The final installment is here and it’s the largest of the lot. I’d preface this post by saying that usually most feel that it takes five years to truly get a gage on the success or failure of a draft class. Either way I’m giving my picks up to last year, so take that as you will.
Best: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado, First Round – This was a tough choice as Smith is still a polarizing figure among the Ravens faithful. Blessed with a rare combination of size and speed some had him tabbed as the next Chis McAlister. However his tenure has been marred by three trips to the Injured Reserve in seven seasons and inconsistent play. Torrey is the more popular Smith, mostly known for his speed and ability to draw more PI’s than TD’s. One interesting fact of note, Torrey is the only drafted Ravens receiver to ever to produce a season of over 1,000 receiving yards. This certainly speaks to how poorly the franchise has drafted the position over the years.
Worst: Jah Reid, OT, Central Florida, Third Round – Reid struggled during his four seasons in Baltimore to even become a rotational player with only seven starts to his credit. He closed out his disappointing career as a Raven after being arrested for instigating a brawl in a Florida strip club.
Best: Kelechi Osemele, OT, Iowa St., Second Round – Bruising lineman who was versatile enough to play both Tackle positions and Guard during his time here. Osemele became a cap casualty as the team had to make some tough choices and since being snapped up by Oakland has appeared in two consecutive Pro Bowls.
Worst: Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple, Third Round – Showed some promise in his rookie season averaging almost five yards a carry and contributing during the Super Bowl run. It was downhill from there as Pierce plead guilty to a DUI and was cut by the team after only his third season with the club.
Best: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern, Third Round – A D II star that has developed into the team’s top run stopper. He signed a huge contract last season and the hope is that his best football is still ahead of him as he enters his sixth year in the league.
Worst: Matt Elam, SS, Florida, First Round – Elam was drafted only a few months after the Ravens won their second championship trophy. The expectation was that he’d be the replacement for sure fire Hall of Famer Ed Reed. The reality was he left after three seasons with one career interception, two stints on injured reserve and a drug arrest. He’s potentially the biggest bust of all-time in Baltimore.
Best: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama, First Round – A three-time Pro Bowler who leads the defense by example with strong instincts and athleticism. There have been questions if he will get an extension after his contract his up this season. Baltimore should find a way to get it done.
Worst: Terrence Brooks, FS, Florida St., Third Round – After two forgettable seasons in Baltimore he seems to have found a home in New York. The failures of Brooks and the aforementioned Elam caused the franchise to spend chunks of cash on Weddle and Jefferson to fill the void of getting little production on the back end of the defense.
Best: Javorius Allen, RB, USC, Fourth Round – Allen has developed into a role player out of the backfield that provides a change of pace in rushing situations and as a valuable outlet on passing downs.
Worst: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida, First Round – Showed some flashes in 2016 but last season was simply a nightmare for him. He was a healthy scratch several times late last season and seemed to lose all confidence on the field. With the team’s recent acquisitions if the team decides to draft a receiver or two over this weekend it could spell the end of his time here. Perriman heads a list that could be one of the Ravens worst draft classes since 2004/2005.
Best: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame, First Round – Stanley has been serviceable but should take another leap forward in his development in 2018. Matthew Judon is another to watch from this group as he was often in the opponent’s backfield and could have a more significant role moving forward.
Worst: Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise St., Second Round – Looked lost at times on the field and failed to beat out Patrick Onwuasor for the starting weak side linebacker spot. It doesn’t help when your mom rips the coach on Twitter either.
Best: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama, First Round – Strong rookie campaign and his ability to step in for Jimmy Smith as the lead corner have fans wondering just how good he can be in this league.
Worst: Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan, Third Round – An uneventful first season but he still has time to develop into a contributor on this defense.