In going through the Ravens’ impressive draft history, it seems like there would be a surefire Hall of Famer staking claim to the title of best defensive end. In truth though, they just flat out haven’t drafted many defensive ends. For this exercise, we’re going to count Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware as outside linebackers, and Haloti Ngata as a defensive tackle. All three of those players have played the end position at some point in time, but the majority of their careers have been overwhelmingly at other positions.
So that brings us to Anthony Weaver. Weaver was drafted by the Ravens out of Notre Dame in the second round of 2002. Coming into the draft, many viewed him as a bit too slow to be an effective end; but for the Ravens, who had just recently adopted the 3-4 defensive scheme, Weaver was perfect. Not quite big enough to be a DT but the perfect size for an end in their scheme, Weaver went on to start in all 16 games his rookie year, and continued to do so until his last year was cut short due to injuries. A testament to his abilities, Weaver attracted a lot of attention around the league after his contract expired, and went on to sign a lucrative five-year deal with the Houston Texans, including a $10 million dollar signing bonus.
Nowadays, Weaver is a defensive line coach. Having previously served as assistant defensive line coach under Rex Ryan in New York, he earned a promotion to defensive line coach in Buffalo under Mike Pettine before following his former defensive coordinator to the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Clearly, Weaver has a very in-tune football mind, further demonstrating the caliber of player he developed to be in Baltimore.
Anthony Weaver may not be a future Hall of Famer, but he certainly lived up to his selection by the Ravens in 2002. He doesn’t have the big name, but no Ravens fan should be ashamed to call him the team’s best drafted defensive end of all time.