OWINGS MILLS — Spearheaded by franchise quarterback Joe Flacco and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens don’t lack for talent in their offensive backfield.
That doesn’t mean they couldn’t use some quality reinforcements.
With backup quarterback Marc Bulger expected to be in heavy demand as a free agent and backup running back Willis McGahee unlikely to return due to his $6 million base salary next season, the Ravens are expected to explore adding depth at both positions later this week in the NFL draft.
The Ravens would like to bolster the quarterback position, but that will likely be a lower-profile passer selected in the middle to later rounds.
Think Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi, a big, strong pocket passer at 6-foot-4, 221 pounds.
"It’s a guy that plays well on tape, first of all," Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said. "Our coaches and scouts have looked at these guys. Intelligence is important at that position and the accuracy is important. Experience, production, character, a whole bunch of different things just like with every other position.
"Every position has what we call position-specific and critical factors. Again, we’ve ranked all these quarterbacks in value. Craig Ver Steeg has done a great job looking at all of these guys. We’ve got a good quarterback board, and if there’s a good player at some point in the draft available, we could turn the card in."
Other second-tier or third-tier quarterbacks who could be of interest to the Ravens are Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle, North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates, Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor, California (Pa.) quarterback Josh Portis, a former University of Maryland player, and Texas A&M quarterback Jerod Johnson.
Taylor, Portis and Johnson are athletic enough to run the Wildcat formation or even offer some positional flexibility as wide receivers.
McElroy broke his hand at the Senior Bowl, but is healthy now. He won a national championship with the Crimson Tide as a junior, completing 70 percent of his throws as a senior.
"Stanzi is a smart, heady quarterback who makes good decisions and is a leader, but has struggled to be a consistent accurate guy," said Russ Lande, the Sporting News’ draft analyst who used to scout for the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams.