The Case Against Trace Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens

Street Talk The Case Against Trace

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Why McSorley Should NOT Make the Final Cut…

Since Trace McSorley was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, fans and pundits have talked about how they feel the Ravens can and will use the versatile quarterback from State College. Pipe dreams of a “Taysom Hill” type role with the club have given fans something to ponder, and perhaps, John Harbaugh is seriously considering using him in such a capacity.

I am here now to tell you exactly why I think this would not be beneficial to the Ravens offense, and why McSorley should instead be waived, with the team taking the risk of putting him on the practice squad.

Let me start by saying this: this article is in no way an attempt to bash the young quarterback and his abilities. The Nittany Lion product has some very enticing qualities that make him an interesting figure on the roster bubble. In an ideal world, maybe he makes the roster, but the stars aren’t aligned for him in 2019.

McSorley has the athleticism you look for to play as a backup to starter Lamar Jackson. He can run the same offense, make similar throws, while being athletic enough to be used on special teams and, on occasion, in an offensive package to create mismatches. However, with Jackson at quarterback, arguably the freakiest of athletes at the position, what is the sense of having any packages outside of his? What does the offense gain by bringing in another quarterback who, while athletic, is not on the same level as Jackson?

To me the answer is simple: it’s a little different, but it adds nothing.

One can argue Jackson may not be a consistent passer yet, but outside of one half of a preseason game, what has McSorley shown to say “hey, this guy could definitely make it happen?” I understand that something different can be exciting to some fans, but in the world of practicality, keeping him would make little sense, and quite frankly, is unfair to McSorley himself. If the plan is to use him on special teams, well, I hope they have spent time in practice getting him on the special teams unit because that sure hasn’t happened in the games.

The Penn State alum had a very impressive showing against the Philadelphia Eagles in the season’s third preseason game, there is no questioning this. It was easily his best showing, and that includes all of the practices he has been through. However, one half of a game cannot just erase all the practices and the first two preseason games where the struggles have been obvious. He simply is not ready to be thrust into game action under intense pressures to win a professional football game. This doesn’t mean in a year he wouldn’t be ready, and if your fear is that he gets plucked by another team and kept on a roster, so be it. I can address this shortly. Fear of losing him cannot be the only factor in keeping McSorley on the 53-man roster. This feels like Jeremy Butler four years ago.

Take a look at all the backups in the NFL. Based on film, McSorley is not proven to be better than the vast majority of backups in the league. Now, he is quite young and has limited film so perhaps a team will roll the dice, grab McSorley and take their chances. I am just not as convinced that this is going to be the case. Most teams seem to be trending toward keeping two quarterbacks on roster, and most teams have at least somewhat of a more proven commodity backing up their starter than McSorley.

My belief is the Ravens could cut McSorley and get him on the practice squad. Even if they were to keep the young quarterback, there shouldn’t be a role for him, at least not in 2019. No packages to get him on offense that could disrupt the flow of the game, and no role on special teams, something the guy has never played. Let’s use our heads a little bit here and use common sense. Somehow the sixth-rounder with some very real question marks has gone from being discussed on the bubble to someone fans believe absolutely has to be kept on roster.

Count me out as one of them. I thoroughly believe you could expose him to the waiver wire and snag him for the practice squad and even if he is claimed, all you are losing is a lottery ticket.

Let’s be smart here, and not think of pipe dreams. The odds of meaningful contribution this season from this player – who I fully admit has potential – are slim to none.

If you think sacrificing a spot for an extra edge rusher or lineman is worth is, then so be it. I just vehemently disagree.

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John Langley

About John Langley

John is a former sports editor at Canisius College, and an avid Ravens fan for as long as he can remember. Analyzing draft prospects and overall Ravens-related items is what he does for fun, so he decided to come out of writing retirement and join RSR. More from John Langley
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