The Baltimore Ravens are a team known around the NFL for drafting well but for some reason they have had a big problem drafting wide receivers. The drafting of Torrey Smith changed all that when the team used the 58th overall selection on him in 2011.
On the other hand the Ravens have had much success in drafting running backs over the years as they have landed players such as Priest Holmes and Jamal Lewis via the NFL draft. They continued that trend in 2008 when the draft , now All-Pro running back Ray Rice with the 55th pick overall in the second round.
So the question is, who was the better second round pick for the team, Rice or Smith? Of course, at this stage of his their careers Rice is the much more accomplished player, having been voted to the Pro-Bowl multiple times and also consistently leading the NFL in total yards. However when you look at the need the Ravens have had over the years at the wide receiver position, Torrey Smith may have had a bigger impact on the offense as a whole.
The Ravens have needed a deep threat wide receiver for so long it became a joke around Baltimore. They tried drafting players like Travis Taylor and Mark Clayton early in the draft and they tried to find diamonds in the rough in the later rounds like Yamon Figures. Nothing seemed to work for the Ravens. They even traded for Terrell Owens at one point but he vetoed the trade because he wasn't impressed with Kyle Boller as our starting quarterback. Baltimore was officially labeled as the place receivers came to die.
In 2008 the Ravens not only drafted Rice in the second round but also a young quarterback out of Delaware named Joe Flacco. Known for his big arm and accuracy, the team would definitely need someone to stretch the field for him. At the time they had Derrick Mason who had toiled here in Baltimore as the best receiver on a team with no quarterback. Well, Derrick finally got someone to get him the ball and the Ravens did one better and traded for All-Pro receiver Anquan Boldin. They also brought in former foe T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2010 to try and give Flacco the weapons he needed. The problem was, all of the players they brought in were possession receivers and none could stretch the field effectively to keep the defense from sitting on the underneath routes. Finally in 2011 they drafted Torrey and he has been taking the top off of defenses ever since.
On the other hand you have Rice who has carried the Ravens offense season after season while the receiving threats were scarce. Rice has been amazing but even he has benefited from the emergence of Smith as a true deep threat as defenses are no longer playing the Ravens up in the box and Rice has made a living off of little dump off passes after Torrey and company have cleared out the defense.
Truth be told, the Ravens wouldn't be the Ravens without either of these two great players but, for this team, who was the better second round draft pick in your opinion Ravens Nation?