Who were the best picks and biggest mistakes of the Ravens' 20 years of drafts? Columnist Mike Preston breaks it down by position. Today he examines linebackers.
Best pick: The Ravens selected Miami linebacker Ray Lewis with the No. 26 overall pick of the 1996 draft. The day proved to be historic because the Ravens had selected UCLA offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, who went on to a Hall of Fame career, with the No. 4 overall pick in the same draft. Some draft experts considered Lewis to be too small to play inside in the NFL, but Lewis went on to become a 13-time Pro Bowler, the 2000 Defensive Player of the Year and help the Ravens win two Super Bowls. He is the team's career leader in tackles with 2,643 and is the only player in NFL history with at least 40 career sacks and 30 career interceptions. Both Peter Boulware (1997 draft) and Terrell Suggs (2003) were also first-round picks who have had great careers with the Ravens.
Worst pick: The Ravens chose Sergio Kindle out of the Texas in the second round, the No. 43 pick overall, in the 2010 draft. General manager Ozzie Newsome selected Kindle despite Kindle's knee problems and several off-field issues. Kindle, though, was still an All-American and the Ravens thought he would develop into an outstanding pass rusher. But an omen came early when Kindle fell down two flights of stairs at his home in Austin, Texas, on July 25, shortly before training camp opened. He was later diagnosed with a fractured skull and didn't play his rookie season. In fact, during his 2 1/2-year career, Kindle registered only one tackle despite coach John Harbaugh giving him every opportunity to play. But when Kindle missed a team flight to Cleveland on Dec. 23 in the 2011 season, it was the beginning of the end and Harbaugh and the Ravens cut him in January of 2013.