Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has earned his reputation as one of the league’s best talent evaluators due in large part to his success with hitting on first-round selections such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Chris McAlister, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. But how has he fared in the second round?
Looking at the Ravens’ 14 second-round picks since their inaugural season in 1996, there are a handful of underperforming players and just one Pro Bowl player -- current starting running back Ray Rice. That’s not to say Newsome hasn’t found productive players in Round 2. But Rice is the only gem he has unearthed.
Rice was selected with the 55th pick in the 2008 draft, which was acquired when the Ravens dropped back in the first round before moving back up a few spots to select quarterback Joe Flacco. Rice has piled up 4,544 yards from scrimmage and scored 14 total touchdowns in three NFL seasons, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2009. But Rice has been an exception.
Cornerback DeRon Jenkins (1996), wide receiver Patrick Johnson (1998) and linebacker Dan Cody (2005) were bona fide busts. And though it takes at least three years to fairly evaluate young players, it appears linebacker turned defensive end Paul Kruger (2009) and linebacker Sergio Kindle (2010) are heading in that direction.
Linebacker Jamie Sharper (1997) was a valuable member of the Ravens’ 2000 championship team, and safety Kim Herring (1997), cornerback Gary Baxter (2001) and defensive linemen Anthony Weaver (2002) and Dwan Edwards (2004) all spent at least two seasons in the starting lineup. None turned out to be stars, though.
So if two weeks from now at the draft, Newsome again trades out of the first round for an extra second-rounder -- and some have speculated it could happen -- curb your enthusiasm. History shows it might not pay off big.
Thanks to our convenient draft database, here’s a list of every Ravens second-round selection since 1996 (overall pick in parentheses):
2010: OLB Sergio Kindle (43), DT Terrence Cody (56)
2009: OLB Paul Kruger (57)
2008: RB Ray Rice (55)
2006: OG Chris Chester (56)
2005: OLB Dan Cody (53), OT Adam Terry (64)
2004: DT Dwan Edwards (51)
2002: DE Anthony Weaver (52)
2001: CB Gary Baxter (64)
1998: WR Patrick Johnson (42)
1997: OLB Jamie Sharper (34), S Kim Herring (58)
1996: CB DeRon Jenkins (55)