While doing my homework on the Ravens and their history in the NFL draft, I spent a little time exploring our Ravens draft database (sorry for the shameless plug, but it’s pretty neat feature if you haven’t checked it out). In no particular order, here are some trends and random factoids from the 126 picks they’ve made in 16 years.
••• Much is made about G.M. Ozzie Newsome’s preference for players from Alabama, his alma mater, and how the Ravens have hit big on prospects from The U (of Miami). But the Ravens have selected more players from Oklahoma (seven) than any other school. That list includes offensive tackle Sammy Williams (1998), wide receiver Mark Clayton (2005) and linebacker Dan Cody (2005). The Ravens have drafted five players each from Alabama and Miami and four apiece from Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee.
••• What major college conference has the Ravens mined for talent the most? The ACC. They have drafted 20 players from the ACC, including three in last year’s draft (Torrey Smith, Tyrod Taylor, and Anthony Allen). The SEC is second with 19, followed by the Big 12 with 16 and a tie between the Big Ten and the Pac 10 with 12. The Ravens have only drafted eight players from the Big East (though one was running back Ray Rice).
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••• Baltimore has drafted two players who attended college in the state of Maryland: Jermaine Lewis (1996) and Torrey Smith (2011). Both were speedy wide receivers and returners from the University of Maryland.
••• The positions most drafted by the Ravens are linebacker (19), offensive line (19) and wide receiver (18).
••• They have never drafted a kicker, though they have drafted two punters (Dave Zastudil and Sam Koch).
••• The Ravens have drafted 18 linebackers since taking Ray Lewis 26th in the 1996 draft (including another linebacker later in that draft and four in the 1997 draft), but they are still said to be looking for his successor.
••• Baltimore has made eight or more selections in six of their drafts (12 picks in 1997 was the team’s all-time high). Meanwhile, the Ravens have made fewer than seven picks three times (four was their lowest in 1999).
••• They have traded at least one pick in 14 of their 16 drafts, including the past 10. They have dealt their first-round pick in four of the past six drafts, moving up in 2006 and 2009 and trading back in 2008 and 2010.
••• How have the Ravens cashed in their first-round picks? There’s a three-way tie at picks used at certain positions. They have taken three linebackers, three cornerbacks and three offensive linemen in the first round.
••• The Ravens have made 17 picks in the first round, 15 in the second, 14 in the third, 17 in the fourth, 20 in the fifth, 24 in the six (including four sixth-rounders in the 2002 draft) and 19 in the seventh.
••• The Ravens have drafted 15 players who made the Pro Bowl as Ravens. I’m going to list them all, but try to see how many you can name before reading. I’ll wait for you. Done yet? Have your list? OK, let’s go. Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, Jermaine Lewis, Peter Boulware, Chris McAlister, Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap, Ed Reed, Adalius Thomas, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda, Le’Ron McClain, and Ray Rice. Phew.