The five greatest Baltimore Raven players of all time
The Baltimore Ravens don’t have a long history in the NFL unlike their Maryland neighbors, the Washington Redskins. They have been in the league for only nineteen seasons, ever since Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell decided to move the team to Baltimore in 1995.
Despite this, they’ve amassed two Super Bowl championships (in 2000 and 2012). They have also produced some of the finest football talent in the history of the NFL. Several of the names will be in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio someday soon.
Here are the five greatest players to ever wear the purple and black.
5. Terrell Suggs, OLB (2003-present) – Since he was taken with the tenth overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft, Terrell Suggs has firmly established himself as one of the most feared pass-rushers in the NFL. With 94.5 career sacks and 27 forced fumbles, he’s been putting the shivers on quarterbacks for a decade. The six-time Pro Bowler won the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. In 2012, he tore his Achilles tendon in a freak basketball accident but managed to return to the starting roster to help the Ravens win the Super Bowl.
4. Haloti Ngata, NT (2006-present) – In a 3-4 defense, one of the most important roles is the nose tackle. For the Baltimore Ravens, that’s been Haloti Ngata since he was drafted with the 12 overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft. What makes Ngata one of the best in the position is his ability to get to the quarterback. Nose tackles are not usually required to be pass-rushers, they are used more as space-fillers. That hasn’t stopped Ngata recording 23.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles. Ngata is a five-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All Pro.
3. Ed Reed, FS (2002-2012) – Ed Reed will go down as one of the best safeties ever to play the game. Even when he was on the decline, he was a formidable opponent known for his powerful hitting and coverage ability. Originally drafted with the 21st overall pick of the 2002 NFL Draft, he recorded 61 interceptions as a Raven. Reed is a nine-time Pro Bowler and eight-time All Pro. He was the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year and a Super Bowl winner in 2012. Reed was cut by the Ravens to help their cap situation, he went to the Houston Texans and then the New York Jets.
2. Jonathan Ogden, LT (1996-2007) – Jonathan Ogden was the first ever pick for the new Baltimore Ravens team in 1996. He was taken fourth overall. At six-foot, nine inches and weighing 340lb he was a man mountain in the literal sense. He was also one of the finest tackles ever to play the game. He played for twelve seasons and was an eleven time Pro Bowl selection, as well as being a nine-time All Pro. Ogden was the first ever member of the Baltimore Ravens to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Like everyone on this list, he has at least one Super Bowl ring. In Ogden’s case, it’s for the 2000 win.
1. Ray Lewis, ILB (1996-2012) – Ray Lewis was the second pick ever made by the Baltimore Ravens in 1996, He was taken eighteen picks after Ogden, 22nd overall. Over the course of the next seventeen seasons, Ray Lewis would establish himself as one of the most feared and respected linebackers in the NFL. He’s one of the only two players in the ’30/30 Club’ (the other being Rodney Harrison). The Club means you have at least 30 sacks and 30 interceptions. Lewis has 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions.
Ray Lewis is the only player on the list who was part of both the 2000 and 2012 Super Bowl winning teams. He’s a 13-time Pro Bowler and a ten-time All Pro. He was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, winning the award in 2000 and 2003.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jamal Lewis, RB (2000-2006) – The Ravens were known for their stingy defense under the guidance of Ray Lewis. While the Ravens had one of the greatest defenses of all time for their 2000 Super Bowl triumph, one of the forgotten names is Jamal Lewis. When people mention the 2000 Ravens offense, it’s usually to ridicule Trent Dilfer. But without the rookie running back Jamal ‘no-relation-to-Ray’ Lewis they likely wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl.
Lewis was also the fifth running back in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards, a feat he achieved in 2003 when he rushed for 2,066 yards. Lewis ended his career in Cleveland with the Browns in 2909 where he had to retire early to do concussion concerns.