Ranking the Baltimore Ravens' best draft classes in the PFF era

2MHE67H Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates his touchdown with tight end Mark Andrews (89) in the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

• Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews headline elite 2018 class: The list of hits in this class speaks for itself, but Jackson and Andrews have been the best of the bunch.

• Marshal Yanda carries 2007 group: He earned a 92.8 PFF grade over the course of his 13-year career, registering 90.0-plus grades both in pass protection and as a run blocker.

• Marlon Humphrey and Tyus Bowser still producing for Baltimore from 2017 class: Humphrey has just one year with a PFF coverage grade below 70.0, and Bowser has generated 134 pressures over the past six seasons.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Baltimore Ravens have been viewed as one of the best drafting teams in the NFL throughout their history, starting with landing Hall of Famers Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis with their first two picks in 1996.

Here, we’re going to rank their five best draft classes since PFF began grading in 2006. Since it takes three years to properly evaluate a draft class, we’re looking at drafts between 2006 and 2020.

1. 2018

Notable selections

This was former general manager Ozzie Newsome’s final draft at the top of the Ravens organization, and it was a special one. Trading back into the first round landed the team Jackson, who had that incredible unanimous MVP season in 2019 and has ranked inside the top five in PFF grades among quarterbacks in two of the past four seasons. Mark Andrews has produced a 91.2 PFF grade since entering the league, trailing only Travis Kelce and George Kittle among tight ends.

Averett, Elliott and Bozeman were all solid contributors who started at one point or another in their time in Baltimore, combining to play 6,689 snaps for the Ravens. Brown was impressive in three seasons as a starter, before the Ravens traded him as part of a deal to acquire a first-round pick from the Kansas City Chiefs, while Hayden Hurst earned PFF grades of 65.7 and 73.1 before being traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round pick. Even Sieler has developed into a solid interior defender, though most of that development has come after leaving Baltimore.

2. 2006

Notable selections
  • DI Haloti Ngata, Round 1, Pick 12
  • G Chris Chester, Round 2, Pick 56
  • S Dawan Landry, Round 5, Pick 146
  • P Sam Koch, Round 6, Pick 203

Ngata spent the first nine years of his 13-year NFL career with the Ravens and was a force against the run, earning an 89.1 PFF run-defense grade that ranked seventh among all interior defenders to play 2,000-plus run-defense snaps in that same nine-year span. Landry was a starter from the get-go, playing 4,273 career snaps, with his highest-graded season coming as a rookie (89.9).

Second-round pick Chris Chester played 3,453 snaps for the Ravens, earning a PFF grade of 65.0 or better in all four of the seasons where he saw at least 400 snaps. The best punter in team history, Koch was the seventh-highest-graded punter in the league between 2013 and the end of his career in 2021, earning an 84.2 PFF punting grade in that span.

3. 2007

Notable selections
  • G Ben Grubbs, Round 1, Pick 29
  • G Marshal Yanda, Round 3, Pick 86
  • FB Le’Ron McClain, Round 4, Pick 137
  • QB Troy Smith, Round 5, Pick 174

The second-best offensive lineman in team history next to Ogden, Marshal Yanda earned a 92.8 PFF grade over the course of his 13-year career, registering 90.0-plus grades both in pass protection and as a run blocker and ranking among the top three guards in both facets. Perhaps most impressive is that he could have likely been an All-Pro tackle, too, ranking sixth in the league with an 85.9 PFF grade at right tackle as a rookie. Yanda’s success was likely a big factor in Grubbs’ Ravens career lasting just five seasons, but he also impressed, earning PFF grades of 67.0 or better in all five seasons. 

4. 2017

Notable selections

Humphrey has become one of the best cornerbacks, if not the best, in team history since arriving in Baltimore as the 16th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Alabama. In seven seasons in the league, he has just one year with a PFF coverage grade below 70.0 — and that was in an injury-hit 2021 season.

Bowser has become a key cog in the Ravens' defense, generating 134 total pressures from 1,203 pass-rush snaps over the past six seasons, while Chuck Clark played 4,461 snaps and earned PFF grades of 66.0 or higher in each of the four seasons during which he played at least 300 snaps.

5. 2011

Notable selections

Jimmy Smith spent every year of his 11-season career with the Ravens and contributed right until the end. He earned an 81.5 PFF coverage grade over the course of his career and allowed just one touchdown in coverage across his final 864 coverage snaps in the NFL.

Torrey Smith was a key contributor to the 2012 title-winning team, too, pulling in 606 yards and seven touchdowns on passes targeted 20-plus yards downfield. McPhee registered 217 total pressures on 1,944 pass-rushing snaps across two stints with the team.


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