BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 26: Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on September 26 2010 in Baltimore Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 24-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
The top draft pick in Baltimore Ravens history will obviously not be a surprise to either any Ravens fan nor anyone with any knowledge of the team. Linebacker Ray Lewis is not only the best draft pick in Ravens history but probably the best 26th pick in the history of the NFL Draft. Twenty-five players in the 1996 NFL Draft were chosen ahead of Lewis, including the first pick in Ravens history, tackle Jonathan Ogden (#4 overall), who was ranked the 2nd best draft pick in team history. Three linebackers were selected before Lewis was, including Kevin Hardy (#2 - Jacksonville Jaguars), John Mobley (#15 - Denver Broncos) and Reggie Brown (#17 - Detroit Lions).
The honors and incredible accomplishments that Ray has earned are too numerous to list here, but it is relatively safe to say that he will be in the discussion as one of, if not the best linebacker to ever lace up his cleats. In fact, not only is Lewis in the discussion as the best defensive player of all-time, he might be mentioned as one of the best to ever play the game, regardless of position.
Lewis will be entering his 16th NFL season, long for any position and virtually unheard of for an inside linebacker. He might have lost a step or two, but he is still playing at an exceptionally high level of success and remains one of the top in the game, incredible for a guy that will turn 36 years old before the 2011 season begins.
In addition to his performance on the field, he is the ultimate team leader and motivator for his teammates, as well as many players around the league. His off season workouts with many former University of Miami players currently in the NFL are legendary and if you've never seen his introduction to the stadium as he enters the field on game days, you are truly missing one of the most spine-tingling pre-game events in all of sports.
Ranking Ray Lewis as the best draft pick in Baltimore Ravens history is easy. Determining where he will be ranked as a player in all of football will be harder for most people. However, Ravens fans know that regardless of where other team's fans think he should be ranked, he is by far #1 in all of our hearts and will always be remembered as the greatest player in baltimore Ravens history.
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