The Baltimore Ravens were forced to start three different quarterbacks in 2021 as injuries piled up all over the roster. But whether it was Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley, or Josh Johnson, the Ravens received competent quarterback play.
That’s why in a recent ranking of all 62 NFL quarterbacks to start a game in 2021, the Ravens were the only team to have three QBs rank inside the top-35.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal had Lamar Jackson had a pretty low 14th on the list, Huntley at a surprising 26th, and Johnson at 35th ahead of multiple 2021 starters.
Jackson’s placement saw him land behind the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins, something that will likely anger Ravens fans. As for Huntley, he placed ahead of a bunch of NFL starters including Taylor Heinicke, Ben Roethlisberger, and every rookie QB not named Mac Jones.
Even Johnson managed to rank ahead of every quarterback on the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers as well as players like Trevor Siemian, Gardner Minshew, Tyrod Taylor, and Nick Foles.
Lamar Jackson was disrespected, but the Ravens backup QBs received some love
Jackson undoubtedly struggled in the second half of the 2021 season. After starting off red-hot and looking like a bonafide MVP candidate, Jackson hit a wall as turnovers piled up and he played some of the worst football of his NFL career.
The former MVP finished with 18 total touchdowns (16 passing) and a career-high 13 interceptions all while missing the final five games of the season due to an ankle injury.
Still, it seems a bit ridiculous to rank him below someone like Ryan Tannehill who put up relatively similar numbers despite being carried by Derrick Henry for much of the year.
But while Rosenthal wasn’t fond of Jackson, he had plenty of praise for Tyler Huntley who he claimed could be a future starter.
"“Huntley’s sour finish in close losses to the Rams and Steelers shouldn’t distract from his strong body of work in four starts and two relief outings as a second-year player. He’s already one of the best backups in football and may develop into a mid-tier starter elsewhere, like Tyrod Taylor once did when he left Baltimore.”"
Huntley was the highest backup quarterback on the list as Rosenthal believes the 24-year-old has already proven he can play at a high level in this league.
Huntley got off to a hot start as well, but it soon became apparent that the Ravens desperately missed Jackson. That’s not to say Huntley didn’t make himself a lot of future money with his 2021 performance, but it might be a little premature to call him the best backup QB in football.
Nonetheless, the Ravens are certainly pleased to have such a capable player backing up their starting quarterback. That goes for Johnson as well who played well in two games, one apiece with the Jets and Ravens.
It’s unclear if Johnson will be back in 2022, but at the very least, the Ravens have two capable quarterbacks they could turn to. And, as evidenced by this list, that’s two more than some teams can lay claim to.