When you’re a franchise that isn’t very old, it’s hard to have established dominant players at every position. the Baltimore Ravens have had a few legitimate legends of the game, having drafted a pair of first-ballot Hall of Fame players with the first two picks ever made in 1996.
With this being the 25th season in Ravens history, the team put together an All-Time team to mark the occasion, and the first thing, honestly, that struck me is the number of players on the list who had a short tenure of five or fewer seasons with the organization who made the list, including a number of free agent signings—even if their time there was significant.
The two starting wide receivers, for example, are Anquan Boldin and Steve Smith, two greats who have borderline Hall of Fame resumes. Both only played three seasons with the Ravens, however, and at or near the tail end of their careers. That really just shows how lackluster their history at the position has been.
There’s also Rod Woodson as the top safety opposite Ed Reed, who was the Ravens’ third first-ballot Hall of Famer, outside of Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, who are of course also on the list. Marshal Yanda is another great who will probably get into the Hall of Fame eventually as well along the offensive line.
The other three starters, however, while good players, are all individuals of short tenure, with Kelechi Osemele and Matt Birk representing players on the opposite ends of their careers. The other starting tackle is Ronnie Stanley, who is one of the great young players at his position right now, however, and likely will soon become the highest or second-highest-paid player at the history of his position (behind Laremy Tunsil.
And at quarterback? After a season and a half, it’s already Lamar Jackson over Joe Flacco, who admittedly has a lot of accomplishments already, but the only postseason accomplishment he currently has is being the youngest quarterback to start a game. He’s 0-2. Flacco authored one of the great postseason runs in history, believe it or not, and was consistently competitive from his rookie season on, giving the Steelers issues and competition in the division.
Among the others on the list are Jamal Lewis, one of the few backs to have a 2000-yard season, Todd Heap, who is their own version of Heath Miller, Haloti Ngata, Tony Siragusa, Peter Boulware, and of course Terrell Suggs. C.J. Mosley was the third linebacker, while Chris McCalister and Marlon Humphrey were selected as the cornerbacks.
Their current trio of specialists all made the 25th anniversary team, headlined of course by Justin Tucker, and Jacoby Jones, who spent three seasons there and got Mike Tomlin fined once, was named as their returner.