Baltimore Ravens: 3 Biggest Draft Busts In Franchise History

Jun 12, 2013; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown (59) walks off the field after mini camp at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

 I take a look at the 3 biggest draft busts for the Baltimore Ravens

With the NFL draft around the corner, it is always an exciting time for NFL teams. They have the chance to draft college players who can become stars and turn a team around. The Baltimore Ravens are hoping they can do this in 2017. They have plenty of needs they can address with their picks in the draft.

But with all the potential that these athletes hold, it does not always pan out. Most of the player drafted will never see any significant amount of time on the field. Every year there are busts in the NFL draft. These are players are the the first and second round picks that come in with high expectations, but cannot live up to them.

For the Ravens, general manager Ozzie Newsome has worked his magic and found tons of talent in the draft. Even with all of his successes, there have still been busts for the Ravens, and I take a look at those today.

Here is my list of the 3 biggest draft busts in Ravens history.

Oct 23, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Kyle Boller (7) sits on the ground after throwing his second interception of the game Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Boller

In the 2003 draft, the Baltimore Ravens held the #10 and #19 pick in the first round. The team was coming off of a disappointing 7-9 season. In that season the offense played with two quarterbacks, Chris Redman and Jeff Blake. Neither could do the job and the team was in the market for another man under center.

With their first pick, the Ravens took defensive Terrell Suggs, and we all know how that one turned out. Nine picks later, the team took Kyle Boller, a quarterback out of California. Boller had an impressive final season at Cal, making him shoot up draft boards.

Boller was thrown right into the starting position in 2003 and played 8 games before getting injured. His injury forced him to miss the rest of the season. The following year he played his only full season, throwing for a mediocre 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The rest of his career became filled with injuries and disappointments. He never developed into the franchise quarterback the team expected him to. Boller eventually left the team in 2008 and bounced around the league before retiring in 2012.

Quarterbacks are a hit or miss in the NFL, there is no question about it. It is possible being thrown right into the fire during his rookie season did not help his cause, but Joe Flacco was put  in the same position and it worked out.

05/07/10 - RAVENS CAMP - Offensive linebacker Sergio Kindle fields questions from the media during the Raven's minicamp at their training camp in Owings Mills, MD, Friday, May 7, 2010.  Special to The News Journal/ Emily Varisco

Sergio Kindle

With their first two picks in the 2009 draft, the Ravens found two solid players in Michael Oher and Paul Kruger. The beginning of the 2010 draft did not go the same way. The Ravens decided to trade out of their first round pick and took Sergio Kindle with the 43rd pick.

Unfortunately for Kindle, he barley saw any time on the field. In July of 2010, he fell down two flights of stairs and fractured his skull. He spent the entire season on the injured reserve list and did not play until the 2011 season. His time with the Ravens came to an end in 2012 when he was officially waived by the team.

To put this pick into perspective, the New England Patriots took Rob Gronkowski with the 42nd pick. The Ravens missed on career changing player in Gronkowski by just one pick. This is how unpredictable the draft can be. It just goes to show how difficult it is to determine how well a player is going to turn out. Coming out of college, Kindle was ranked as one of the best linebackers in his class, but that does not mean it will always transfer over to the pros.

Dec 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens strong safety Matt Elam (26) reacts against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Ravens won 28-13.  Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Elam

After winning the Super Bowl in 2012, the Ravens were riding high. But with the success of the Super Bowl came the departure of players. One of those players was future Hall-of-Fame free safety Ed Reed. Reed left the Ravens in free agency after the 2012 season and signed a 3 year deal with the Houston Texans. This left a gap in the free safety position for the first time since 2002.

With the 32nd pick in the 2013 draft, the Ravens addressed the position immediately by taking Matt Elam. In his first season with the team, Elam had a fantastic rookie season. He started 15 games and recorded 77 tackles. The ceiling was high for the young safety, but that quickly changed the following season. He struggled to tackle players and continually got burned in the secondary. Injuries forced him to miss the end of the 2014 season.

Elam did not see the field in 2015 and was activated to the 53-man roster at the end of last season. The little playing time he saw did not him any justice. He continued to struggle and the team eventually had enough. This off-season, the Ravens chose not to honor Elam’s fifth year option, making him a free agent.

This pick will go down as one of the worst picks that the Ravens have ever made. Elam came in with a ton of talent, but could not live up to his potential. With an aging Lardarius Webb playing safety, the Ravens will have to address the position in the next few years. Hopefully they will not make the same mistake twice.

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