ESPN's Walker says 2008 was Ravens' best draft of 2000s

March 10, 2011|By Matt Vensel

This week, ESPN blogger James Walker has been releasing lists of the top three draft classes of the 2000s -- or the aughts as they were awkwardly called -- for each of the AFC North teams. He tackled the Ravens on Wednesday, ranking the 2008 class as the team's best of the decade.

Three years ago, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome traded down then up to select franchise quarterback Joe Flacco in the first round. He landed starting running back Ray Rice in the second round, one of the draft's biggest steals.

Those are the only two current starters the Ravens netted in the draft, though they did add part-time players such as Tavares Gooden, Tom Zbikowski, Haruki Nakamura, Marcus Smith and Oniel Cousins.

"It's still early, but the 2008 draft is filled with talent, depth and young players who will only improve," Walker wrote in this post. "Anytime you land a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft, that weighs extra."

Walker ranked the 2006 class that was highlighted by Haloti Ngata, Chris Chester and Dawan Landry second, and the 2003 class that included Kyler Boller, Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson was third.

"All three draft classes are pretty close, because the Ravens are consistent," Walker wrote. "But if Flacco and Rice continue to get better and eventually lead Baltimore to the Super Bowl, that will separate the 2008 class."

Let me know what you think about Walker's list (and feel free to use our Ravens draft pick database to refresh your memory on the team's past draft classes).

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