Heading into the 2003 NFL Draft the Ravens spearheaded by Brian Billick’s insatiable desire to have a franchise quarterback were determined to land a new signal caller.
Knowing that the consensus No. 1 pick Carson Palmer was out of reach, the Ravens formulated a strategy to land Byron Leftwich.
A trade was apparently struck with the Minnesota Vikings allowing the Ravens to move up to No. 7 and get their man. Then chaos ensued.
Depending on whose story you believe (put me down for the Ravens and not the too-often-confused Mike Tice) the trade wasn’t properly called into the league allowing the Jaguars at No. 8 to figuratively sprint to the podium and put the card in for the big-armed Marshall gunslinger.
When the dust settled the Ravens had landed Terrell Suggs who at one point prior to the draft was pegged as a potential No. 2 overall pick.
Suggs had a monster Junior season at Arizona State in 2002 yet he slid down draft boards because his 40-yard time at the Scouting Combine was a less than impressive 4.84 seconds.
When questioned after the draft about the sluggish sprint head coach Brian Billick quipped, “Well, if the quarterback takes a 40-yard-drop we may be in trouble.”
Suggs has delivered and then some as a 6-time Pro Bowler, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, NFL Defensive Player of the Year and is the franchise’s all-time sack leader.
The best pass rusher in the 2014 NFL Draft and the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick is Jadeveon Clowney. But what if Suggs was in this draft? Would Clowney still be considered the best?
Was Brian Billick’s tongue-in-cheek comment spot on?
Clowney is markedly faster in the 40 at 4.53 and according to one Ravens source is more physically gifted than Suggs. The source added a but…
“Suggs was a better player.”
Read between the lines.
And for the record it took Clowney his entire collegiate career to register 24 sacks. Suggs had 24 QB throw downs in 2002 alone.
Brady Quinn was a guest analyst on NFL Network on Monday and quite frankly did a fine job and was seemingly far more comfortable in a suit than in a football uniform.
Quinn, as chronicled here by CSN Baltimore’s Bo Smolka, nearly became a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
While painfully waiting in the Green Room at Radio City Music Hall the Ravens reached out to Quinn by phone to discuss the possibility of him joining Brian Billick and then offensive coordinator Rick Neuheisel.
Obviously the deal never materialized because the Cleveland Browns moved up to the 22nd pick and drafted Quinn.
Was Ozzie Newsome’s call sincere or was he simply toying with Browns’ GM Phil Savage to force him into spending the draft picks to take Quinn?
Keep in mind that Savage exhibited a little gamesmanship with Ozzie during the 2006 NFL Draft when he teetered publicly between selecting Kamerion Wimbley and Haloti Ngata at No. 12. The Ravens coughed up their 6th round pick that season to move from 13 to 12 to take the behemoth Duck from Oregon.
But what if Ozzie was sincere and the Ravens landed Quinn in a move up from No. 29 to get the Golden Domer?
Ben Grubbs would never have been a Raven and more importantly neither would Joe Flacco.
And then there’s that Lombardi from Super Bowl XLVII.
Sometimes the best move on draft day is no move at all.
Or in the case of 2007, one that is made for you.