Why Tyler Huntley is too valuable for the Ravens to trade

Tyler Huntley, Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Tyler Huntley, Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that both Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks have been unfairly doubted in 2021. Lamar Jackson already silenced his critics, and Tyler Huntley is just starting to exorcise his.

After a spectacular Week 15 performance, Huntley has gotten the undivided attention of the league.

About time.

Huntley was a three-year starter at Utah who was chosen first-team All-Pac-12 in 2019, yet he somehow went undrafted in 2020.

For reference, NFL teams were more willing to take chances on future quarterback duds like James Morgan (fourth round, New York Jets), Ben DiNucci (seventh round, Dallas Cowboys), and Tommy Stevens (seventh round, New Orleans Saints).

Now, teams have taken interest in him as a solid backup quarterback for their own roster depth, but the Ravens should do whatever they can to keep him in Baltimore.

Against the Green Bay Packers, Huntley finished 28-of-40 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, adding two rushing scores on top of that.

In five games played, Huntley has thrown for 743 yards with three scores against one interception, recording a 68.8 pass completion rate.

But in his two starts, along with an extended stretch of playing time against the Cleveland Browns in Week 14, Huntley is completing over 70 percent of his passes.

Ravens QB Tyler Huntley remains extremely valuable to the team as QB2

Underappreciated no more. As Huntley continues to draw deserved interest from other teams, Baltimore must realize just how well the backup quarterback fits in their team.

There’s no question that Lamar Jackson will remain QB1 for the foreseeable future. No one doubts that (or should doubt that).

At first glance, Jackson and Huntley even share a few things in common, namely their South Florida ties and dual-threat abilities.

Huntley is almost as good on his feet as Jackson is, and as shown in his recent games, he can recognize an opponent’s pass rush and adapt accordingly.

But Huntley’s differences complement Jackson’s in the perfect way.

Whereas Jackson thrives as a patient, deep-throwing signal-caller, Huntley pulls the trigger much quicker and likes to spread the field with his passes.

Given his smaller sample size of games, Huntley boasts a slightly higher passer rating than Jackson (88.8 compared to 87.0). Both average exactly 5.8 yards per carry this season, but digging deeper into analytics reveals just how much Huntley contrasts with his teammate.

According to Next Gen Stats, Huntley has the eighth-fastest average time to throw among 40 qualifying quarterbacks (2.66 seconds); Jackson has the fifth slowest (2.96 seconds).

In hindsight, Huntley should have been drafted in 2020, and he shouldn’t have taken this long to break out. The Ravens took a chance on him back then, and they should realize how valuable he is now as the perfect backup. In a pinch, Baltimore should have no qualms relying on Huntley.

Huntley also comes extremely cheap (he’ll be making the league minimum next year as an exclusive rights free agent this offseason), so it just makes sense for Baltimore to keep him on the roster.

Next. 8 NFL teams that could call the Ravens about a Tyler Huntley trade. dark

Come 2022, Huntley offers everything the Ravens could want in a QB2: a solid arm, a good fit in their offensive scheme, and a budding aptitude for winning games.

Other teams lost out on Huntley, but Baltimore won’t regret keeping him at all.