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The Ravens feel good about Joe Flacco as their quarterback of the future, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at the position in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The Ravens currently have questions behind Flacco. The Ravens’ franchise passing leader may need a new backup entering his fourth season, as Marc Bulger’s one-year contract is close to expiring. Should Bulger hit free agency, he could be signed by a team in need of a starter.
As such, the Ravens will be closely evaluating rookie signal-callers.
“It’s probably not going to be in the first round, but if there’s a [quarterback] available that we like, we’ll pull the trigger if we think he’ll make us better,” Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta said.
DeCosta noted that the Ravens scout quarterbacks every year, no matter the status of their roster. Some years, however, a position as critical as quarterback is less important when there is an established starter already in place.
Flacco, who is coming off a year when he threw for a career-best 3,622 yards and 25 touchdowns, has never missed a start in 50 games while being backed up by the likes of Bulger, Troy Smith and Todd Bouman.
At this point, the Ravens also have 2010 practice squadder Hunter Cantwell signed to a reserve/future contract.
DeCosta said the Ravens assign a scout to break down each quarterback in the Class of 2011, and with the release of Jim Zorn, Offensive Assistant Craig Ver Steeg and Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron will do their share of scouting, as well.
“We always look at quarterbacks,” DeCosta said. “We don’t look at that position really different than any other position. If there’s a good player when we pick, we’ll take him. It just depends. It’s a matter of if the guy is there and who else is there with him.
“We grade the quarterbacks just like we grade any other position.”
There are several talented quarterbacks likely to be considered in the draft’s later rounds, including Alabama’s Greg McElroy, T.J. Yates of the University of North Carolina and Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi.