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  1. #1
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    2008 draft and the 1996 draft



    I was thinking about this the other day. Ray Lewis and JO became the faces of the Ravens franchise and are both HOF/future HOF players, and both propelled us to winning the Lombardi in 2001, both in their 5th seasons as Ravens. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are both building up some fair cases on being future HOF players, and both won the SB in their 5th years as Ravens too. I'm not saying Flacco and Rice are going to go down as all time greats like Ray and JO have, but its possible that we will be revisiting that 4 years or so down the line. Both Flacco and Rice have had more early all around success than most players I can think of at their positions have had, both have helped us win a ton of games, and both have matched or have superior stats than a significant amount of current HOF/future HOF players at their respective positions.

    There are two main questions for Rice and Flacco if they are to finish off as some of the all time greats at their positions and be remembered as all time Raven legends. Will Flacco continue to play at his recent play off level and put up "elite" numbers and make some pro bowls under Caldwell, or will he continue to put up solid but not spectacular regular season stats and just be a clutch player in the play offs ala Eli Manning? For Rice, will he start to wear down after several seasons of high production that goes all the way back to his college days, will he be traded in the 3rd/4th year of his contract, or will he continue to play at an elite level and be a highly productive back for the duration of his contract and end up matching Faulk type numbers (currently on pace to doing so)?

    I hope that both end up retiring as all time Ravens, and maybe win another SB or two with us, that would probably make Ozzie's eventual retirement a very very happy retirement.




  2. #2
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    If both continue on their current trajectory, both could be in HOF discussions.
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  3. #3
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    I wouldn't be surprised if the 2008 draft eventually goes down as being the greatest in Ravens history. If this team wins more Super Bowls during Joe's career (and I'm not counting any chickens, it's fair to say that there's a decent chance of winning more titles with the current nucleus and coaching/FO staff), the fact that the 08 draft yielded a franchise QB will elevate it above all other Ravens' drafts because of the importance of a quarterback.

    Ogden and Lewis are two of the greatest NFL players in history, but by the end of his career Joe Flacco will probably end up being the most important player the Ravens ever had.



    Sidenote: Even though I rate him very highly, I can't see Ray Rice getting into the HOF. Not only will his numbers start to drop off, but there are too many comparatively good running backs in his era. He's definitely a level below Peterson and Tomlinson, and will he stand out above Arian Foster? Steven Jackson? LeSean McCoy? The backlog of wide receivers over the past 10 years makes me think that unless Ray Rice improves his stats, he won't make it in.




  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by inexplicable View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if the 2008 draft eventually goes down as being the greatest in Ravens history. If this team wins more Super Bowls during Joe's career (and I'm not counting any chickens, it's fair to say that there's a decent chance of winning more titles with the current nucleus and coaching/FO staff), the fact that the 08 draft yielded a franchise QB will elevate it above all other Ravens' drafts because of the importance of a quarterback.

    Ogden and Lewis are two of the greatest NFL players in history, but by the end of his career Joe Flacco will probably end up being the most important player the Ravens ever had.



    Sidenote: Even though I rate him very highly, I can't see Ray Rice getting into the HOF. Not only will his numbers start to drop off, but there are too many comparatively good running backs in his era. He's definitely a level below Peterson and Tomlinson, and will he stand out above Arian Foster? Steven Jackson? LeSean McCoy? The backlog of wide receivers over the past 10 years makes me think that unless Ray Rice improves his stats, he won't make it in.
    I very seriously doubt that Flacco becomes the most important Raven ever eventho he plays the most important position. Ray Lewis is a God in Bmore so Flacco will never take that crown.. At this time Joe has no pro bowls compared to Ray, JO, Reed and Rice had during their first 5 years. Joe had a great PO run and played better once Cam got fired but IMO Joe has to carry the Ravens on his back before being considered HOF worthy or most important Raven ever.


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  5. #5
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    Ray and JO were the best in the league at their positions for the majority of their careers. I'm a big fan of Joe and Ray, but you can't say that about either of them, at least not yet. They'd both have to significantly elevate their games and performance for the next 4-5 years (at least) to get into that category. Of the two, I think Joe is more likely to do that. I think Ray is what he is, and that's a top 5 (to be fair, maybe arguably) RB. Nothing wrong with that, just not HOF worthy.
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  6. #6
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    There is one potential HOF'er on the team right now and that is Suggs, and even he probably needs another year or two of 2010-2011 type production to be a serious consideration. Flacco and Rice are good players and important to this team's success past, present, and future, but neither is a HOF'er. Not yet, and I don't think either is really all that close. The SB win and MVP are a boost to Flacco, but he has to do more in the regular season or win at least one more SB to move into that "likely" category. Rice would need several more years of equal or better productivity to even sniff the HOF, and given his contract & the emergence of Bernard Pierce, I don't think that's going to happen.

    Maybe I just have super high expectations of what a HOF'er is. I would concede that Flacco has a decent shot given what he's done in five years and that he probably has another ten left in him, but Rice...no, don't see it.




  7. #7
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    You could argue that the draft that gives you your franchise QB trumps any other draft though. Maybe not 20 years ago, but now with all of the rule changes.




  8. #8
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    I don't see Joe ever becoming a fantasy football God. Not because he couldn't on the right team, but this team's philosophy will never foster a 6000 yard QB. So his chance is the Terry Bradshaw route: grab a handful of rings. If he gets two more, it will be hard to keep him out.

    I think Ray could make it because he stays healthy, and short RB's don't seem to take the big hits (Sanders, MJD, etc.) He could have a long career, although if he does it probably won't be all in purple. The caveat here is that each year it gets harder for RBs to make the Hall, and easier for QBs, receivers, and pass rushers.
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  9. #9
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    You don't have to be the best at QB or RB to get HOF consideration at all IMO. There are many current HOF players who were never the best at their positions. I continue to compare Rice to Faulk, and he's on pace to matching his numbers, if he does I think he gets in, he'll never be the best back in the NFL, but he's probably been the best all around/consistent back since 2009. As for Flacco, well IMO if you talk about Roethlisberger and Eli Manning as future HOFers, then Flacco has to be included too.




  10. #10

    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    Quote Originally Posted by leachisabeast View Post
    Will Flacco continue to play at his recent play off level and put up "elite" numbers and make some pro bowls under Caldwell, or will he continue to put up solid but not spectacular regular season stats and just be a clutch player in the play offs ala Eli Manning?
    That would be fine with me. Solid in the reg season, and awesome in the playoffs? Fuck yeah, sign me up! I'd take that every year.




  11. #11
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    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    I actually consider Flacco on a HOF arc. Why, because the HOF players at his position in his era, he has beaten and done so in the biggest of games. The Bradys, Mannings, and Rothlisbergers all have fallen. The #'s will come, but he is only in year 5-6 and has already won his first Superbowl while also matching a HOF player for greatest QB post season ever. Don't even get me started on the win totals for a player his age and never missing a game. He is doing things to separate himself from his peers. He just need to get more consistent and continue playing Joe ball.

    Ray Rice however I feel is a good player in the wrong era for a RB to try to make a HOF push. Just too much competition and not enough yards to go around. He may be Ring of Honor material most def though.




  12. #12

    Re: 2008 draft and the 1996 draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhcforlife View Post
    The SB win and MVP are a boost to Flacco, but he has to do more in the regular season or win at least one more SB to move into that "likely" category. ...
    Maybe I just have super high expectations of what a HOF'er is. I would concede that Flacco has a decent shot given what he's done in five years and that he probably has another ten left in him...
    Troy Aikman is in the Hall.

    5 more years exactly like this past 5 – playoff wins, another SB + the game's MVP – and Joe would be in. The writers will apply the Bart Starr / Troy Aikman "he just wins" logic. Actually, it'd be a pretty good argument at that point.




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