In the popular HBO and book Series Game of Thrones there is a character so big they call him “The Mountain That Rides”. Jonathan Ogden should have been called “The Mountain that Blocks”. At 6’9” he is one of the tallest players to play offensive line and is among the tallest to ever play in the NFL.
Ogden has a special place in the hearts of Baltimore Ravens’ fans. He was the first player ever drafted by the organization after they moved. Selected overall as the 4th pick in the draft, they also selected future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. How good does an offensive tackle need to be to be chosen before Ray Lewis?
Ogden was a standout player ever since High School in the D.C. suburbs at St. Albans School where he was a High School All-American at both football and track and field. He went on to college at UCLA and played both football and track and field. Ogden would win the NCAA 1996 Shot Put title , as well as start at Left Tackle for his entire four years at the school, winning both the Outland Trophy (For Outstanding College Interior Linemen) and the Morris Trophy (PAC-12 Outstanding Linemen of the Year). He was also a unanimous First-Team All-American. Ogden was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006 and has his football Jersey No. 79 retired at the school. An honor only seven other football players have been given by the University.
Ogden wasn’t just a big man at the left tackle position, in his 12 seasons as member of the Ravens he was considered among the best players at his position. Ogden faced off against the best defensive ends and linebackers the opposing teams had to offer and routinely shut them down. In those 12 seasons he was a Pro Bowler for 10 straight seasons (1997-2007) and was voted a First Team All Pro four times. When NFL Films made it’s “Top 100 Football Players of All-Time” list, Ogden was listed at No. 72.
Probably the greatest thing about Jonathan Ogden is who he is as a person. You never heard of Ogden getting in trouble off the field, never heard a peep about him in a negative light. Every now and again a friend would mention seeing him or talking to him around Baltimore and you’d always hear how nice he is or how much he smiled. Ogden was always the consummate Professional Athlete. He started theJonathan Ogden Foundation in 1996 as a Rookie player, and it still goes on today helping children in bad situations develop self-esteem and education. In a city that already has one of the greatest ambassadors of his game in Cal Ripken Jr. It is refreshing to see Ogden fill that same role for the city’s beloved Ravens.
Ogden entered the Hall of Fame in 2012 and was the first member of the Baltimore Ravens to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. He is a great example of what it means to “Play Like a Raven”.