Ravens elite 2018 NFL Draft once again ranked among best in recent NFL history

Eric DeCosta's draft history remains elite
NFL Combine
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The Baltimore Ravens were guided by one of the greatest executives in NFL history during the Ozzie Newsome era. After the Hall of Fame tight end moved to his next phase, Eric DeCosta continued his tradition of strong NFL Draft classes. The 2018 class remains DeCosta's best to date.

2018 started off on a tough foot for DeCosta, as his first pick was a thoroughly average tight end in Hayden Hurst who was traded after two seasons and has bounced around between three different teams after that move. After that, DeCosta pulled off a generationally productive string of picks, hitting on No. 32 overall and two third-rounders.

The Ravens followed the Hurst pick with one of the best late first-round picks in NFL history, nabbing a two-time MVP quarterback in Lamar Jackson. The next two selections were two Oklahoma Sooners teammates in offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. at No. 83 overall and tight end Mark Andrews three picks later.

Despite the Hurst selection, Bleacher Report ranked the 2018 class as the second-best of the last 10 years. The only group ranked ahead of them was the 2017 New Orleans Saints, which has since been praised as one of the greatest classes in the history of the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens 2018 NFL Draft class ranked as second-best of last decade

Jackson has become a Hall of Fame-level quarterback, while Andrews is on the verge of breaking nearly all of Baltimore's franchise receiving records. Brown made two Pro Bowls in three seasons before being traded away. Even fourth-round linebacker Kenny Young was a headliner in the Marcus Peters trade.

DeCosta really kicked butt on Day 3. Cornerback Anthony Averett and safety DeShon Elliott have remained viable role players after leaving Baltimore, and they each had their moments when they were in town. Bradley Bozeman has become a respected starting center, while seventh-round dart throw Zach Sieler has excelled with the Dolphins.

This class did have some misses, particularly at wide receiver. 6-5 New Mexico State fourth-rounder Jaleel Scott managed just two NFL receptions, and UCLA product Jordan Lasley went from a fifth-round pick to a whopping zero career catches. Sixth-round tackle Greg Senat played in just 10 NFL games.

In total, however, the Ravens managed to add an MVP quarterback, a Pro Bowl blindside protector who was later flipped for a promising defensive end, and the QB's favorite target in three consecutive picks. Drafts like that are why DeCosta is in such a rarified air.