Matt Elam

Stakes are high for Ravens as Ozzie Newsome prepares to run his last draft as GM

Stakes are high for Ravens as Ozzie Newsome prepares to run his last draft as GM

For 22 years, he has ruled — quietly but absolutely — over every decision the Ravens have made in their draft room.

Through most of that tenure, Baltimore football fans trusted Ozzie Newsome’s judgment more deeply than any other facet of the team’s operation. After all, he held firm to his sacred board in 1996 and picked Hall of Fame tackle Jonathan Ogden over gifted but troubled running back Lawrence Phillips, who was coveted by Ravens owner Art Modell.

From there, the great players and superb values seemed to flow in every spring, healing whatever ailed the franchise.

But as Newsome prepares to run his final draft as general manager this week, fans’ faith in his wisdom...

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