4 draft picks the Baltimore Ravens gave up on too soon

The Ravens should have given this
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The Baltimore Ravens have been one of the more successful franchises in the NFL over the last few decades, and they can owe a good chunk of their success to some very wise executives like Ozzie Newsome and current GM Eric DeCosta for finding stars early and late in the NFL Draft.

The Ravens prioritize their own internal development above splashing the cash in free agency. While the Ravens will usually try to keep many of their big draft picks on long-term contracts, the last few decades have seen a handful of players truly start to thrive after they get a fresh start away from Baltimore.

If the Ravens had just managed to hold on to these few players for a bit longer prior to their departure, they could have been even more impressive figures in the annals of Baltimore history. These players were (mostly) solid Ravens, but they left a lot of meat on the bone.

4 NFL Draft Picks the Baltimore Ravens gave up on too soon

4. Brandon Stokley

The Ravens took a chance on Stokley in the fourth round, as his lack of insane athletic ability pushed him further down the rankings. Stokley finished his career with 5,300 yards and 39 touchdowns, though only 1,000 of those yards and seven of those touchdowns came during his five seasons with Baltimore.

The Super Bowl hero ended up on the Indianapolis Colts, where he became a quality slot receiver for Peyton Manning. In his first full healthy season with Indy, Stokley recorded 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was part of the first team in NFL history to have three receivers with 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in the same season.

Brandon Stokley could have stayed with the Baltimore Ravens

While injuries sapped some of his effectiveness with both the Colts and Broncos, Stokley averaged a solid 45.5 yards per game between 2004 and 2008 despite being the third target (at best) in Indianapolis and a very young Jay Cutler throwing him the ball during his time with Denver.

The Ravens have seemingly needed wide receiver help for their entire existence, as Derrick Mason is the only wide receiver in franchise history with more than 4,000 yards receiving. Stokley may not have reached those heights but he would have given some struggling offenses a bit more bite at the end of Brian Billick's tenure.