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. But 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 will present 10 players at a time over the next couple weeks until the top 10, when we'll slow down to five at a time.
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 very much appreciated and encouraged. 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 Ravens All-Time Top 50:
No. 50: S Kim Herring, 1997-2000
Just squeaking onto the list is Herring, the starting strong safety for the Super Bowl team of 2000. Herring had just four career interceptions with Baltimore, but they all came during that title season, including one in the Super Bowl itself. He was a steady full-time two-year starter in 1999 and 2000.
No. 49: OT Michael Oher, 2009-2010
Oher takes a lot of undue flack from outsiders for his eight false starts last year, but it was his first protecting Flacco's blind side. The former first-round draft pick (2009) was stellar as a rookie at right tackle and more than held his own as a sophomore. The Ravens expect Oher to take another step next season. As he progresses, Oher's mauling mentality brought a toughness to a young Ravens line that had to deal with transitioning from life without Jonathan Ogden.
No. 48: K Billy Cundiff, 2009-2010
It's not an easy task to win over a city's heart that long thumped for Matt Stover. But in just one-and-a-half seasons, Cundiff has done just that. Signed off the street, Cundiff rose to a Pro Bowler in 2010 during a magical season in which he tied the record for touchbacks and nailed 89.7 percent of his field goal opportunities. Cundiff was rewarded with a five-year deal this offseason.
No. 47: CB Deion Sanders, 2004-2005
What would an All-Time list be without "Prime Time?" Known as one of the greatest ever at his position, Sanders ended his 2001 retirement three years later to join the Ravens. Picking the number 37 to match his age, Sanders scored his ninth career interception return for a touchdown his first season back. He retired for good the next year after totaling 34 tackles, five picks and 10 pass deflections, while Sander's star power and locker room charisma helped solidify his status among the Top 50.
No. 46: S Dawan Landry, 2006-2010
Landry stepped into a big spot next to Ed Reed as a fifth-round rookie starter in 2006. Ever since he's been a model of consistency. Landry notched five picks as a rookie and four last year. He was second in tackles in 2009 and 2010, trailing only Ray Lewis each season. This past year he had a staggering 111 stops. And get this, he's even got three career touchdowns – pretty impressive.
No. 45: WR Anquan Boldin, 2010
Boldin had a solid first season with the Ravens and his stellar career previous to joining the team made him one of the highest-profile offseason additions in franchise history. Boldin delivered immediately, leading all receivers with 64 catches for 837 yards and seven touchdowns. Boldin likely would have been higher on the list had he been in Baltimore longer, but the longtime Arizona Cardinal will only grow with Joe Flacco. It's a safe bet that he will have more 1,000-yard campaigns in the future.
No. 44: C Jason Brown, 2005-2008
The former fourth-round pick quickly developed into one of the game's most-coveted centers. Brown took over the starting position early on in 2006 and anchored it from then on, compiling 44 straight starts. Two days into free agency, Brown became the highest-paid center in the NFL, signing a five-year deal with a reported $37.5 million (including $20 million guaranteed) with the St. Louis Rams.
No. 43: RB Priest Holmes, 1997-2000
Holmes is better known for his body of work in Kansas City, but he got his start as an undrafted free agent in Baltimore. In his only year as the No. 1 option (1998), he rushed for 1,008 yards and seven touchdowns. A knee injury led to him being supplanted by rookie Jamal Lewis in 2000. Still, Holmes was a very valuable backup during the Super Bowl run with 588 rushing yards and another 221 receiving.
No. 42: OT Orlando Brown, 1996-1999/2003-2005
Nicknamed "Zeus" for his massive 6-foot-7, 365-pound stature, the hot-tempered Brown served two stints in Baltimore, locking down right tackle opposite Jonathan Ogden. Brown was out of football for three years because he was struck in the eye by a yellow referee's flag in 1999, but eventually returned to his post. He is an unforgettable figure in purple and black.
No. 41: G/T Marshal Yanda, 2007-2010
From Day 1, ever since the Ravens selected him with the 86th-overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, Yanda has been a stud. Put him in at right tackle – where he started 12 games as a rookie and all 16 last year – and Yanda will hold it down. Move him to his more natural right guard position, and the Ravens think Yanda is a perennial Pro Bowler. With toughness and a team-first mentality, Yanda is a true Raven.