Is it finally time for the Ravens to draft a younger quarterback?
Whether the Ravens like it or not, they will have Joe Flacco as their quarterback next season. The quarterback is coming into his 10th season and is still earning big money from the contract he signed in 2013. He brought a Super Bowl to Baltimore in 2012, but has not played up to the money since. This has many people wondering when the Ravens will start looking at younger talent.
The last time the Ravens took a quarterback was in 2014, when they selected Keith Wenning in the 6th round. He spent one season with the Ravens on the practice squad and then was released. In their history as a franchise, they have only used two 1st round picks on a quarterback, one on Joe Flacco and one on Kyle Boller.
Aside from his 2012 playoff run and 2014 regular season, Joe Flacco’s career has been filled with inconsistencies. It does not help that he has had a plethora of offensive coordinators, but at some point that cannot be an excuse. The offensive coordinators are not the ones who make the the decisions on the field. Even at the age of 31, Flacco could still have 2-3 good years left in him. The Ravens have a good chance of being contenders next season and will need his best play.
It’s time for the front office to draft a young prospect and put some pressure on Flacco. Since he was drafted in 2008, there really has not been any quarterback competition. Ryan Mallet took over in 2015 because of injuries, but we all knew that Flacco would be the starter coming back. Drafting younger talent not only benefits the team because they have a prospect for the future, but it also could give some drive to Joe. Many fans and critics have complained about his lack of drive and passion, so hopefully some competition could bring that out
If the Ravens were to select a quarterback in 2017, it would most likely be in the mid to late rounds. There is no need to select a prospect any earlier, especially since he would most likely sit behind Joe Flacco for 1-2 years. The Ravens have more important positions to address in the earlier rounds.
Two current prospects that come into mind for me are Brad Kaaya and Chad Kelly.
Kelly started his college career at Clemson, but transferred to Ole Miss. He got the starting quarterback position his junior season and had a breakout season. He led the Rebels to a 10-4 record and threw for over 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns. The season ended with a 48-20 win over Oklahoma State in the All-State Sugar Bowl. An ACL tear ended his season in 2016, but he should be healthy by the time 2017 season rolls around.
Kelly has a big arm and loves to sling the ball. He also has experience playing in a conference like the SEC, where he faced teams like Alabama, LSU, and Auburn. He is still raw and could use some time to continue to develop his game. An organization like the Ravens would be perfect for the quarterback. He could learn behind veterans Joe Flacco and Ryan Mallet.
Along with Chad Kelly, Brad Kaaya is also an experienced starter. The junior quarterback recently declared for the draft and could be an intriguing prospects for the birds.
Playing under new head coach Mark Richt, Kaaya led Miami to a bowl game win over an impressive West Virginia team. At 6’4″, he is a taller quarterback like Flacco and could develop into a nice NFL quarterback. He consistently got better in his 3 years as a starter and only threw 7 interceptions in 2016.
Although I really think Kaaya could be a possibility, he is more unrealistic option because he could go in the earlier rounds.