It's been since 2008 that Jonathan Ogden has retired from the NFL; marking the end of his incredible career with the Baltimore Ravens. This means that he is officially eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame class of 2013. Let's take a moment to remember Jonathan Ogden's glorious career as a Raven.
The year was 1996, and the Ravens had just become a franchise the same year. They were faced with the daunting task of building a team that could compete with the best teams in the NFL. Little did they know that the first two picks of their very first draft would pave the way for their first Super Bowl victory just five years later.
With the fourth pick of the 1996 NFL draft (and the first ever for the Baltimore Ravens), the Baltimore Ravens selected Jonathan Ogden out of UCLA.
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Coming out of college, Jonathan looked like exactly what the Ravens needed him to be; a brick-wall. The 6'9-350 lb. lineman was exactly what scouts drool over when looking for an offensive-tackle, and he did he not fall short of expectations. Over the course of his 12-year career, Jonathan was named to 11 Pro Bowl teams and 9 All-Pro teams. He was also named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade team. Also, as of May 15th, Jonathan Ogden is a member of the College Hall of Fame. It seems fitting that such a big guy would have such big achievements.
Jonathan Ogden was always known for his nasty style of play, so most people would've expected his personality to match. Nope. Jonathan Ogden could always be found with a smile on his face. He played like a Raven; he would beat defensive players into the ground during a play, and smile and laugh in their face afterwards.
Jonathan 's contributions to Baltimore was not just on the field, but off of it as well. In 1996 Jonathan founded the Jonathan Ogden Foundation to "assist young people in disadvantaged communities develop self esteem through athletics and education".
In short, Jonathan Ogden was everything you could ever want in a football players. He was a tremendous player on the field, and an even more tremendous person off of the field. He has been missed dearly by the Ravens since he retired, but he will never be forgotten. On account of Ravens' fans everywhere, let me say that Jonathan Ogden deserves to have his name called whenever the HoF Class of 2013 is announced.