No one in the history of the National Football League has had a career like former Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome. Ozzie is in the college football Hall of Fame and in Pro Football Hall of fame as a player; given his career in the front office, he could potentially make it has an executive as well.

Since taking over as General Manager in 2002 (Newsome was the first African-American GM) the Ravens had ten winning seasons, reached the playoffs eight times, three times making it to the AFC Championship game and winning the Super Bowl in 2012* That is an outstanding sixteen years. In his first draft has GM Newsome selected future Hall of Famer Ed Reed with the second-round pick; pick Anthony Weaver and sixth-round pick Chester Taylor were useful players that lasted six and nine seasons with the team. 2003 Newsome selected another Hall of Fame caliber player in Terrell Suggs.

Newsome traded up in 2003 to select Kyle Boller, but Baltimore overcame it and made the playoffs in 2003, and 2006. 2004 and 2005 were pretty forgettable drafts. 2006 landed two-time All-Pro Haloti Ngata, 2007 drafted another two-time All-Pro in Marshall Yanda. The following year netted Joe Flacco and Ray Rice who were two cogs in a Super Bowl winning team. 2009, 2010 were off years for Newsome. 2011 Newsome drafted four starters on a Super Bowl team: Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith, Jah Reid and Pernell McPhee. 2012 and 2013 Newsome made some solid picks that were borderline Pro Bowlers with the Ravens: Kelechi Osemele, Bernard Pierce, Brandon Williams, and Kyle Juszczyk. 2014 and 2015 landed three-time Pro Bowler: CJ Mosley. His recent drafts have not come to fruition yet but first-round picks Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey look like Pro Bowl caliber players. The 2018 class has not played a down yet, but if Quarterback Lamar Jackson pans out and becomes a franchise quarterback that would be the second quarterback that Newsome has drafted that has become a franchise quarterback. The Browns and Jets, on the other hand, are still searching for one.

His recent drafts have not come to fruition yet but first-round picks Ronnie Stanley and Marlon Humphrey look like Pro Bowl caliber players. The 2018 class has not played a down yet, but if Quarterback Lamar Jackson pans out and becomes a franchise quarterback that would be the second quarterback that Newsome has drafted that has become a franchise quarterback. The Browns and Jets, on the other hand, are still searching for one.

As remarkable as Newsome was with the draft he was arguably better in free agency. Since 2002 the list of impactful free agents hauled in by the Ravens is by far the best in the NFL. Perennial Pro Bowlers such as Elvis Dumervil, Eric Weddle and Rod Woodson. Willis McGahee made the Pro Bowl in 2007. Players like Steve Smith, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Samari Rolle, Steve McNair were outstanding contributors for playoff teams.

Many will argue that Bill Belichick is the greatest GM in the NFL (history?) but he always had Tom Brady has his quarterback and Brady continued to take less money to help build his team in other areas. Newsome won with quarterbacks: Kyle Boller, Jeff Blake, Anthony Wright, Steve McNair, Joe Flacco and soon Lamar Jackson. Flacco’s current contract has limited Baltimore on whom they could re-sign (perhaps leading towards drafting Jackson), but Newsome has built a consistent winner despite one of the worst contracts in the NFL.

*Newsome was officially named GM in 2002. Before that Newsome was Director of Player Personnel

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