Selecting Matt Ryan with the No. 3 overall pick in 2008 was not a hard decision for the Atlanta Falcons. But thanks to the Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta nearly missed the chance.
“The Ravens offered their entire draft for the rights to pick Ryan, sources said, going from No. 8 to No. 2,” a report from Ian Rapoport said. “The trade nearly happened, but the Rams asked for more. They also wanted Baltimore’s second-round pick from 2009 to clinch the deal.”
As great as Ryan is, the Ravens need to be thankful that they didn’t pull the trigger.
The 2008 draft wasn’t especially great for Baltimore. Still, the first two players it actually did pick were quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice. Both were integral to the Ravens’ success over the next several seasons and were key players on the Super Bowl XLVII championship team. The same was true for Baltimore’s second-round pick the following year, Paul Kruger.
Perhaps the Rams got a little too greedy. They selected Chris Long with the second overall pick. And while he was certainly a good player, he never made a Pro Bowl for the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) franchise. Perhaps a chance to draft a deeper group of players would have suited the Rams well. As things happened, it’s a franchise now in a new home that hasn’t had even a .500 season in more than a decade.