The Ravens have been in the NFL for a short period of time compared to many other franchises around the league. In their short history, the organization has not been known to draft many kickers and punters, as most of these specialty players can be picked up after the draft. In fact, the Ravens have only drafted two special team players throughout their history. However, they have picked up many special teamers through the years who have been more than outstanding and even led the team in scoring for some years. Let’s took a look!
Drafted Players (In no particular order)
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2002 draft (112th overall from Ohio State), he was one of only two punters taken in that entire draft. Although Zastudil lasted only three years in Baltimore, his selection in the fourth round just goes to show how highly the Ravens thought about him.
Another Raven special teamer selected in the draft, this one occurred in 2006. Sam Koch was selected in the sixth round, 203rd overall by Baltimore out of the University of Nebraska. Koch has been with the team since then and has played well for the Ravens (though maybe not well enough to justify his contract, which you can read more about here). Koch is probably best remembered for his play in Super Bowl XLVII against the 49ers when he scrambled around the endzone for :08 seconds before running out of bounds for an intentional safety. With :12 seconds on the clock at the start of the play and the score being 34-29, it put the 49ers within a field goal, but more importantly, it took valuable time off of the clock (more than half of it), which ultimately put the game out of reach for the 49ers to secure the Lombardi.
Undrafted Players (In no particular order)
One of the most famous Ravens to ever fly into Baltimore. Before we go any further, we must admit that Stover’s inclusion on this list is somewhat of a technicality. He was drafted… in the 12th round. So, for the purpose of this exercise, he is undrafted due to the fact he escaped the first seven rounds. Stover first cracked an NFL roster in 1990 for the New York Giants, and was one of the original Ravens after kicking for the Browns from 1991-1995. It turned out that Stover would be one of the most important Ravens and serve as a huge asset for the team, evidenced by his 2,004 career points scored, which puts him sixth all-time (on a list not restricted to kickers but dominated by them) and earned him a spot on the Ravens’ Ring of Honor. If the Ravens didn’t have Matt Stover, they almost surely wouldn’t have captured their first Super Bowl ring after that long stretch of games without offensive touchdowns. Stover will forever be known for his contributions not only as a Raven, but as an excellent and hardworking player and citizen overall.
Another Raven who is earning his worth is current placekicker Justin Tucker. The youngster out of Texas is making a big name for himself after being established as one of the best kickers in the league. After earning his spot on the roster by beating out Billy Cundiff, who missed a devastating field goal against the Patriots in an AFC Championship game, Tucker proved to be a rousing success and has never looked back. Many believe Tucker is “Matt-Stover-in-the-making,” but only time will tell. And for the record, Matt Stover wasn’t ever hitting a 61-yard field goal in a dome.