Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Huntley is their most intriguing UDFA
Tyler Huntley may not have been selected during the 2020 NFL Draft, but he is the Baltimore Ravens most intriguing UDFA entering the offseason.
The Baltimore Ravens have themselves one of the best quarterback rooms in the entire NFL. Lamar Jackson is the reigning MVP of the league. Behind him is former 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III, who has proven to be worth everything and more as the team’s primary backup. Then you have Trace McSorley, an underrated athlete who can do a slew of things for the Ravens. And now Baltimore added former Utah starting quarterback Tyler Huntley as a 2020 NFL Draft undrafted free agent.
That’s a fair question to ask, I suppose. After all, Huntley wasn’t necessarily the best quarterback we’ve ever seen and his stats won’t blow you away you. While Utah was highly competitive throughout his four years in Salt Lake City, most would credit their suffocating defense, terrific special teams, and their strong running game.
But behind every good team is a quality quarterback. For the Utes, it was Tyler Huntley.
Huntley was a three-year starter from 2017-2019, playing in 33 games and recording a 23-10 record. In those three years, Huntley threw 7,291-yards and 46 touchdowns against 20 interceptions. Huntley also completed 67.2% of his passes and averaged 8.6 YPA. Huntley left the program fifth all-time in passing yards (7,351) and sixth in passing touchdowns (46).
Tyler Huntley did damage as a runner and improviser, too. In fact, it was his calling card, to be able to roll out of the pocket and keep his eyes downfield. Huntley threw with anticipation and touch and threw strikes as his receivers found openings. It was very Russell Wilson-like.
I know now you’re wondering now, “If he was Russell Wilson-like then why didn’t he get drafted?” It’s because he isn’t Russell Wilson, obviously. Then again, there’s only one Russell Wilson. Tyler Huntley is his own player, and he’s a far better one than given credit for.
“But Tyler Huntley went undrafted,” I hear you say. Well, what hurt Huntley’s draft stock was simply that he was more of a game-manager than a game-changer for the Utes. The numbers are respectable, but not eye-popping. Huntley also isn’t the most physically imposing quarterback at a modest 6’1″ 205-lbs. without terrific arm strength. All that adds up to being an average quarterback.
What Huntley has that others lack, however, is grit, poise, and touch. Huntley completed 73.1% of his passes as a senior with 10.3 YPA. For his efforts, Huntley was named First-Team All-PAC-12 That doesn’t happen by accident. Huntley was simply better than he was ever given credit for.
Now that you have the background on the 22-year old I can tell you this with extreme confidence: Tyler Huntley is the most intriguing UDFA the Baltimore Ravens signed from the 2020 crop.
Huntley is simply a great fit for what the Ravens are about, and their offensive strengths play to Huntley’s strengths. Huntley thrived off the play-action game and Baltimore can do that as well as anyone else. The Ravens also have tons of talented running backs and receivers to help Huntley develop into a quality backup and a seamless fit for the team.
While RGIII likely isn’t going anywhere this year, beyond 2020 is uncertain considering he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. Trace McSorley hasn’t shown us he’s ready to be the team’s backup of the future, either, despite a rock-solid 2019 preseason. While he did latch on as the team’s third-string for 2019, he may not be so lucky for 2020, short of changing positions.
And while those two have uncertain futures in Baltimore, Tyler Huntley will be coming up hot right behind them. Believe it or not, this kid will push both of them to be at their best, or he’ll come in and take their jobs.
The bar is set low for Tyler Huntley, and that’s just fine because he’ll find a way to surpass expectations. Huntley is a perfect fit for the Baltimore Ravens offense and he’s more than capable of playing at a backup level. Of all of Baltimore’s undrafted free agent pickups, Huntley should have your attention most. Don’t be surprised when he balls out in the preseason and clings on to this team.