I’m sure they’ve expanded the entrance to The Pro Football Hall of Fame. I suspect a Canton carpenter was working overtime getting ready for Jonathan Ogden. Those of us who had a front row seat for his Hall of Fame career know Ogden is one of the best to ever play the game. This weekend the biggest man ever inducted into the hallowed halls of Canton takes a bow. That’s 6′ 9″, 340 pounds of Hall of Famer so please make that bust a Triple XL.
You can’t teach 6′ 9″, 340 but you can make an argument that the first player ever drafted by the Ravens might be the best left tackle in the history of the game. Forrest Gregg and Anthony Munoz are certainty in the conversation but think about this… Ogden has 5 inches and 90 pounds on Gregg and 3 inches and 62 pounds on Munoz. Former 49er Bob St. Clair is a Hall of Famer and like Ogden 6-9, but 77 pounds lighter than J.O.
Eye popping size is the first thing you notice, but Ogden was so much more. Ray Lewis says his feet were as quick as some running backs. Size, quick feet, superb technique, a high football IQ and passion to be the best were part of this Hall of Fame resume. Former Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher on Ogden “We couldn’t beat him with speed rushers and he would just engulf power rushers. Those long arms, the great feet, and the strength he had it all.”
In 2003, the Ravens passing game was the worst in the NFL. With no passing threat every opponent’s defense played 8 in the box to stop the run. No problem, behind an O-line lead by Ogden, Jamal Lewis ran for 2,066 yards the second best season in NFL history at the time. Amazing! Here’s more amazing J.O. averaged only 1.2 false starts and 1.2 holding penalties per season.
In the Ravens inaugural draft, Baltimore had a glaring need at running back, but Ozzie Newsome made a franchise defining move and used the first draft pick in Ravens history to select UCLA’s Jonathan Ogden. In 1996 Ozzie Newsome picked Ogden 17 years later flip the script and Ogden has selected Newsome to induct him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Big day for the big man, way to go J.O.