The Baltimore Ravens have had a tremendous amount of success in the draft since they rebranded back in 1996. That initial draft saw Baltimore pick up future Hall of Famers Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, setting the stage of Super Bowl contention on a consistent basis.
In looking at the top-10 greatest Baltimore Ravens draft picks, we’re going to focus on a Super Bowl MVP under center, one of the better running backs in franchise history and a safety that dominated during his time in Maryland. Obviously, Ogden and Lewis are also included.
Scroll down to see who nabs the top spot.
10. Joe Flacco quarterback (2008-18)
Draft status: First-round, 18th pick in 2008
To be clear, Flacco finds himself on this list solely because of his performance in the 2012 NFL Playoffs and his MVP performance in the Super Bowl that season. The former first-round pick threw 11 touchdowns compared to zero interceptions in the postseason that year. Outside of this run, Flacco was a pedestrian quarterback who relied a great deal on the Ravens’ dominating defense.
With that said, Flacco’s success as the Ravens’ quarterback can’t be denied. He posted a 96-67 regular-season record and threw for north of 38,000 yards in 11 seasons with the organization. When all is said and done, Flacco will go down as an all-time great member of the Ravens.
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9. Lamar Jackson, quarterback (2018-)
Draft status: First-round, 32nd pick in 2018
Despite still being young in his career, Jackson has to go down as a top-10 draft pick in Ravens history. It’s still shocking that the likes of Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen went ahead of Jackson. One is now on his third NFL team while the other could soon be traded.
As for Jackson, he put up an MVP performance back in 2019. That season saw the former Louisville star tally north of 4,300 total yards with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions. Jackson also finished his first two NFL seasons having posted a 19-3 record as a starter. Talk about being a winner.
8. Peter Boulware, linebacker (1997-05)
Draft status: First-round, 4th pick in 1997
Second to only Terrell Suggs on the Ravens’ all-time sack list, Boulware’s career was unfortunately cut short after he suffered a serious knee injury at the age of 29 that cost him the entire 2004 season.
Despite this, the former Florida State standout was dominating during his time with Baltimore. Boulware recorded seven-plus sacks in each of his first seven seasons, including double-digit numbers three times. He also earned four trips to the Pro Bowl.
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7. Haloti Ngata, defensive tackle (2006-14)
Draft status: First round, 12th pick in 2006
Yet another player who flew under the radar during his near-decade with the team, Ngata will go down as one of the top Ravens players of all-time. He was a run-stuffing legend in front of the likes of Ray Lewis in Baltimore. The massive 340-pound defensive tackle earned five Pro Bowl appearances with the Ravens, helping the team to a Super Bowl title during that span. He, too, should be considered for the Hall of Fame.
6. Marshal Yanda, guard (2007-19)
Draft status: Third-round, 86th pick in 2007
One of the most underrated interior linemen in modern NFL history, Yanda has starred for the Ravens over the past 13 seasons after being selected in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He’s opened up lanes for everyone from Ray Rice to Mark Ingram.
Prior to retiring following the 2019 season, Yanda earned eight Pro Bowl appearances and was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team in the 2000’s. Equally as impressive, Baltimore earned a playoff appearance in eight of Yanda’s 13 seasons with the team. Not bad for an Iowa boy.
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5. Jamal Lewis, running back (2000-06)
Draft status: First-round, 5th pick in 2000
Like a lot of running backs in the modern era, Lewis’ lack of longevity hurt him. The Tennessee product played only seven seasons with Baltimore after it made him a first-round pick in 2000. Despite missing his sophomore campaign with a knee injury, Lewis more than proved his worth as a dominating figure during his short time with the Ravens.
From 2002-06, Lewis was among the best all-around running backs in the NFL. That five-year span saw the former SEC star average north of 1,500 total yards while scoring a total of 41 touchdowns. This came with the likes of Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright at quarterback in Baltimore. Think about that for a second.
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4. Terrell Suggs, linebacker (2003-18)
Draft status: First-round, 10th pick in 2003
Sixteen seasons. That’s how long this future Hall of Famer played with the Ravens after they made him a first-round pick back in 2003. He recorded a whopping 200 quarterback hits and 139 sacks during that span, ranking No. 1 in franchise history in both areas.
The Arizona State product also earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl during this span. He might not be as well known as Lewis or Reed, but Suggs was a standout performer in Baltimore. That’s magnified by the fact that Suggs recorded seven sacks or more in 12 of his 16 seasons with the Ravens. Talk about being a consistent figure for such a long period of time.
3. Jonathan Ogden, offensive tackle (1996-2007)
Draft status: First-round, 4th pick in 1996
The very first pick of the Ravens’ organization, Ogden was selected No. 4 overall in the 1996 NFL Draft. It’s the same draft class that netted Baltimore a man by the name of Ray Lewis (more on him later). Talk about one of the best drafts in league history.
A product of UCLA, Ogden earned 11 Pro Bowl trips in 12 seasons with the Ravens. The only exception was his rookie campaign, a year many believed he was snubbed. An inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 2013, Ogden remains one of the very best tackles to ever play the game. During his time in Baltimore Ogden opened up lanes for the likes of Priest Holmes, Jamal Lewis and Willis McGahee. That should say enough.
2. Ed Reed, safety (2002-12)
Draft status: First-round, 24th pick in 2002
A star at Miami (F), Reed joined the Ravens while Ray Lewis was in the prime of his career. Together, they formed one of the greatest defensive tandems in the modern history of the NFL.
A first-round pick back in 2002, Reed played with Baltimore through the 2012 campaign. During that 11-year span, the Hall of Famer earned nine Pro Bowl appearances and five All-Pro honors. He finished his Ravens career having led the NFL in interceptions a whopping three times. In a sign that Reed was among the best safeties to ever suit up, Baltimore finished in the top-10 of the NFL in scoring defense eight times during his 11-year tenure with the team.
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1. Ray Lewis, linebacker (1996-2012)
Draft status: First-round, 26th pick in 1996
Jermane Mayberry. Eric Moulds. Jeff Hartings. Marcus Jones. Pete Kendall. These are the five names that went ahead of Ray Lewis in the 1996 NFL Draft. In their first year as the Ravens, this “new” franchise had already picked up fellow future Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden earlier in the draft. Once Baltimore added Lewis, one of the greatest draft classes was born.
Perhaps the greatest linebacker in NFL history, Lewis earned a whopping 13 Pro Bowl appearances in 16 seasons with the Ravens. He led the NFL in tackles three times and earned All-Pro honors seven more times. Known for his passionate play on the field and ability to pump his teammates up, Lewis’ career came to a culmination with a Super Bowl win following the 2012 season. From the start of his career to his first-ballot induction into the Hall of Fame, Lewis proved to be the best Ravens player of all-time.