In his Friday 10 Spot, ESPN’s Adam Schefter did a great job of breaking down how if it wasn’t for Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, linebacker Ray Lewis wouldn’t have been drafted by the Ravens.
Belichick was the Browns’ head coach in 1995, when Cleveland traded a No. 1 pick to San Francisco in exchange for several picks. The 49ers used the 10th overall pick, which they got from Cleveland, on UCLA wide receiver J.J. Stokes.
But Belichick never got to use the second No. 1 pick he got back from San Francisco. Before he could, Cleveland fired him and moved the franchise to Baltimore, which inherited the 1996 first-round pick that Belichick had acquired from San Francisco.
Baltimore used its own first-round pick in 1996 on UCLA offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. Then it used its second first-round pick, the one Belichick acquired from the 49ers, on Miami linebacker Ray Lewis. Baltimore believed, accurately and wisely, that in one draft it had acquired building blocks for its defense and offense.
If the Ravens didn’t have Lewis, they probably wouldn’t have won their only Super Bowl, back in 2000.