The Baltimore Ravens were established when owner Art Modell decided to move his team from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1996. In order to make this happen, he had to leave the Browns name and history and start a new expansion team.
They have had a successful history, making the playoffs 12 times since 2000 and winning two Super Bowls, once in 2000 and then again in 2012 in what was the last year of Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. They have been known for having a tough defense since pretty much the beginning of the franchise, although with new quarterback Lamar Jackson leading the way they have created an explosive offense as well.
Michael Oher – Offense Tackle – 2009 – 2013
Some would know him more as the man that the movie “The Blind Side” was about, but he was one of the best left tackles in the NFL during his time with the Baltimore Ravens. Picked with the 23rd pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, he helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2012.
Ray Lewis – Middle Linebacker – 1996 – 2012
No doubt the most famous Baltimore Raven, his name was synonymous with the team during his long career. Joining the Ravens when drafted with the 26th pick in the first round of the Ravens first draft as a franchise, Lewis was an important piece in on of the most dominant defenses ever. While winning the Super Bowl in 2000, Ray Lewis was named the Super Bowl MVP, and also won the NFL Defensive Player of the year that year, and again after the 2003 season.
He was also named to 13 Pro Bowls, and was on the first team NFL All Pro 7 times during his career. It was not a surprise when he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2018.
Joe Flacco – Quarterback – 2008 – 2018
The quarterback that helped lead the Ravens to that Super Bowl victory in 2012 was Joe Flacco. Playing in his 4th season, he passed for 1,140 yards and 11 touchdowns with 0 interceptions during the playoff run that ended with Flacco being named the Super Bowl MVP.
Anquan Boldin – Wide Receiver – 2010 – 2012
A three time Pro Bowler with the Arizona Cardinals, Boldin joined the Ravens as a free agent before the 2010 season, and would lead the Ravens in receiving yards in each of his three seasons there. He would finish the 2012 postseason with 22 receptions, 380 yards and 4 touchdowns to help the Ravens finish their Super Bowl run.
Terrell Suggs – Defensive End – 2003 – 2018
Playing with Ray Lewis for most of his career, Suggs was dominant in his own right. Playing in 7 Pro Bowls, he was also named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, and was a big factor in helping the Ravens win in 2012. After 2018, Suggs left in free agency to the Arizona Cardinals, but was later released and claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs, allowing SUggs to get his second Super Bowl ring.
Matt Elam – Strong Safety – 2013 – 2016
Selected with the last pick of the first round of the NFL Draft following the Raven’s Super Bowl victory in 2012, Elam had a promising rookie year. He never quite reached that elite level, however, and injuries caused him to be placed on injured reserve following the 2016 season.
Ray Rice – Running Back – 2008 – 2013
Known more now for off the field issues after being suspended indefinitely by the NFL for hitting his then-fiancé, Ray Rice had a very successful career during his first 6 years with the Ravens. Making the Pro Bowl in 3 of those 6 years, rushing for over 1,100 yards in 4 of them. Although he has been apologetic since his arrest and subsequent suspension from the NFL, he never played again in the NFL.
Haloti Ngata – Defensive Tackle – 2006 – 2014
Another big part of that dominating defense of the Ravens, Ngata helped clog up the middle allowing Ray Lewis to roam free from his linebacker position. Yet another first round pick that helped build the Super Bowl contending defense, he was a 5 time Pro Bowler and an integral part of the 2012 Super Bowl winning team.
Paul Kruger – Defensive End – 2009 – 2012
Another member of the Super Bowl defense of 2012, Kruger started off as a linebacker for the Ravens. When not getting much playing time, Kruger bulked up to move to defensive end, but struggled in 2010 in his first year at the position. By 2012, he had become a bigger part of the defense, culminating in 2 sacks in the Super Bowl, forcing the 49ers to settle for field goals in the win.
Ed Reed – Free Safety – 2002 – 2012
In yet another great first round draft pick by the Ravens, Reed was selected with the 24th pick of the 2002 NFL Draft. Playing with fellow great players such as Lewis, Ngata and Suggs, Reed was selected to 9 Pro Bowls and was named to 5 first team All Pro teams. He was also name the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, giving a Raven that honor 4 times in 11 years. Enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019, Ed Reed was on of the best players of all time.
Steve Smith Sr. – Wide Receiver – 2014 – 2016
After playing his first 13 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Smith joined the Ravens in 2014 to finish his career. His first season with the team was successful, surpassing 1,000 yards receiving for the 8th time in his career, but injuries would slow him down the next two years, then retired after the 2016 season, with the 7th most receiving yards of all time when he retired.
Dennis Pitta – Tight End – 2010 – 2016
Pitta joined the Ravens in 2010 after being drafted in the 4th round of the NFL Draft. He struggled his first year with the team, only catching one pass for one yard the entire season, but he did become valuable during the 2012 Super Bowl run, even catching a touchdown pass against the 49ers to help win the game. Injuries cause his career to be cut short, but he played very well in the 3 full seasons he was able to play.
Derrick Mason – Wide Receiver – 2005 – 2010
Mason spent the first 8 seasons with the Tennessee Titans before joining the Ravens in 2005. He became the first Baltimore Raven receiver to catch over 100 passes in a year, and had over 750 yards in each of his 6 seasons with the Ravens. After the 2010 season he was released for salary cap room.
C.J. Mosley – Linebacker – 2014 – 2018
In an attempt to continue its defensive dominance, Mosley was draft in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Ravens. In 4 of his first 5 years, Mosley was selected to the Pro Bowl, before leaving via free agency to join the New York Jets.
Willis McGahee – Running Back – 2007 – 2010
McGahee was drafted by the Buffalo Bills after a horrible knee injury suffered while playing for the Miami Hurricanes in the National Championship game the year before. After missing his first year due to the injury, he had 3 successful seasons with the Bills before being traded to the Ravens to replace Jamal Lewis, who was leaving to join the Cleveland Browns.
After a good first season with the Ravens, rushing for 1,207 yards and making his first Pro Bowl, but injuries hindered the rest of his career with Baltimore. After the 2010 season he left to join the Denver Broncos in free agency.
The Ravens have had a very successful history in their relatively short history. Only the Houston Texans have joined since the Ravens have. And with reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson leading the offense, they will be perennial playoff contenders for years to come. Let me know in the comments below if you have any of these bobbleheads!