As you know, the Ravens hold the 29th pick in next week's NFL draft. Being the only NFL team that has made the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, they have grown accustomed to drafting at the tail end of the first round. They have entered the draft with the No. 26, 25, 26 and 29 picks the past four years, respectively.
The Ravens almost always hit on their first-rounders, even late ones. But what can they expect at pick No. 29?
Looking backward at the past 10 drafts from 2011 to 2002 (which, not-so-coincidentally, was the first season the league had 32 teams and therefore 32 first-round picks), there have been many notable players taken with the 29th pick, including two players who were selected to at least one Pro Bowl. Each player has had some degree of success, and only one -- former Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson -- is out of the league today.
The list includes Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs, who signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency after playing his first five seasons in Baltimore. The Ravens drafted him at No. 29 in 2007, the only time they have picked at that spot -- though the Cleveland Browns did take wide receiver Derrick Alexander there in 1994 (he played for the Ravens in their first two years in Baltimore, piling up 2,108 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns).
Here's a little more (recent) history. The Ravens tried to acquire the No. 29 pick in a draft-day trade with the Chicago Bears last year, but we know how that one turned out. Cornerback Jimmy Smith, whom the Ravens drafted at No. 27, would have likely been their pick at No. 29 assuming he would have still been on the board.
Let's take a quick look at how each of the past 10 players drafted with the 29th pick have fared in the NFL.
2011: OT Gabe Carimi. As I mentioned earlier, Smith should have been the 29th pick, but the Bears botched the deal then took Carimi. The Wisconsin grad played two games before a knee injury ended his 2011 season.
2010: CB Kyle Wilson. Wilson, who played his college ball at Boise State, started a dozen games for the New York Jets in his first two NFL seasons. He picked off two passes and made 41 tackles this past season.
2009: WR Hakeem Nicks. Somehow, Nicks has never made a Pro Bowl despite being one of the NFL's best wide-outs. He has 155 catches for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns the past two seasons and won a Super Bowl.
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2008: DT Kentwan Balmer. Arguably the least successful player on this list, Balmer has played for three teams since the San Francisco 49ers drafted him in 2008. He was a starter for the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.
2007: OG Ben Grubbs. Grubbs started 70 games for the Ravens since G.M. Ozzie Newsome took the sturdy guard out of Auburn. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl in 2011 despite missing four starts due to a toe injury.
2006: C Nick Mangold. The 28-year-old is one of the top two or three centers in the NFL. He has started 94 out of a possible 96 games for the Jets. He has made four Pro Bowls. And he has been first-team All-Pro twice.
2005: CB Marlin Jackson. Jackson started 32 games for the Indianapolis Colts and won a Super Bowl. The Ravens were interested in him in 2010, but he signed in Philadelphia before another knee injury ended his career.
2004: WR Michael Jenkins. Jenkins never turned out to be a star, but he has been decently productive first with the Atlanta Falcons and then the Minnesota Vikings (3,978 career receiving yards and 23 touchdowns).
2003: MLB Nick Barnett: Barnett was one of the leaders of the Green Bay defense for the better part of a decade. He was injured in 2010 when they won the Super Bowl and they parted ways the following offseason.
2002: OT Marc Colombo: Colombo, who was a draft pick of the Bears, has played for three teams in his career. He started 16 games at right tackle for the Miami Dolphins last season. He is currently a free agent.