Baltimore Ravens: Why NFL Draft Is So Important
The Baltimore Ravens have to hit a home run in the NFL Draft. They can’t have any misses this year, it has to be one of the best draft classes in Ravens history. Why is it so important? Let’s answer that question.
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The 2000 Ravens defense was built mostly in the draft. From 1996-1999 the Ravens drafted Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Jamie Sharper, Kim Herring, Duane Starks and Chris McAlister. In four years the Ravens drafted five of the eleven starters on the 2000 Ravens defense, which many believe to be the greatest defense of all time.
The Ravens have always been a team that builds through the draft. The Ravens went to the playoffs from 2008-2012, winning the Super Bowl in 2012. That kind of success does not just happen. The Ravens drafted Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta to help their offense. Other important picks in those years were Ladarius Webb, Jimmy Smith and Kelechi Osemele.
More recently the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers have built powerful teams through insightful drafting. Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas were all picks that built a great defense in a couple of years.
The Seahawks pulled off some steals in the draft too. Russell Wilson for example was their third round pick in 2012. Richard Sherman was a 5th round pick. They went to two consecutive Super Bowls and one the first of them.
Carolina built its path to the Super Bowl through the draft. It started in 2011, when they drafted Cam Newton. Than in 2012 they drafted Luke Kuecly. Kuecly quickly became one of the best linebackers in football. Josh Norman also was a key pick. The fifth round cornerback is now one of football best defensive players.
In 2013 the Panthers drafted Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. Putting those two powerful defensive tackles in front of linebackers like Kuechly, Thomas Davis and A.J. Klien (another draft steal) helped create a dominating defense.
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These are just three examples of how Super Bowl runs have been built by the draft. The Ravens have to have an amazing draft. Drafting well is the best thing any team can do for their future.