Occasionally on the Baltimore Ravens blog, we'll revisit important dates in team history ...
It was 14 years ago on April 15 that the Ravens selected running back Jamal Lewis and wide receiver Travis Taylor in the first round of the 2000 draft. Lewis went on to become the Ravens' all-time leading rusher, while Taylor will be remembered as one of the biggest first-round busts in team history.
The Ravens were initially criticized for taking Lewis at No. 5 overall because some analysts had Thomas Jones (No. 7 to Arizona) and Shaun Alexander (No. 19 to Seattle) rated higher. Lewis quickly proved the Ravens right, carrying the offense in the second half of the 2000 Super Bowl season. Three years later, Lewis became the fifth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards.
Taylor was drafted by the Ravens with the No. 10 overall pick. Expected to be the future centerpiece of the Ravens' passing attack, Taylor eclipsed 60 catches once and produced a grand total of two 100-yard games. It turned out to be a bad draft for wide receivers. Of the 35 wide receivers selected that year, only two ever made a Pro Bowl: Laveranues Coles (2003) and Dante Hall (2002 and 2003 as a returner).
The Ravens had two top-10 picks in 2000 because of trades. Baltimore gave its second-round pick in 1999 to Atlanta in exchange for the Falcons' first-round pick in 2000. The Falcons used that second-round pick on tight end Reggie Kelly, and their first-round pick turned out to be No. 5 overall in 2000. A few days before the 2000 draft, the Ravens decided to trade their second-round pick to the Denver Broncos to move from No. 15 to No. 10.
One trade worked out for the Ravens, while the other didn't turn out as planned.