Ozzie Newsome and his crew have made their name over the years through the draft. When you've drafted names like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Terrell Suggs, and Joe Flacco, you can boast a bit. It's the team's bread and butter.
But in recent years, the Ravens have been on a bit of a cold streak in the draft. From 1996 to 2008, the Ravens drafted 15 players who went on to make Pro Bowl appearances. Since then just one player, C.J. Mosley, has made an appearance in the Pro Bowl for Baltimore. Fans have noticed, and Newsome too has conceded that the past few classes haven't been par for the course.
"I would say it’s not up to my standards and not up to Eric’s standards and not up to the Ravens’ standards when you compare it to what we did very early on," - Ozzie Newsome
ESPN and its NFL Nation reporters recently sat down to chronicle the worst draft decisions of each and every NFL team over the past five years. For the Ravens, reporter Jamison Hensley had a pretty easy job picking out the Ravens' big mistakes.
"In 2013, the defending Super Bowl champions selected safety Matt Elam, who could be the team's biggest first-round bust. But at least Elam got on the field. That same year, Baltimore traded three draft picks to move up six spots in the second round to get linebacker Arthur Brown. He has yet to start a game and hasn't made a tackle in the past two seasons. Brown was even surpassed on the depth chart by two undrafted players, Zachary Orr and Albert McClellan. There is no guarantee that Brown makes the team this year." - Jamison Hensley
Elam is going to go down as one of the Ravens' bigger draft busts ever. Elam was supposed the be the secondary's savior. But he never became anything close to it. He's been abysmal in coverage, lost his job as a starter, and he also can't tackle. The Ravens have an opportunity to give him a fifth-year option for the next season, but chances are that this will be Elam's last season as a Raven. If he even makes the team, that is.
Brown too is also another embarrassing selection, considering the big trade to get him. Brown might even be a bigger bust when you consider that he hasn't even started a game in the purple and black. At the very least, the Ravens' linebacking corps hasn't been drastically effected by Brown's bust.
Armed with their highest pick since 2000, the Ravens are hoping to leave these draft woes in the past. Hopefully the streak of bad drafting ends this year.