It’s that time of year! The days are getting shorter & the sound of helmets cracking is drifting out of Owings Mills. With the start of training camp another hopeful season starts for the Baltimore Ravens & no one is more hopeful than the rookies.
Here’s a list of the top 5 All-time Ravens’ rookie seasons…
5. Joe Flacco, QB, 2008
His stats have never blown anyone away but Joe Cool makes the list because of a rookie season that no one expected, except maybe Ozzie Newsome when he traded up to draft him with the 18th pick of the 1st round. His stat line for his 2008 rookie campaign was 2,971 yards, 14 passing TD’s & 12 INT’s. He added another 2 TD’s on the ground but as always with #5, numbers never tell the whole story. Flacco was the QB of the future thrust into being the QB of the present after a season ending injury to #1 QB (lol) Kyle Boller & an illness to presumed #2 QB Troy Smith in training camp.
Joe never relinquished leadership of the huddle again on his way to starting all 16 games & ripping off the longest QB rushing TD in Ravens’ franchise history in his debut. Flacco became the 1st rookie QB in NFL history to win 2 road playoff games & made it to the AFC championship game.
4. Ed Reed, S, 2002
In 2002 the Ravens were going through a rebuilding year with a roster absolutely loaded with rookies & 1st year players. Reed, as the 24th overall pick out of Miami in the draft, was expected to start & start he did. Reed started all 16 games finishing a rookie season with 71 total tackles, 1 sack, 5 INTs, 12 pass defections & 1 TD on his own blocked punt that was the difference in a 13-12 win over the Titans.
Quite the start to a can’t miss HOF career for #20
3. Peter Boulware, LB, 1997
Drafted with the fourth overall pick of 1997 NFL draft, Peter Boulware started an 8 year NFL career with a stellar rookie season. Boulware racked up 66 tackles, 11.5 sacks & 1 forced fumble on his way to be being named the AP Defensive Rookie Of The Year.
2. Terrell Suggs, DE, 2003
At just 20 years old Terrell Suggs was the youngest player ever drafted into the NFL in 2003. The Ravens drafted him with the 10th pick of the 1st round. Despite only starting one game in his rookie season the young Suggs burst into the league recording a sack in each of his 1st 4 games. He finished the year with 27 total tackles, a Ravens rookie record 12 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 pass defections & 1 int. Suggs’ play earned him Defensive Rookie Of The year honors as the Ravens took the AFC North title.
1. Jamal Lewis, RB, 2000
Jamal Lewis was viewed by some as a risky pick at 5th overall in the 2000 NFL draft due to an injury history that included a torn lateral collateral ligament. Lewis rewarded the Ravens’ & Ozzie Newsome’s faith in him with an enormous rookie season. He passed Priest Holmes as the #1 RB after 3 games & started 13 games for the Ravens in their 1st Super Bowl Championship season. Lewis rushed for 1,364 yards & 6 TDs in the regular season including a game against the Cowboys where he became the youngest player since 1960 to record over 200 yards from scrimmage with 187 on the ground & another 18 on 4 receptions.
Lewis also became the 2nd Rookie ever to rush for over 100 yards in a Super Bowl & became the youngest player ever to score a TD in a Superbowl with his 103 Yard/1 TD effort in the Raven’s 34-7 victory over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
Web Administrator for CBS Radio Baltimore – Ravens, Orioles & snark enthusiast.
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