On Tuesday, it was announced that former Denver Broncos quarterback Caleb Hanie signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
With just two quarterbacks currently on the roster (Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor), the signing of Hanie is a rather harmless move by the Ravens that could help create some competition for Taylor.
After two full seasons in the NFL, Taylor doesn’t look like he has progressed since his days at Virginia Tech. While he is fairly athletic and can be a run threat, the Ravens would struggle to win many games with Taylor at the helm if Flacco were to ever suffer a serious injury.
Luckily for the Ravens, Flacco hasn’t missed a game so far in his five-year career, so there isn’t much reason to worry at the moment. But, teams must always be prepared for the worst, and the Ravens need to have some security at the backup position.
Ultimately Taylor will likely defeat Hanie in the competition for the backup job, as he is more familiar with the offense and is similar to Hanie in skill but has more athleticism. That would spell trouble for Hanie as he has played in 10 games in his career, which means he is not eligible for the practice squad.
The Ravens traditionally haven’t carried three quarterbacks on the active roster during the John Harbaugh era, so Hanie will likely be looking for a new job after final roster cuts in September.
However, having a quarterback on the practice squad is always an ideal scenario, as Taylor’s backup would already be on the roster if Flacco suffers an injury. That could pave the way for a rookie to fulfill the role that Dennis Dixon had last season.
The Ravens currently have 12 picks in next week’s draft, but there doesn’t appear to be 12 open spots on the roster. That would give the team some flexibility to take a flier on a late-round quarterback who could be on the practice squad next year at worst. Best case scenario, he joins Taylor and Hanie in the training camp battle for the backup job.
This year’s draft class provides several intriguing options in the later rounds at quarterback. It’s unlikely that the Ravens would target a quarterback before the sixth round, but with three picks in the sixth and two picks in the seventh round, there’s a good chance one could be used on a quarterback.
Some of the late-round quarterbacks include Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron and Tulane’s Ryan Griffin.
Jones realistically could go anywhere from round five to undrafted, but if available at the end of the sixth round or even the seventh, his arm talent and experience could be too good to pass up.
He’s highly unlikely to experience much success in the NFL because of his horrid pocket presence, but he could be a possible project the Ravens could take on.
The two more likely candidates, Cameron and Griffin, aren’t flashy players, but they each possess skillsets that could translate to the NFL in a backup role.
Cameron would be the “safe” option as is a slightly taller version of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel based on skill and athleticism. Cameron helped lead Louisiana Tech to a 9-3 record last season and only threw five interceptions compared to 31 touchdowns.
In fact, Cameron didn’t throw an interception until the second-to-last game of the season. Cameron’s pocket awareness and ball security make him an intriguing option in the seventh round.
Griffin, unlike Cameron, is a much larger quarterback (6’4, 227) and has the upside as an ideal developmental quarterback in the NFL.
He threw for 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2012, but also shined at the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game, where he excelled in practice and earned MVP honors for the games.
Griffin has the ideal build for an NFL quarterback and could develop into a better player than Cameron and even Jones.
While finding another quarterback in the draft is one of the least of the Ravens’ concerns, it certainly isn’t an option that can be ruled out, especially since the team currently possesses 12 picks.