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#TBT Looking back at the crazy 2003 NFL draft

The 2003 NFL Draft was a crazy one that would affect the fate of the Ravens franchise for years.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2002 season it was clear that the Ravens needed a quarterback. They had their sights on one — big-armed Byron Leftwich out of Marshall. So much so that Ozzie Newsome reached an agreement with the Vikings to move up to draft him. Minnesota agreed and the trade was going to be done. Except something happened and the NFL never got word about the trade and the Vikings never sent in a pick.

The Vikings claimed they sent the NFL their card with the trade on it. Newsome said he never spoke to league official Joel Bussert, essentially hinting the Vikings didn't turn in their card on time.

The Jaguars and Panthers pounced on picks while the Ravens were left wondering what was going on. The Jaguars got Leftwich and the Panthers got Jordan Gross. The Vikings got Kevin Williams and so the Ravens got another guy they were looking at — Terrell Suggs out of Arizona State.

The Jaguars came out worst out of the four, as injuries and turnovers would prevent Leftwich from being the franchise QB envisioned. Jordan Gross became a pillar on the Panthers offensive line, Kevin Williams was part of a dominant Vikings defensive line and Terrell Suggs has over 100 sacks and a sure spot in the Ring of Honor.

If the story ended there, it would've ended as a happy one. But it didn't. The Ravens still needed a quarterback and they ended up making a mistake that taught them a hard lesson. The Ravens traded their 2003 second-rounder and 2004 first-rounder to New England so that they could draft quarterback Kyle Boller 19th overall. Boller would struggle with turnovers and injuries during his Ravens tenure, holding back championship caliber defenses and letting the talents of Todd Heap and Jamal Lewis go to waste.

Fortunately, the struggles of Boller and the Ravens would allow the Ravens to pull off a series of trades that allowed them to draft future Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.