ever play. He led the way to two Super Bowls and was a given on the post-season honors circuit, with two NFL Defensive Player of the Year honor to go along with seven All-Pro teams and a ridiculous 13 Pro Bowls. With 1,562 tackles, 41.5 sacks, and 31 interceptions, he did everything right as the second pick in franchise history.

    2. S Ed Reed, Miami

    2002, 1st round, 24th pick overall
    Pick Before: LB Napoleon Harris, Northwestern, drafted by Oakland
    Pick After: DE Charles Grant, Georgia, drafted by New Orleans

    One of the greatest defensive backs in pro football history, Reed would’ve been given more credit and more attention if he wasn’t on the same defense as Ray Lewis. As is, he’ll be off to the Hall of Fame soon after making 504 tackles as a Raven with 61 interceptions and seven touchdowns. Special from the start, he made 71 tackles in his rookie year, and from then on went to nine Pro Bowls and was named to five All-Pro teams.

    3. OT Jonathan Ogden, UCLA

    1996, 1st round, 4th pick overall
    Pick Before: DE Simeon Rice, Illinois, drafted by Arizona
    Pick After: DE Cedric Jones, Oklahoma, drafted by New York Giants

    The first ever pick of the Raven franchise turned out to be okay – he went to the Hall of Fame as one of the premier offensive tackles of his era. He was good as a rookie guard, but he didn’t go to the Pro Bowl. That’s okay – he moved to tackle and went to 11 straight Pro Bowls to go along with four All-Pro nods to close out his career. Dominant, steady, and a dream of a left tackle, he’s what every coaching staff dreams of for the line.

    4. DE Terrell Suggs, Arizona State

    2003, 1st round, 10th pick overall
    Pick Before: DT Kevin Williams, Oklahoma State, drafted by Minnesota
    Pick After: S Marcus Trufant, Washington State, drafted by Seattle

    There were big questions about his character and maturity, but that turned out to be a bonus for the Ravens – he was a top five talent who fell to the ten. A tone-setting pass rusher, Suggs made 511 tackles with 106.5 tackles in his first 12 seasons before getting hurt. Dominant, he went to six Pro Bowls, was a 2011 All-Pro and Defensive Player of the Year, and should one day be a given for the Hall of Fame

    5. DT Haloti Ngata, Oregon

    2006, 1st round, 12th pick overall
    Pick Before: QB Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, drafted by Denver
    Pick After: DE Kamerion Wimbley, Florida State, drafted by Cleveland

    A sure-thing Hall of Famer whenever he’s ready, he became the prototype anchor for an all-timer run of defenses. Ngata needed two years to get rolling – even though he was fine – and then he grew into the job with five straight Pro Bowls and making two All-Pro teams. Stats don’t really show what he provided the D, but he was still a good interior pass rusher with 25.5 sacks as a Raven with 282 tackles.

    6. OT Marshall Yanda, Iowa

    2007, 3rd round, 86th pick overall
    Pick Before: DT Brandon Mebane, California, drafted by Seattle
    Pick After: LB Stewart Bradley, Nebraska, drafted by Philadelphia

    Ben Grubbs was supposed to be the team’s big draft pick for the O line, but it was Yanda who turned into the star. It took four years to get there, but it all came together in 2011 with the first of five straight Pro Bowls and finding his stride with All-Pro honors in 2014 and 2015. Versatile, he can play either guard or tackle on the right side.

    7. QB Joe Flacco, Delaware

    2008, 1st round, 18th pick overall
    Pick Before: OT Gosder Cherilus, Boston College, drafted by Detroit
    Pick After: OT Jeff Otah, Pitt, drafted by Carolina

    He hasn’t gone to a Pro Bowl, he hasn’t been anywhere near an MVP pick, and he hasn’t been an All-Pro, but he’s been a very, very good passer over his long career. Remember, he was considered a big flier and a question mark coming out of Delaware, and he went on to take the Ravens to a Super Bowl win. Is he one of the all-time greats? Not really, but he’s been among the land of the good enough.

    8. CB Chris McAlister, Arizona

    1999, 1st round, 10th pick overall
    Pick Before: LB Chris Claiborne, USC, drafted by Detroit
    Pick After: QB Daunte Culpepper, UCF, drafted by Minnesota

    The Ravens only had four picks in the 1999 NFL Draft, but they made the first-rounder work. McAlister came up with 26 picks in his ten years with the Ravens with 381 tackles, growing into a steady, if not always sensational, lockdown defender. He went to three Pro Bowls and was a 2003 All-Pro as the high point of a long and productive career.

    9. RB Jamal Lewis, Tennessee

    2000, 1st round, 5th pick overall
    Pick Before: WR Peter Warrick, Florida State, drafted by Cincinnati
    Pick After: DT Corey Simon, Florida State, drafted by Philadelphia

    Could he overcome a knee injury after his rookie season? JLew ran for five 1,000-yard seasons in his six with Baltimore before going off to Cleveland. In 2003 he earned All-Pro, Pro Bowl, and MVP honors with a 2,066-yard, 14 touchdown season. The right fit for the offense, he finished with 7,801 yards and 45 scores with 160 catches for 1,365 yards as a Raven. However, ’03 was his only Pro Bowl season.

    10. Peter Boulware, Florida State

    1997, 1st round, 4th pick overall
    Pick Before: CB Shawn Springs, Ohio State, drafted by Seattle
    Pick After: S Bryant Westbrook, Texas, drafted by Detroit

    It was always the Ray Lewis linebacking corps, but Boulware turned in a nice career going to four Pro Bowls, cranking up 70 sacks, and making 292 tackles. He might not have been worth the fourth overall pick, but in a 1997 NFL Draft full of huge busts, he turned out to be a good part of an epic defense.

    MORE: Baltimore Ravens All-Time NFL Draft Team


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