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Ravens Top Ten Draft Busts

Most people know that the NFL Draft is not an exact science.

Yet people love to analyze and criticize those in charge over who they choose on draft day. That would also explain why so many fans simply can’t get enough of Mock Drafts. There are so many variables that you can’t predict on draft day yet everyone, myself included needs to go on record with their selection.

I also happen to believe that is has a lot to do with one of the most popular phrases in the English language.

“I told you so.”

Who doesn’t like to be able to turn to their fellow fans and utter those satisfying words? But as we ready to see who the Baltimore Ravens will add to the fold this week we can feel safe knowing that we are in good hands with Ozzie Newsome and company at the controls. However, Baltimore doesn’t always strike gold.

Not to sabotage any positive energy going into Thursday but let’s take a look at the top ten busts or a kinder word would be disappointments throughout the Ravens 14 year draft history.  Some might feel like a reach but at the very least I hope it sparks some debate.

10 – Dwan Edwards (2004 – 2nd round)

This may seem like an odd choice to start the list but Edwards’ success has only been in the past two seasons. In 2007 he finally became a part of the line rotation after several seasons of injury and slow development. This past season he displaced Trevor Pryce as the starting Defensive End and was decent in run support but never was a threat to get to the quarterback. (2 career sacks – 10 yds lost) He developed into a nice player but a replaceable one.

9 – Chris Redman (2000 – 3rd round)

Redman completed his college career at Louisville as one of the most proflic passers in the history of the game. He held records for passing completions and attempts and was ranked third All-time in career passing yards. That didn’t translate to his professional career where he was 3-3 as a starter. A back injury knocked Redman out of the starting spot and then a torn labrum led him to surgery and an end to his tenure in Charm city. To his credit he has rebounded to become the current Falcons backup and just signed an extension playing for his old college coach Bobby Petrino.

8 – Yamon Figurs (2007 – 3rd Round)

The 4.3 speedster drafted out of Kansas State became the main punt and kick returner during his rookie season due to B.J. Sams’ ACL injury. He showed some flashes with one punt and kick return for a touchdown but struggled with concentration and decisiveness (4 Fumbles – 1 Lost). In 2008 his numbers dropped and he still had difficulty holding onto the football. He was released the following season where he has had stops in Tampa, Detroit and now Oakland. One could argue that he was never drafted as a receiver so his lack of production there wasn’t a surprise. But a third round pick seemed like a reach here.

7 – Adam Terry (2005 – 2nd round)

Terry had impressive physical stats, standing 6’8″ and weighing 330 pounds. The team had hoped that he would solidify the Right Tackle spot to provide a competent bookend to Pro Bowler Jon Ogden. Terry seemed to struggle and was mainly effective as a swing man that could fill in if needed. For his size he didn’t seem to have the mean streak that is necessary for some offensive lineman and never truly lived up to billing. He started only 18 games over a three year period, and missed all of 2009 with a knee injury he suffered in training camp. He was signed by the Colts in March of this year.

6 – Mark Clayton (2005 – 1st round)

When you get chosen in the first round, expectations are high. Clayton has never truly lived up to becoming much more than a decent #3 pass catcher. His best season was in 2006 where he caught 67 passes and it appeared he might be ready to supplant Derrick Mason as the team’s top threat on the outside.  But, his numbers the following year dipped back towards the 40 catch range. Consistency was one of his biggest issues as he would often disappear in some games and become a non-factor. One last point is that Clayton is often compared to former bust Travis Taylor and while he doesn’t get the disgust that some fans reserve for Travis see if you can answer this question. Who in their 5 year career with Baltimore had more touchdowns? It’s Taylor with 15 compared to Clayton’s 12. I still think he might be back in 2010 but at best he’d be #4 on the depth chart.

5 – Patrick Johnson (1998 – 2nd round)

Has anyone noticed that there are a lot of receivers on this list? The speed of this Olympic caliber sprinter caught the team’s eye however, it often helps to have a set of hands to go with that speed. He too struggled with injuries never playing more than ten games in a season.

4 – Travis Taylor (2000 – 1st round)

The Ravens have an incredibly high success rate in the first round. This is not one of those picks. Taylor was the 10th pick overall and perhaps the high point for him in his rookie season a was 2 touchdown performance in a wild victory at home over Jacksonville. He looked ready to turn the corner in 2002 where he caught 61 balls and notched 6 touchdowns. But could never capitalize on that momentum. He was released after a subpar season in 2004. I couldn’t find the stat but my worst memory of Taylor was his annoying habit of getting called for False starts, sometimes twice a game. He has bounced around the league and was last seen with the Lions.

3 – Deron Jenkins (1996 – 2nd round)

Jenkins was expected to be a vital piece to the construction of the defense. He spent four years for the Ravens, started 30 games, and grabbed two interceptions. How’s that for underwhelming? Lest anyone forget he was locked in a battle for the starting corner with Donny Brady. The Ravens also gave up three picks to grab in 1996. To say he didn’t live up to his value would be an understatement.

2 – Dan Cody (2005 – 2nd round)

It’s a shame that he could never seem to be healthy enough to get a chance to prove himself on the field. He was a frequent visitor to the injured reserve and PUP lists before being released in 2007. His injuries dominated his career but the fact remains he appeared in only two games and registered just one tackle. He’s but another footnote in a rough 2005 darft class for the purple.

1 – Kyle Boller (2003 – 1st round)

Boller was one of the more polarizing figures in Ravens history. There are still plenty of Boller backers out there among the Ravens faithful today that will say that he was rushed too soon, and that he didn’t have the weapons around him to compete. Both have some validity. But the fact remains that he didn’t get the job done as a quarterback. He had a strong arm, but had difficulty with reads and progressions. He had very good mobility but often escaped the pocket too soon and was the victim of “Happy Feet”. He never could seem to put it all together but through it all he always took responsibility and showed toughness. He just should have never been taken that high. The best quote comes from his former Head Coach Brian Billick, “You know what happens when you miss on a QB in the first round? You get fired.”

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7 Responses to “Ravens Top Ten Draft Busts”

  1. Brian says:

    I severely disagree with Kyle Boller being your number one draft bust for the Ravens and I know that I am in the minority on this opinion. However Boller never got a fair deal with the Ravens as for as developing a respectable NFL quarterback. They asked a 22 year old rookie to come into the NFL, play on a playoff caliber team and told him “you do not have to win the game for us, just don’t make any mistakes.” How are you able to say that to a 22 year old rookie in the NFL? Oh by the way lets not give him a decent offensive line. And his receivers over his tenure should not even be allowed to call themselves professionals, one of them being my number one bust, Travis Taylor.
    Taylor ultimately was the “deep threat that never threat.” He had the luxury of playing with Pro Bowlers, Super Bowlers and Hall of Fame quarterbacks with an offensive guru that was supposed to be pass happy. He was the player that was supposed to link Billick’s performance in Minnesota to Baltimore. Not to mention that he was a top 10 pick.
    To close out my argument I will give you something to ponder on. The biggest bust (not draft) in Baltimore Ravens History is not a lineman, receiver or even quarterback. He is someone who never even strapped up the shoulder pads or put on a Ravens helmet. The biggest bust in Ravens history is Brian Billick. If Brian was the coach that we thought he was when we hired him from Minnesota, we would have made consecutive playoff appearances and probably won more championships.

    • Ryan says:

      Kyle Boller deserves the #1 spot on this list, man. Everything you pointed out as to why Boller failed, Flacco excelled because of the same reasons.

  2. Conoon says:

    While the order may be arguable, the players on that list is no doubt. I’d like to use this article as an excerpt for my blog if you don’t mind? It’ll be nice considering I just wrote about the top 10 best draft picks.

    As to the gentlemen above my comment saying Brian Billick was a bust…I’d have to severely disagree with that. The man won us a Super Bowl. And you can’t say you can’t credit him. When he took over for Ted Marchibroda, the Ravens were still fairly new. Billick somehow won a championship with Trent Dilfer!

    All I can say is, you can not call someone who led the team to a championship as a bust. That’s almost ridiculous. The Ravens could have gotten many worse coaches and not even have made it at all.

    Something to ponder on for Billick:
    -6 of his assistants went on to become current head coaches
    -Super Bowl Ring
    -Overall winning record of 85-67
    -In 06, when he fired the offensive coordinator and took over his duties, the Ravens went 13-3, a franchise best and took them to the Divisional round

    • Brian says:

      “Something to ponder on for Billick:
      -6 of his assistants went on to become current head coaches
      -Super Bowl Ring
      -Overall winning record of 85-67
      -In 06, when he fired the offensive coordinator and took over his duties, the Ravens went 13-3, a franchise best and took them to the Divisional round”
      You proved my point with Billick. He had outstanding assistant coaches which hid his inadequacy as a head coach. Marvin Lewis and the defense won us the super bowl not Billick. And there is a good shot we would have won another one if Billick had kept Dillfer but it was Billicks call as a head coach and he let Trent go. Also he could not make consecutive playoff appearances. When put in his element as an offensive coordinator he excelled. Great coordinator, adequate head coach.

      • Conoon says:

        Those assistants became outstanding because of good mentoring. If you really believe in what you’re saying, then John Harabaugh matches your exact description as a “bust.” He just has great assistant coaches, and his inadequacy as a head coach cost us the AFC Championship game 2 years ago, and the Divisional game last year. Right?

        And didn’t you just say Marvin Lewis won it for them? Then why are you arguing that we should’ve kept Dilfer?

        Even if you call him an adequate coach, that doesn’t equate him as a bust. He still won a championship, and there is no arguing that.

        And by the way, he DID take us to consecutive playoff appearances. The year after the Super Bowl, the Ravens went back to the Divisional round and lost.

  3. […] has his detractors that would label him as one of the biggest busts in Ravens draft history, (I did) yet there are many others who defend his time here and praise his toughness and accountability. […]

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