On February 2, 2013, Johnathan Ogden became the first ever Baltimore Raven draftee inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame. He is the first true Baltimore Raven to be enshrined. He is also the first ever draft pick by the team.
Of course, the team would love to take credit for Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson, and Shannon Sharpe, who are enshrined. But, those three had illustrious careers for other teams as well as Baltimore.
One year from now, presumably, Ray Lewis, Baltimore’s second draftee, will be joining Ogden and the rest in Football Immortality.
Ed Reed will be eligible in 2019, and although he’s likely to be a first-ballot HOF-er, he could end up waiting a year or two based on how safeties are treated in HOF voting.
That makes three home-grown Raven HOF-ers since the team’s inception in 1996. That’s impressive, but Ogden, Lewis, and Reed were all drafted within the Ravens’ first six drafts.
Are there any current homegrown Ravens with Hall of Fame potential?
As of right now, there is only one real answer: Terrell Suggs.
Suggs was drafted no. 10 in the 2003 draft and has lived up to the pedigree. He has 764 tackles, 114.5 sacks, 30 forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries, and 7 interceptions over 13 seasons. He was injured for 15.5 games in the 2015 season, registering no stats. In the post season he also adds another 12.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 recoveries, and a pick.
Add in Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, and Super Bowl winner in 2012, and Suggs makes a strong case for Canton.
As of now, I believe Suggs will eventually get in. But, if he can continue to put up numbers like he has this past season (8 sacks, 3 FF) for a few years and add another Super Bowl ring to his resume, he will no doubt be enshrined sooner rather than later.
Now, with the most obvious answer out of the way, who else is in the conversation?
The most controversial Raven is Joe Flacco.
Through nine seasons, he’s built up slightly-above-average stats (32,639 yards, 182 passing touchdowns, 15 rushing touchdowns). His play during the regular season is spotty, sometimes looking like a league MVP, then the next week looking like a Browns QB. But, all stats and spotty play aside, he has built a reputation in the NFL for winning games.
He currently has the 9th most regular season wins (83), and the 3rd most post season wins (10) of any current QB. Also, he has the most road post season wins (8) of any QB in NFL history.
Flacco produced arguably the most impressive post season performance in NFL history en route to a Super Bowl MVP award. He’s only 32 years old, and quarterbacks are playing longer and longer in the NFL these days.
Baltimore is on track to returning to the post season sooner, rather than later, and Flacco has proven he can heat up in January/February. He’s only gotten better as the years have gone by in the playoffs. Add another Super Bowl MVP to his resume, and he could serve a decent argument to become enshrined in Canton one day.
As for other Ravens, every fan in Baltimore would love to see Marshal Yanda in Canton. He’s the ultimate team player and hard worker. Keep playing to the standard he’s played the past decade and it would be hard to keep him out forever.
C.J. Mosley is young, but showed brilliance before his hamstring injury in the middle of this season. It is far too early to tell, but his career is trending upward.
If Baltimore doesn’t have another home grown Raven on its roster right now that will end up in Canton, it will surely be a surprise.