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The Ravens want to add depth at the quarterback position with backup Marc Bulger set to hit the open market, but whether that comes in the form of a veteran or a rookie will be dictated by the NFL Draft.
And since the is draft taking place before free agency this year, the Ravens haven’t committed one way or another.
Luckily, having a franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco on the roster, the organization has the luxury of taking a wait-and-see approach to discover how the passer class comes off the board.
“Based on the nature of the position, those guys get bumped up a lot of times based on need,” Reavens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz noted. “Everyone wants their quarterback. You identify guys you’d consider in the later rounds, and if they’re on the board, yeah, you take them. If someone takes them higher, they go.
“The good thing is we have Joe. It takes a lot of pressure off that room when you have a guy like Joe.”
Hortiz noted that Flacco, who hasn’t missed a single game in this NFL career, is a durable and productive player and will only get better. Finding the right backup for Flacco is a necessity, but Hortiz knows the team can’t reach.
“Depth is a need, but just like you can’t overshoot on a guy you think is going to be your starting quarterback, you really don’t want to do that with your backup quarterback,” said Hortiz. “If you make a decision based on need, you’re not always making the best decision for your team.”
Hunter Cantwell is the only other arm locked in for 2011, so the Ravens could look at some late-round prospects for depth. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Offensive Assistant Craig Ver Steeg attended a workout with Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi, who is expected to be a third-day selection.
Others in that group – according to several draft scouting services – include Greg McElroy of Alabama, Delaware’s Pat Devlin, Nathan Enderle of Idaho and North Carolina’s T.J. Yates.
The question is whether there will be a run on the top-tier quarterbacks in the first two rounds. If that happens, it is inevitable that some of the third-day talents will creep up draft boards.