Baltimore Ravens Legends: Duane Starks


Baltimore Ravens Legend: Duane Starks

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Duane Starks in 1998 with the 10th overall pick. Starks played four seasons with the Ravens, including the run to Super Bowl XXXV in 2000. Starks was a productive player to say the least; he had 20 of his 25 interceptions wearing purple and black.

Related Story: Ravens Legends: Chris McAlister

From the beginning  pretty clear that Starks was going to be a star. He came into the NFL with six interceptions as a Miami Hurricane on his resume. Like many of his teammates at “The U” he was ready for the NFL. Starks had five interceptions in his rookie season.

Starks had five interceptions in 1999 as well. It was clear that there would be no sophomore slump; Starks was the real deal. In 2000, he picked off six passes. In 2001 he had four interceptions.

Starks had a high football IQ. He knew when to jump a route. He got in the head of many receivers. Quarterbacks feared him. Starks made big plays in the secondary, the kind that changed games.

He was the perfect combination of speed, talent and ball skills. It’s hard to argue with the production he put up, but he passed the eye test too.

The 2000 defense was historically special. A big reason for their success was the shut down cornerback play from Starks. Starks and Chris McAlister were one of the best combinations of all time. With Rod Woodson and Kim Herring on the back end, it almost wasn’t fair.

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Starks is a name that I would not mind seeing in the Ravens ring of honor. He had 20 interceptions in four years with the team. He was a important member of an historic defense. He’s an awesome person that helped the Ravens get off to an amazing beginning.

When the Ravens lost Starks to free agency, it hurt. It felt like the team lost a key part of the machine. You can’t blame him though. Injuries really hampered the second half of his career. Still he had 10 good years as a professional football player.

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Starks has been successful off the field as well. He is a sports analyst for Comcast Sportsnet. He owns Quanstar Limousine Service, which operates in Florida. It’s good to see a special football player doing good things after football.