Boomin' mistake: Ravens took hopeful rocket scientist before Antonio Brown

The course of the Baltimore Ravens' offense was changed in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, when they passed on a player who became the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL on Monday.

With the No. 194 overall pick, the Ravens decided to take a flier on raw offensive tackle Ramon Harewood, who majored in applied physics and engineering at Morehouse. In other words, he wanted to become a rocket scientist.

One spot later, AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers selected wide receiver Antonio Brown, a small-school prospect from Central Michigan whose route-running, strength and attitude was questioned. In fact, he tweeted out a negative scouting report about him Monday after signing a four-year, $68 million deal.

Brown has 100 catches in each of his past four seasons, a streak which is tied with Marvin Harrison for the longest in NFL history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Ravens have yet to develop a drafted wide receiver into a No. 1 receiver in their 21-year team history.

Harewood only started five career games, and Brown has gone to five Pro Bowls. Harewood lasted three seasons in Baltimore, and Brown has totaled three seasons with double-digit touchdowns.

"Harewood is a huge man. I mean, he’s a giant," one team official said after the Ravens drafted the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Harewood.

The first two seasons of Harewood's career ended on injured reserve (which included surgery on both knees and an ankle). He became a surprise starter at left guard in the Ravens' 2012 Super Bowl season, but he was soon benched for Bobbie Williams. Harewood then spent part of an offseason with the Denver Broncos, and he's been out of football since June 2014.

It would be unfair to just single out the Ravens for not taking Brown. There were 21 wide receivers drafted before Brown that year. There were 17 teams that selected wide receivers before Brown, including the Steelers, who drafted Emmanuel Sanders in the third round. No one expected Brown to be one of the most prolific NFL receivers.

The 2010 draft was a forgettable one for Baltimore outside of tight end Dennis Pitta and defensive tackle Arthur Jones, who played key roles in the Ravens' Super Bowl season.

That year, Baltimore made the wrong decision on medical and character risks. The Ravens didn't have tight end Rob Gronkowski on their draft board because of health concerns but made pass-rusher Sergio Kindle their top pick despite numerous red flags. Kindle finished with one tackle in a career derailed by a fractured skull, which occurred after he fell down a flight of stairs before the start of training camp.

But it should be pointed out that the Ravens have had their share of success in the later rounds. The Ravens have drafted nine starters or specialists in the fifth round or later (returner Jermaine Lewis, center Jeff Mitchell, linebacker Adalius Thomas, offensive tackle Tony Pashos, safety Dawan Landry, punter Sam Koch, defensive lineman Arthur Jones, linebacker Pernell McPhee and offensive tackle Rick Wagner).

Of course, in hindsight, Joe Flacco and the Ravens can only think what might have been if Brown landed in Baltimore seven years ago.