Jonathan Ogden Baltimore Ravens
"I have the same attitude that I had when I came into the league; I just wanted to be the best offensive lineman I could be…I never thought, 'I want to be the best offensive lineman to ever play the game.' I just wanted to be the best I could be, and I knew everything else would work itself out."
The Baltimore Ravens used their first-ever draft pick, fourth overall of the 1996 NFL Draft, on highly touted Outland Trophy Award-winning tackle Jonathan Ogden
out of UCLA. For the next 12 seasons, Ogden was the main cog of the Ravens’ offensive line.
He became an instant starter and was recognized as a consensus All-Rookie pick in 1996. That year Baltimore racked up the third most total net yards of offense in the entire NFL. The following season the Ravens amassed more than 5,000 yards of offense for the second straight year and Ogden was named first-team All-Pro. It marked the first of six times in his career he would receive that recognition as All-Pro honors were bestowed upon him in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006. He also earned a starting spot in the Pro Bowl following the ’97 season, one of 11 times he was voted to the league’s all-star game.
By 2000, the Ravens had climbed to the top of the NFL with Ogden anchoring the offensive line from his left tackle spot. Baltimore qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a 12-4 record. Despite making the postseason as a wild card team, the Ravens relied on the leadership of veterans like Ogden to make a memorable playoff run capped by a convincing 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
Ogden, who was named the NFL’s Offensive Linemen of the Year by the NFL Alumni in 2002, was highly regarded as a great pass protector and equally adept as a run blocker. In 2003, he helped pave the way for running back Jamal Lewis who became just the fifth player in NFL history to eclipse 2,000 yards rushing in a season. Included in the total of 2,066 yards, then the second most ever in a season, was a record-breaking day against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 14, 2003. Ogden opened holes for Lewis who averaged nearly 10 yards a carry to set the then record of 295 yards in a game.
A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s, he played in 177 games in his career. Four months after he announced his retirement, the Ravens inducted him to their Ring of Honor.