For the second time in their history, the Baltimore Ravens have the privilege of being placed at the very end of the first round of next month’s draft. Even though this is theoretically the worst pick in the opening round, teams that just won the Super Bowl have made themselves even better at this position. The Ravens famously took Todd Heap with this pick in 2001 and he was a staple with the franchise for the better part of the next decade. Let’s take a look at who some of the other Super Bowl champions found in this position.
Last year, the New York Giants drafted David Wilson, who was a key part of their push to the playoffs (which failed). Wilson was an explosive player on special teams and will now be in a starring role in the Giants backfield.
After the New Orleans Saints magical run in 2009, they drafted Patrick Robinson from Florida State. In his third season, he started all 16 games and snatched three interceptions and returned one of them for a touchdown. He is a very key player on the Saints struggling, but young defense.
Our rivals to the North and West drafted Ziggy Hood with the 32nd pick in 2009. He has played in every game in the last two seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been a tough assignment in the middle for a defense that is always stingy against the run.
The New England Patriots selected Logan Mankins after their last Super Bowl win. Mankins has been a key to keeping Tom Brady upright during their era of dominance. Mankins is a 5 time Pro Bowler and 4 time All-Pro selection. The year before the Pats drafted Benjamin Watson with the same pick. He was a huge part of their short passing game and was a key contributor on the 2007 team that is seen as one of the greatest offenses of all time.
After John Elway retired with two Super Bowl rings, the Denver Broncos drafted Al Wilson. Many of you will remember him for being road graded by Jamal Lewis in the Wildcard Round of the 2000 playoffs, but Wilson had an outstanding career which included 5 Pro Bowls and 2 All-Pro selections.
On the other hand, some teams were less successful with this pick. Patrick Ramsey and Trung Canidate are two notable busts from the end of the first round.
All first round picks are very important, but now maybe more than ever, the Ravens need to pick up a player that can contribute right away. The team will have a very different look next year and the player that they pick will need to be a key part of the team for years to come.