Looking back: Ravens 2007 draft class

Looking back: Ravens 2007 draft class
April 6, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Over the next two weeks, we are revisiting each Ravens draft class of the past 10 years. Looking back at past drafts is always entertaining; hindsight is always 20/20, and every team's draft history includes some hits and misses, some gems and some busts.

You can find our reviews of the draft classes from 2003 to 2006 here. How did the Ravens fare in 2007? Let's have a look back.

 

2007 Ravens draft class:

1st round – Ben Grubbs, guard, Auburn

3rd round – Yamon Figurs, wide receiver, Kansas State

3rd round – Marshal Yanda, guard/tackle, Iowa

4th round – Antwan Barnes, outside linebacker, Florida International

4th round – Le’Ron McClain, fullback, Alabama

5th round – Troy Smith, quarterback, Ohio State

6th round – Prescott Burgess, inside linebacker, Michigan

 

The Ravens identified the offensive line as an area of major need in 2007, and they delivered in the draft, grabbing two players who would be anchors of the offensive line for the next several years.

Ben Grubbs was the Ravens' first pick at No. 29 overall,  and the Ravens traded up in the third round to grab Iowa lineman Marshal Yanda, who has proved to be one of the bargains of the 2007 draft.

The Ravens bolstered their line even further when they grabbed former Maryland tackle Jared Gaither with a fifth-round pick in the June supplemental draft, although Gaither's career with the Ravens was uneven and injury-prone.

Sure, some players made more contributions than others, but every member of the Ravens 2007 draft class made the team and played at least two seasons with the Ravens. The braintrust at the Castle was clearly on their game that year.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the group was Figurs, who blazed to the fastest time at the Combine that year and took over for B.J. Sams as the Ravens return man. Figurs had two return touchdowns as a rookie in 2007, but he did little as a wide receiver, was prone to fumbling and lasted just two seasons with the Ravens.

Still, it's hard to call anyone in this Ravens' group a major bust; the 2007 draft, after all, includes one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history: quarterback JaMarcus Russell, taken first overall by the Raiders.