Ravens draft review: 2008

Ravens draft review: 2008
April 22, 2014, 9:15 am
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As the Ravens continue to prepare for the 2014 draft, we are taking a look back at each of the Ravens draft classes of the previous seven years.

Every class has some hits and some misses and a few missed chances.

Today, it's the draft class of 2008, John Harbaugh's first as Ravens coach. (Previously: The draft class of 2007.)

2008 Ravens draft class:

1st round –- Joe Flacco, quarterback, Delaware

2nd round -- Ray Rice, running back, Rutgers

3rd round -- Tavares Gooden, inside linebacker, Miami

3rd round -- Tom Zbikowski, safety, Notre Dame

3rd round -- Oniel Cousins, tackle, UTEP

4th round -- Marcus Smith, wide receiver, New Mexico

4th round -- David Hale, guard/tackle, Weber State

6th round -- Haruki Nakamura, safety, Cincinnati

7th round -- Justin Harper, wide receiver, Virginia Tech

7th round -- Allen Patrick, running back, Oklahoma

The Ravens war room in 2008 went on a wild ride as the Ravens pulled off a slew of trades, including two in the first round. When the dust settled they had made 10 picks.

The Ravens were originally set to pick at No. 8 and had their eyes on Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan -- especially since quarterback Steve McNair had abruptly retired just two weeks before the draft. But after Ryan went to the Falcons with the No. 3 pick, the Ravens traded their No. 8 pick to Jacksonville and picked up the No. 26 pick in the first round and three additional mid-round selections in return.

[RELATED: Ravens draft board shake-up?]

Before it was time to pick at No. 26, though, the Ravens dealt again. Hoping to land the other quarterback the Ravens viewed as top-tier talent -- a tall kid out of Delaware named Flacco -- and worried he might not be there at No. 26, they traded up eight spots, giving up one of the third-round picks that they had just received from Jacksonville.

In the second round, the Ravens selected an undersized running back from Rutgers named Ray Rice, and by the end of the second round they had the heart of their backfield for the foreseeable future.

Hit: The Ravens identified Ryan and Flacco as the clear class of the quarterback group when not everyone saw it that way. Then they made sure they got one of them, trading up in the first round, something the Ravens rarely do. It was a prescient move; the next quarterbacks taken, and the ones often listed above Flacco in pre-draft rankings, were Brian Brohm and Chad Henne.

Miss: The Ravens selected New Mexico receiver Marcus Smith in the fourth round, hoping he could fill a void in the slot. Smith missed one entire season with a torn ACL and never made a dent in the Ravens offense. In three seasons, he never caught a pass.

The One That Got Away: The Ravens took another receiver in the seventh round, Justin Harper, and like Smith, Harper never caught a pass for the Ravens. But nine picks after the Ravens took Harper, the Bills selected Steve Johnson, who has had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Buffalo.