Every NFL franchise has a long list of draft day misses, and despite a well-earned reputation for excellent talent evaluation, the Ravens are no exception. Baltimore has had its fair share of sleepers and busts over the years, though some will always stick out more than others.
For local fans, one such name is Stefon Diggs, the Maryland product who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Diggs, who also grew up in the area when he was a five-star recruit out of high school, has blossomed into one of the best receivers in the entire league. And the Ravens had plenty of chances to draft him, instead opting for Breshaud Perriman in the first round that year.
It's a mistake Ravens head coach John Harbaugh remembers well.
“We just missed out on him. We could have drafted him up until that point and we didn’t,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t remember the exact details of it, but that’s one that got away.”
The exact details are that the Ravens made six picks in the 2015 draft prior to Diggs' selection, and they passed on the local talent every time.
It's easy to understand why NFL teams might have been a little wary about Diggs, who suffered through several injuries during his time at Maryland. He also got very little help form his own offense -- at one point, the Terps were relying on a freshman backup linebacker to fill in at quarterback. That's not exactly a recipe for success for an explosive wide receiver.
Now, the Ravens must figure out a way to slow down Diggs and the Bills' passing attack on Saturday. Diggs has established himself as a strong postseason performer, coming off a six-catch, 128-yard Wild Card round, with a touchdown as well. And of course, NFL fans across the league remember his Minneapolis Miracle, a walk-off touchdown against the Saints that instantly became one of the most iconic plays in NFL playoff history.
Harbaugh knows just how difficult a matchup it is for his defense.
“All the respect in the world for him as a player," Harbaugh said. "He’s definitely a factor. I don’t want to say public enemy, but he’s Ravens’ enemy number one right now. He’s a guy we have to keep a good eye on.”
The Ravens and Bills are set to kick off Saturday night at 8:15 on NBC.