While the Ravens may not be activily involved in free agency as cap room is limited, the transactions of the past few days will still effect our draft status in a big way. Each transaction suggests that the Raven’s chances of landing the top QB in the draft are becoming more and more likely.
The main competition to take Mike Mayock‘s number one ranked prospect overall and consensus number one quarterback Matt Ryan are the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons. However Dolphin’s Executive VP Bill Parcells isn’t exactly known for taking chances on signal callers early in the draft, and just landed former Raider’s quarterback Josh McCown in free agency yesterday. McCown, a third round pick in 2002, will likely battle it out in Miami for one of their top draft picks last year in John Beck.
With the Dolphins out of the picture, Atlanta would be the next team likely to take Ryan before the Ravens have a chance. However with some big questions at offensive line, and the recent release of star defensive tackle Rod Coleman, quarterback may not be their main concern in round one. When you consider the talent at those positions, USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, and Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long will all be strong options, and will all likely be availible at three.
If that scenario plays out, the Ravens will have a chance at a franchise quarterback at pick 8. While flashbacks of former top draft picks Kyle Boller and Chris Redman may still haunt fans, newly appointed head coach John Harbaugh will probably want to bring in a quarterback with him to begin his reign in Baltimore. Ryan may have just average arm strength, but is a relatively accurate passer and above all, a smart player. Kyle Boller may not be an ideal mentor, but if Steve McNair is ready to go next year it would be ideal for Ryan to come in and learn from a distinguished quarterback.