The Ravens are kicking off their 20th NFL season this year. To commemorate that achievement, we'll take a look at the Ravens' top 10 players of the last 20 years.
#8 - Jamal Lewis
Part of the million Lewis' that the Ravens had in the early 2000's, Jamal is still one of the more decorated players that the Ravens have had on their roster.
Originally drafted in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens with the 5th overall pick, Jamal Lewis came from the University of Tennessee. Even though he played with Peyton Manning back in college, he was able to stand as third all-time rushing yards and fourth in all-purpose yards.
Lewis came to Baltimore as the second horse of a one-two workhorse with the current starter Priest Holmes. By the end of the season, Lewis would supplant Holmes as the main rusher on the team, leading Baltimore to let Holmes go the previous year. We all know what Holmes was able to do with his time as a Chief, so it is impressive that the rookie Lewis was able to push him to pasture.
A surprising mix of brute force and quickness, Lewis was a new model of rusher. Quick, choppy steps allowed him to make quick cuts while maintaining all of his speed and power. His big body at 5'11" - 240-pounds, and 4.58 40-yard time meant that once he got into the second level, few players had the toughness or speed to bring him down. As most Ravens fans know, that led the Ravens rusher to a phenomenal season in 2003 as he broke the 2000 yard rushing mark and finished second only to Eric Dickerson's 2,105 yards all while breaking the single game rushing yard record. Since he hit that milestone, the Vikings' Adrian Peterson would push Lewis to third on the list while beating his single game record.
Lewis stayed with the Ravens until the 2007 season when the wear and tear on his body meant that Lewis had lost a lot of his speed and power. The Ravens let Lewis hit the market, ending up in Cleveland for his final few years before calling it a career at the end of the 2009 season.
Possibly even more famously known for his off-field issues involving a short stint in jail and for recently having to sell his Super Bowl ring as part of a bankruptcy.
Even though Lewis has had his share of hard times and mistakes, he still marks a place on the Ravens All-Time Greats list because of his hard work and dedication on the field. A player that always played hard and in fact called others out for not playing an entire 60 minutes, Lewis is yet another definition of a true Ravens player at heart.