2. 2011 Draft Class
Jimmy Smith has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league but his inability to stay healthy late in seasons has hindered him. Torrey Smith became Flacco’s favorite deep target for many years and won another Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2018. Pernell McPhee was a rising star at outside linebacker but decided to take the money at Chicago. So far, it hasn’t been kind to him.
Tyrod Taylor, although he didn’t do much with Baltimore, has become one of the better quarterbacks in the league. In three seasons as a starter for the Bills, he ranked top 10 in QBR twice and top 15 all three years. That is better than Joe Flacco in each of those years (not saying I would trade, just saying). Ozzie finding Taylor in the sixth round is just another example of his ability to find gems when others aren’t looking.
1. 1996 Draft Class
I mean, was there ever any doubt? Ozzie started his Ravens career off with a bang. Two bangs, to be exact. His first to picks, Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, respectively, are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You could argue that they are the best of all-time at their respected positions. Ray Lewis has become a pro football icon and likely the most prominent figure in team history.
Don’t forget Jermaine Lewis, who was the game’s best punt and kick returner for many years, as well as an excellent slot receiver. He ended up being an All-Pro twice. DeRon Jenkins was a plug-in starter but played meaningful snaps for much of his career. Needless to say, this is by far Ozzie’s best draft and quite possibly the best draft of all time.