We here at BaltimoreRavens.com got debating the NFL Network's Top 100 All-Time list and the current ranking of Top 100 of 2011.
So Mike Duffy and Ryan Mink decided they would take on the arduous task of ranking the all-time Ravens. With the franchise only being around since 1996, we decided it would be best to go with 50 instead of 100.
After much debate, Duffy and Mink came to a consensus list. We gave you numbers 31-40 last week and will continue to present 10 players at a time over the next couple weeks.
The criterion for ranking the players is their contribution to the Baltimore Ravens, not their career accomplishments. Thus, for example, while Deion Sanders is one of the greatest cornerbacks to ever play the game, his two twilight years in Baltimore landed him at No. 47 on our list.
Of course, there will be widely different opinions on the order of the list, and your take is appreciated and encouraged. We loved your comments on the last edition.
Our hope is to spark some debate and relive some great Ravens memories in the process. Use the all-time roster to help make your choices. Without further ado, the third edition of the Ravens All-Time Top 50:
Top 50: Nos. 50-41 | Nos. 40-31
No. 30: C Mike Flynn, 1997-2007An undrafted free agent out of tiny Maine, Flynn was a yoeman worker for a few years before he was promoted to a starting role as the offensive line's lynchpin at the start of the Super Bowl season. Flynn never gave it up. Summing up what it means to be a Raven with his hard work and determination, the Ravens needed Flynn to take over for Jeff Mitchell and solidify a key position. He did with aplomb. With Flynn at the helm, running back Jamal Lewis topped 1,000 yards four times.
No. 29: WR Derrick Alexander, 1996-1997Paired with Michael Jackson, Alexander put up two highly-productive and consistent seasons. He had 62 receptions for 1,099 yards and nine touchdowns in inaugural 1996, then followed that up with 65 grabs for 1,009 yards and nine touchdowns in 1997. He still holds the Ravens regular-season record for longest reception with a 92-yarder in 1997.
No. 28: Qadry Ismail, 1999-2001Ismail was one of the most prolific receivers in Ravens history, winning a Super Bowl ring and posting the third-most career receiving yards in team history (2,819). Ismail is also tied for second in career receiving touchdowns (18) among Ravens wide receivers. And, Ismail's 44-yard catch in Super Bowl XXXV to set up a field goal forever etched "The Missile" in Ravens annals.
No. 27: OLB Jamie Sharper, 1997-2001Sharper was drafted 34th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft and became an immediate contributor. He logged three sacks and an interception while starting 15 games as a rookie. The athletic Sharper became a key component of the Super Bowl defense, serving as a do-it-all tackling machine next to Ray Lewis. He never missed a game in five years in Baltimore before being plucked by the Houston Texans in the expansion draft.
No. 26: QB Vinny Testaverde, 1996-97"Vinny T" came to Baltimore with the original Cleveland Browns franchise, but his two years in purple and black were doozies. In 1996, Testaverde made his first Pro Bowl appearance after passing for 33 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards. The Miami product followed that with a hair under 3,000 passing yards the next season, but he did it in only 13 games. Testaverde's guidance of the Ravens' offense during those early years was critical to the franchise establishing roots in Charm City.
No. 25: CB Duane Starks, 1998-2001Starks is one of a couple ball-hawking defensive backs from the University of Miami that will be on this list. The 10th overall pick recorded 20 interceptions during his four years as a Raven, which is pretty remarkable considering he wasn't a full-time starter his first two seasons. He was huge in the secondary during the 2000 championship run and even notched a game-sealing pick in the Super Bowl.
No. 24: DE Rob Burnett, 1996-2001Burnett was a fifth-round draft pick, but he played close to a first-round level. Manning the defensive end position, Burnett totaled 26 1/2 sacks during his tenure in Baltimore and was a key member of the Ravens' Super Bowl squad. In fact, Burnett's sack of New York Giants quarterback Kerry Collins in that game was a key play.
No. 23: RB Ray Rice, 2008-2010
At age 24, Rice is already one of the game's elite budding talents. In his first year as the No. 1 tailback in 2009, Rice went to the Pro Bowl with 2,041 yards of total offense under his belt. He became one of just eight players in NFL history to produce at least 1,000 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards in a season. "Mighty Mouse" is dynamic, versatile and has room to grow.
No. 22: G Edwin Mulitalo, 1999-2006Beloved by fans for his frequent summer trips to Ocean City on Ravens Roost weekend and the annual Big Ed's Band luau, Mulitalo also won over hearts with his play on the field. A fourth-round draft pick in 1999, the 345-pound Mulitalo formed a nasty left side of the Ravens' offensive line next to Jonathan Ogden, largely forming Baltimore's pounding offensive identity. He started in at least 14 games from 2000-05.
No. 21: DT Kelly Gregg, 2001-2010"Buddy Lee" is a stocky blue-collar worker that has been a staple in Baltimore's defense for the past decade. He is second on the Ravens' all-time tackles list (721) and led all NFL interior defensive linemen in tackles from 2003-2007. At just 6-foot, 320 pounds, Gregg was seen as too short to be an impact player. But he's proven the NFL wrong since joining the Ravens' practice squad in 2000.