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Ravens are Some of the Best Drafters in the NFL

Baltimore is producing, and keeping home-grown talent for a long time.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We all knew that the Ravens Front Office has been historically excellent at drafting, but this nugget of info is a true testament to their drafting success.

Ever since their first draft in 1996, the Ravens have found quality players in practically every draft class. The team has selected three 'sure-fire' Hall of Famers in their short twenty year existence, while a few others may also potentially find their way to the Hall. Let's go down the list of 1st-round Pro Bowlers the Ravens have picked.

  • '96: Jonathan Ogden (x11), Ray Lewis (x13)
  • '97: Peter Boulware (x4)
  • '98: Chris McAlister (x1)
  • '00: Jamal Lewis (x1)
  • '01: Todd Heap (x2)
  • '02: Ed Reed (x8)
  • '03: Terrell Suggs (x5)
  • '06: Haloti Ngata (x5)
  • '07: Ben Grubbs (x1)
  • '14 C.J. Mosley (x1)
Wow. It's no wonder Ravens fans have came up with the moniker 'In Ozzie We Trust', to solidify their confidence in GM Ozzie Newsome, who has been around since the beginning to make these picks.

What's even more shocking is that Baltimore is producing, and keeping home-grown talent for a long time, 7.6 years on average. The Ravens have a rare ecosystem that players love, a supportive staff, a winning culture, and rabid fans. It's no wonder why you rarely see ex-Ravens diss the team, and why Baltimore is an attractive destination for free agents.

The Ravens consistent quality drafting is the reason why they were able to lift a Lombardi Trophy just five seasons after moving to Baltimore, and a second one in 2012. The front office took a middling Cleveland Browns roster, added three defensive stars, and one HOF offensive lineman in just three draft classes and built one of the greatest defenses ever seen. Their second ring was acquired with key members of those early draft classes, and one small-school QB selected with a first-rounder in 2008, Joe Flacco.

Baltimore was a franchise that was built, and lives on good drafting. The team typically forgoes signing expensive big-name free agents, and instead opts to draft and develop their own home-grown talent, only to see those players leave the 'Charm City' for bigger contracts. It's a formula that's worked for Ozzie & Co. for 20 years now, and they'll continue to 'rinse and repeat' until proven otherwise.