Time for Tyrod Taylor to Face Some CompetitionPosted on May 07, 2014 by Rob Michels
Take a second to imagine the horror of Flacco grasping his knee after a low hit early in the 2014 season! I understand it’s hard to do because Flacco has never missed a game in his six year career. Now take a second to evaluate the man the Ravens would turn to as of right now.
Tyrod Taylor was a sixth round pick by the Ravens in 2011 and has been carrying a clip board for the past 3 seasons. He’s only attempted 35 passes in his career and completed 19 of those. He would walk into the game with 13 games played under his belt and most of those games he saw only a handful of snaps. A poor quarterback rating of 47.2 and not a single passing touchdown during his career.
The idea of Taylor under center running the offense should worry Ravens fans. It’s been a fantastic offseason so far on the offensive side of the ball with the additions of Steve Smith and Owen Daniels. To throw it all away because the Ravens didn’t pick up a quality backup quarterback would be disappointing.
Aaron Rodgers missed seven games for the Green Bay Packers in 2013 because a broken collarbone. A trio of Seneca Wallace, Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien were under center for the next seven weeks. The Packers went 3-4-1 without Rodgers and nearly missed the playoffs. That situation is a good example of a contender falling apart because of their starter going down.
A backup quarterback isn’t something that should be talked about early on when building a team. At the same time it’s a more important position then some teams give credit. The Ravens are one of those teams. Not to knock Taylor completely but the Ravens up until this offseason have seemed content with Taylor as the second quarterback. He’s never even faced pressure with the likes of Curtis Painter and Caleb Hanie as the only threats to his job during his career.
Taylor can make some exciting plays with his legs and was a winner at Virginia Tech; however, he struggles with accuracy and stands at only 6’1’’ weighing 205 pounds. If the Ravens were smart they would look into bringing in a veteran backup or at least some true competition for Taylor to face.
Most of the top free agent quarterbacks have already been picked up. The best available quarterbacks right now are veterans David Garrard and Kevin Kolb. Neither would make the final roster cut in Baltimore and Taylor would cake walk in as the second quarterback. The best options are for another team to release a solid quarterback or we draft another potential backup.
The Houston Texans have two solid backups as of now in Case Keenum and TJ Yates. Both worked well with Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak in Houston and would be good competition for Taylor. The Ravens would have to trade for one of them or hope Houston releases one of the two. Either way that seems like an option and a good one at that. Keenum started eight games last season and Yates has five career starts under his belt. It’s a better move then wasting a high draft pick on a rookie backup.
Bears GM Phil Emery revealed he recently did a "study" that showed late-round quarterback draft picks aren't worth the trouble. “That developmental theory doesn't hold a whole lot of water," Emery said. "So who has gotten developed? There isn't a single quarterback after the third round since 2006 that has been a long-term starter. ... And most of them (third-round QBs) have been wiped out of the league."
A logical person would realize that a quarterback being drafted in the sixth or seventh round probably shouldn’t walk in as the team’s top backup. So investing in a backup in the top four rounds seems to be the Ravens best move. The Ravens brought in two quarterbacks for pre-draft visits Jimmy Garoppolo and Logan Thomas. It’s not likely the Ravens would draft Garoppolo seeing as he is probably going in the second round. Thomas is an intriguing prospect but again the Ravens would have to likely draft him in the third.
The Ravens simply have to bring in better competition at the quarterback position. Joe Flacco is the obvious starter but Tyrod Taylor should be anything but a lock as the team’s primary backup.