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In a conversation with BaltimoreRavens.com about the upcoming draft, former NFL Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah recently stated that he believes Flacco’s powerful right arm is among the NFL’s best.
“I think he’s got one of the top-five arms in the game, maybe one of the three best arms in all of football,” explained Jeremiah, who is behind the informative blog www.MoveTheSticks.com and the @MoveTheSticks Twitter feed.
“You can’t ask for much more in his first two years than to give you playoff wins. That’s pretty impressive.”
But if Flacco’s arm is one of the top five – maybe top three – then why were the Ravens not among the top-five passing offenses in football? The Ravens finished 18th overall by averaging 213.7 yards through the air in 2009.
Jeremiah said the fact that the Ravens’ top receiver is veteran Derrick Mason, who has produced at a high level for many years, might be fine for now. But, Baltimore needs to consider future offensive weapons as the league focuses more and more on the passing game.
Don’t believe him? Consider this: Last season, an NFL record was set when 10 quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yards. Two of the league’s most-explosive passers – Peyton Manning and Drew Brees – competed in the Super Bowl.
Flacco was just under that mark by completing an impressive 315 of 499 attempts for 3,613 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
“For him to take the next step, I think they need to find him receivers and a tight end that can stretch the field,” said Jeremiah. “That will give him the opportunity to take advantage of his big-time arm.”
“Right now, the team is kind of built around Derrick Mason in the passing game. He’s a very good player and professional, but he’s not a deep threat. They could use a big receiver on the outside or a young, fresh tight end that can get down the seam so Joe can squeeze some balls in there. I know he’s capable of doing it.”
Flacco’s top receiver yardage-wise was Mason, who hauled in 73 balls for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns. Running back Ray Rice won the reception race with 78 catches for 702 yards, adding a single score.
Flacco just might join the 4,000-yard ranks with another weapon or two.
Inside the building, Flacco’s continued improvement in Year 3 is a foregone conclusion, but obviously there are several people outside of the organization sharing that sentiment.
According to Jeremiah, Flacco might just need some help.
Jeremiah owns six years of experience as a pro scout, split between the Ravens and Cleveland Browns, and even though he’s not currently in the league, he is still a respected voice.