Leftwich and Boller linked forever

Updated: April 30, 2003, 3:50 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
It is a common belief that the Baltimore Ravens were one of the draft's biggest winners. And why not, the Blackbirds got a premier pass rusher in Terrell Suggs and the third highest-rated quarterback in Kyle Boller to groom for the future. But the ultimate success of those picks will always be intertwined with the career of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich.

Leftwich was the primary target of the Ravens all along, and for good reason. Prior to the start of last season, Leftwich was considered to be the top quarterback prospect in the nation. His numbers were mindboggling, as was his accuracy and arm strength. But he dipped a bit when he sustained a fracture in his leg at the end of the year, the second leg injury of his collegiate career.

Byron Leftwich
The Ravens were within seconds of getting the QB they really wanted -- Byron Leftwich.
Leg injury aside, this was the man the Ravens had decided was the leader to take them back to the Super Bowl. The only problem was that he wouldn't be available by the time Baltimore picked at No. 10. So the Ravens decided to trade up, something they haven't done in the past, to get their man.