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Ravens' Top Ten Draft Successes: #2

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JO at Ravens Training Camp (August 2010)
JO at Ravens Training Camp (August 2010)

While some fans might end up saying that Ed Reed should be the second best draft pick in Baltimore Ravens history, he was put at the third position yesterday by virtue of where he is right now and not where he will probably end up. Reed should go down in just not Ravens history, but in the entire NFL's as one f the top few safeties of all-time. However, right now he is only the Ravens third best draft pick of all-time.

Second place on this list goes to the big guy who will shortly be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame once his is eligible. Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden was the first pick in Baltimore Ravens franchise history, number four overall, 22 picks ahead of Ray Lewis in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was taken after #1 pick Keyshawn Johnson (New York Jets), #2 Kevin Hardy (Jacksonville Jaguars), and #3 Simeon Rice (Arizona Cardinals), all solid players but not the impact player that Ogden was for the Ravens.

For the next twelve seasons, all JO did was earn eleven Pro Bowl selections, nine All-Pro honors and was voted to the NFL 2000s All-Decade-Team. In addition to being part of the Ravens Super Bowl 35 winning team in 2000, he is enshrined in the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor.

At 6'9" and 340 pounds, Ogden provided the luxury of giving the Ravens' many quarterbacks the confidence of knowing he was protecting their collective blind sides. Facing other team's best pass rushers was a weekly challenge for Ogden and for most weeks, he was more than up to the task. His battles with the Indianapolis Colts' Dwight Freeney were legendary and both guys have spoken about the immense respect they have for each other.

Unfortunately, the end of Ogden's career was marred by injury, mostly due to just a painful toe injury, one that could even limit the effectiveness of this mountain of a man. As big and fierce as JO was on the field, he was always the epitome of the gentle giant off of it, laughing with his teammates, quiet, reserved and even humble in the public spotlight. He continues to show up at Training Camp, is beloved by the entire Ravens community and deserves this ranking as one of the two best draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history.

(Bet you can't guess who is #1?)

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