To commemorate the Ravens' 15 years of existence, Ravens Insider will select an All-Ravens team. It will honor the 25 best players (11 on offense, 11 on defense and three on special teams) who have played on the Ravens from 1996 to 2010.
The All-Ravens team now shifts to the offense, starting with the line:
Left tackle: Jonathan Ogden (1996-2007)
Left guard: Edwin Mulitalo (1999-2006)
Center: Wally Williams (1996-98)
Right guard: Jeff Blackshear (1996-99)
Right tackle: Orlando Brown (1996-98, 2003-05)
Comment: Jonathan Ogden, who will become the first player ever drafted by the Ravens to get inducted into the Hall of Fame, was the left tackle every team coveted. While all of the other areas of the Ravens offense broke down over the years, no one ever had to worry about left tackle when mountainous No. 75 lined up. He protected 14 different starting quarterbacks with power, athleticism and technique.
Playing beside Ogden for seven seasons, Mulitalo formed an imposing left side. The Ravens ranked in the top half in the NFL in rushing yards for five seasons when they had Mulitalo and Ogden side by side.
While Ogden and Mulitalo were easy selections, finding the best center in team history is much more difficult. Steve Everitt was the most talented, but he only played half a season for the Ravens. Mike Flynn held the job the longest, but he was never considered among the best in the league. Jason Brown had an excellent season at center in 2008, but it was only one season. And Matt Birk came to the Ravens after making six Pro Bowls. So it goes to Wally Williams, who ranked among the top third of centers when he started three seasons at that position for the Ravens. Jeff Mitchell, the center on the Super Bowl team, is a close second.
At right guard, Jeff Blackshear was a devastating run blocker. He couldn't trap or get out on sweeps, but Blackshear consistently knocked linemen off the ball. The same physical style was shared by Orlando Brown, who held down the right tackle spot for a total of six seasons over two stints with the Ravens. Nicknamed "Zeus," Brown often got in trouble because of his temper but he crushed defensive linemen when he directed his aggression toward them.
Second team: Tony Jones (LT), Jason Brown (LG), Jeff Mitchell (C), Marshal Yanda (RG) and Harry Swayne (RT).
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