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Ravens can thank lesser teams for success

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The Ravens skill in drafting has made them one of the NFLs upper-echelon franchises and has kept them in constant contention for the Lombardi. They owe part of that success to the franchises that they step on.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have gotten some excellent return on investment in the mid rounds of the draft. Pernell McPhee, LeRon McClain, Kyle Juszczyk, Edwin MulitaloChester Taylor, Ovie Mughelli, Sam Koch, Rick Wagner, and other valuable contributors have done their part on contending Ravens teams. Those guys all have something in common, that being that they are players selected with the league-leading 41 compensatory picks that the Ravens have received.

The fact that the Ravens have more compensatory picks than any other team despite not even being an NFL franchise for the first two years is a testament to Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and the skill of the coaching staff. Newsome gets credit for his skill in the seven rounds of the draft and for having the ability to find undrafted gems on a near annual basis, and skill with finding quality contributors that have been cut from other teams.

The coaching staff gets credit for taking guys from the low rounds of the draft or guys that were cut from other teams roster and coaching them up into solid players, like the Ravens have done with guys like Corey Graham, Cary Williams, and Dannell Ellerbe.

But the biggest contributor in the massive number of compensatory picks for the Ravens is all of the losing franchises that don't have talent of their own and have to toss eight figure contracts at players from contenders to give fans their hope. If those guys weren't around to massively overpay good but not great players the Ravens wouldn't have the resources to draft those players in the first place.

So the next time a fan of an offseason champion brags about how the latest former Raven their team overpaid for is going to make their team elite and how the Ravens will be screwed without them, just say thanks for the compensatory pick and check their shocked expression. Then enjoy a chuckle at the fact that the Ravens will be in the playoffs while their team was probably out of contention by Halloween.