We weren’t 100% sure if the Ravens would stay true to their word of finding competition for backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in this year’s draft, but with what we thought would be their final draft pick in 2014, the Ravens used a sixth round selection on Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning.
Headliners such as Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and David Fales were off the board, but Wenning is no slouch as a consolation prize.
The Ravens have brought in stiff competition for Taylor, and quite frankly someone who is much more developed than Taylor as a passer, raising questions as to how safe Taylor’s job is in Baltimore with Wenning on his way.
Standing just short of 6’3, 218 pounds, Wenning possesses a good build, and compares favorably as an athlete to Houston Texans quarterback TJ Yates, which makes sense with the Gary Kubiak connection.
In the day three crop of quarterbacks, there may not be a more diverse thrower than Wenning, who proved in college he could make every throw on the field with desirable touch and accuracy for a late-round option.
His arm strength is average at best, though, and physically he may be maxed out, as he is 23 and possesses an adequate but not notable arm.
For a backup option, Wenning is a heady stand-in-the-pocket distributor whose accuracy provides insurance that he won’t turn the ball over much if called upon.
In his senior season with the Ball State Cardinals, Wenning threw for 4,148 yards, 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions on 498 attempts. He enters Baltimore with 47 career starts and 49 games played.
A smooth, efficient passer who may step in this season as a rookie and push Taylor out – as the Ravens wouldn’t have used a sixth-round pick just for competition – and ideally someone who can be a long-term staple as the team’s backup.
Having an experienced passer with a competitive pedigree (orchestrated 10 career 4th-quarter comebacks) in the fold, the quarterback situation behind Joe Flacco is a bit more assuring now.