Bringing in the oft-injured Robert Griffin III as a $1 million backup for Joe Flacco doesn’t feel to me like the true direction of the Ravens’ offense going forward in anticipation of the Flacco contract expiring in 2020. To me RG3 is a glorified extra camp arm. I would bet he doesn’t make the final roster in September. Plus, the Ravens would have to redesign their offense to accommodate RG3’s game, and I don’t see that happening. RG3 has not shown any great proclivity to read defenses, either.
So in the end, RG3 is a feel-good story for the Ravens from a publicity standpoint. They can be viewed as a team willing to give guys with mixed resumes a second chance—Colin Kaepernick’s case notwithstanding.
Many analysts see no change coming in the Ravens’ master plan to draft a QB in the early part of the 2018 NFL Draft.
“No, we will grade the players, set the board, and if there’s a quarterback that we feel that we can pick at any of our picks, we’ll do it,” GM Ozzie Newsome said.
According to Ravens spokesperson Ryan Mink, The Ravens like this year’s quarterback class a lot. “It offers elite options and depth, and Baltimore has been clear that it could jump into the action. Not only could a rookie quarterback compete with Griffin for the backup job, but he could also take over for Joe Flacco at some point in the future.” Flacco, 33, dealt with a back injury last season and posted his lowest quarterback rating (80.4) since his rookie year.
So what quarterback could the Ravens take?
According to most mock drafts, USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and UCLA’s Josh Rosen will all be selected within the first five picks.
Oklahoma’s Baker Bayfield could also be out of reach, although former Ravens scoutDaniel Jeremiah mocked him to Baltimore at No. 16 a month ago.
Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph are considered, at least by most pundits, to be in the next tier, and could go either in the first or second rounds.
Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta has a very high opinion of up to six quarterbacks.
“Obviously at the top, you’ve got four, five or six guys that have a chance to be really good players, we think,” DeCosta said. “That’s going to make this first round very interesting.”
Teams will likely trade up to grab the quarterback they covet. It happens nearly every year. At No. 16, the Ravens could be in position to either move forward or back in that mix.
If the Ravens wait until Day 2, or perhaps even Day 3, DeCosta believes they could still grab a future starter under center.
“I think this is a really, really strong quarterback class,” DeCosta said. “There’s probably eight or nine guys that have a chance to come in and, over their first contract, be guys that have a chance to start, play effectively, compete and be winning players.”
Diving deeper, some of the potential names on that list could include Washington State’s Luke Falk, Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta, Western Kentucky’s Mike White, Marshall’s Chase Litton, Memphis’ Riley Ferguson or Virginia’s Kurt Benkert.
Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said some of those quarterbacks may have been taken higher in past years when there wasn’t as much quarterback depth, but DeCosta believes they could still go earlier than perhaps their grades suggest.