5 biggest NFL Draft busts in Baltimore Ravens history
The Baltimore Ravens might be one of the NFL’s youngest franchises, but it’s also been one of the most successful, with two Super Bowl victories and numerous seasons spent atop a typically competitive AFC North division. Drafting well has long been a Ravens hallmark, but that doesn’t mean every player selected has gone onto success.
Here are five of the biggest draft busts in Ravens’ franchise history.
5. WR Patrick Johnson (Round 2, 1998)
Patrick Johnson collected a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens following the 2000 season, but he wasn’t a notable name in that victory. The Round 2 wide receiver ultimately spent five years with Baltimore — first from 1998 until 2001, and again in 2005 — but still notched only 15 starts in 60 games played, totaling 929 yards and seven scores.
Second-round wideouts aren’t generally expected to become All-Pros, but Johnson’s low production after being drafted particularly high grants him bust status. Even though the Ravens held out hope that he’d break out, it simply never came to pass.
4. TE Maxx Williams (Round 2, 2015)
Heading into the 2015 NFL Draft, tight end Maxx Williams was considered the very best at his position, and the Ravens agreed, trading up in Round 2 to select him. Baltimore was already reeling from starter Dennis Pitta’s broken and dislocated hip (an injury that would recur two years later, leading to his retirement) and needed a reliable pair of hands to catch passes from then-quarterback Joe Flacco.
Instead, Williams started in only 21 games and appeared in 42, with injuries to his knee (which landed him on IR in 2016) and ankle, as well as a concussion, limiting his on-field effectiveness. He caught only 63 passes in Baltimore for 497 yards and three scores. He lasted four seasons with the Ravens before moving on to the Arizona Cardinals, where he’s seen better success; Arizona inked him to a two-year extension in 2019.
3. DT Terrence Cody (Round 2, 2010)
The Ravens drafted Terrence Cody in Round 2 of the 2010 draft to help keep their run-stopping defense on track. Instead, Cody was a full-season starter for one season — 2011 — before the likes of Ma’ake Kemoeatu and then, Haloti Ngata, supplanted him.
Still, the Ravens hoped something would come of Cody’s selection, giving him a one-year deal in 2014 to stay with the team after his rookie contract expired. Instead, he appeared in just one game that season and never played a down in the NFL again. All told, he had just 87 combined tackles in his five seasons in Baltimore.
2. LB Sergio Kindle (Round 2, 2010)
The second round wasn’t a fruitful one for the Ravens in 2010. In addition to Cody busting, so did linebacker Sergio Kindle. Already with questions to his name thanks, in part, to knee problems and also off-the-field concerns, Kindle lost his rookie season after falling down the stairs at his home that summer, suffering a traumatic brain injury and fractured skull. The Ravens placed Kindle on the NFI list for the season.
He finally played four weeks into his second season, but spent most of 2011 contributing on special teams. He was then waived in 2012, when linebacker Terrell Suggs was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Ravens then signed him to their practice squad but was released the following January.
1. QB Kyle Boller (Round 1, 2003)
The Ravens hoped to return to Super Bowl form in 2003 by using the 19th-overall pick in Round 1 to select quarterback Kyle Boller. Instead, they got a dud. Boller struggled with interceptions, throwing seven scores to nine picks in his rookie year, and found himself repeatedly benched for Steve McNair. He only started all 16 games in a season, once, in 2004, leading Baltimore to a 9-7 record while throwing just 13 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.
Boller’s back-and-forth with McNair continued throughout his career until McNair retired in 2008. That year, the Ravens drafted quarterback Joe Flacco, placing Boller, Flacco and Troy Smith in a three-way competition for the starting job. Boller’s Ravens career then ended unceremoniously on Injured Reserve after being hurt in the preseason. He never played for the Ravens again, after compiling a 20-22 win-loss record and throwing 45 touchdowns to 44 interceptions in 53 game appearances (with 42 starts).