Late For Work 4/19: Why Boller Reports Aren’t A Huge Deal

Kiper predicts Ravens’ first three picks and the Bengals’ draft could decide the division.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 9:26 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Why Boller Reports Aren’t A Huge Deal

The reports about the Ravens working out Kyle Boller today are not a huge deal.

At least, that’s the message some journalists are trying to spread around town as fans erupt at the very idea of the Ravens’ 2003 first-round draft pick returning to Baltimore.

In response to a Twitter question about the news, WBAL’s Pete Gilbert wrote, “#everyoneworksoutqbsinApril #relax.”

ESPN blogger Jamison Hensley said he likes the idea of Boller as a backup to quarterback Joe Flacco because the eight-year veteran has been effective in that role.

But according to The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec, the Ravens aren’t considering Boller, or the other two veteran quarterbacks reportedly coming in for a workout today (Dennis Dixon and Curtis Painter), to ultimately become the backup.

Instead, they would be signed – and Zrebiec does think one will be signed – to essentially be another arm to take reps throughout offseason training camps. All teams are in need of several quarterbacks on their roster during offseason training camps. They could even bring in another undrafted rookie free agent in May.

“I do not think [the veteran QBs will] make the team,” Zrebiec told WBAL radio yesterday. “I do not think they’ll be around for the regular season. I think it’s simply to have some depth at the position and make sure Tyrod Taylor is pushed a little. You want a second-year young player like that to not think he has the job made before camp starts.

“Ultimately I think Tyrod Taylor’s their No. 2 and they won’t carry a No. 3 like they’ve done for the past two years.”

Boller was 20-22 as a starter during his five years in a Ravens uniform, and he took more than his fair share of criticism.

A reunion with the Ravens may not be Boller’s first choice either, but if he wants to continue his NFL career, he may not have many other options, according to Zrebiec.

“These guys are probably coming in for the No. 3 spot,” said Zrebiec. “We’re not talking about No. 2 quarterbacks. Most teams right now have a No. 1 and 2 quarterbacks, there’s not a heck of a lot of jobs out there.

“I don’t think Kyle Boller would want to deal with all the questions [in Baltimore] again, I’m sure he’d prefer to be somewhere else, but you have to take what you can get.”

Kiper Predicts First Three Ravens Picks

Promptly after the season ended, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome identified three of the team’s biggest needs: offensive line, wide receiver and pass rusher.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper predicts the Ravens will bolster all three positions with their first three picks of the draft.

While the draft guru thinks Baltimore should first consider trading out of the first round to acquire more picks, he has the team selecting Wisconsin center Peter Konz in the first round, N.C. State outside linebacker Terrell Manning in the second and Arkansas receiver Joe Adams in the third.

“When your top need is on the interior of the offensive line, you’re in good position to pile up some picks and look for one of the top players available into Round 2,” wrote Kiper. “For this exercise, I’ll take Konz and feel good knowing I have the best center in the draft. Matt Birk can still play, but this is a clear position of need.

“Baltimore lost Jarret Johnson this offseason, but getting a talent like Manning has the potential to soften that blow. Adams is a guy who can come in and work underneath; he’ll complement the other wide receivers in that offense well.”

Bengals’ Draft Could Decide Division

AFC North rival Cincinnati had one of the best 2011 drafts among all 32 NFL teams.

They “hit a pair of home runs” by snagging receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton with their first- and second-round picks, respectively.

With the rookies leading the way on offense, the Bengals unexpectedly became a contender in the AFC North and earned a playoff berth with a 9-7 record.

The 2012 draft is now exactly one week away, and the Bengals have an extra first-round selection because they traded quarterback Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders.

And if the Bengals can do half as well next week as they did in last year’s draft, believes they will win the division.

“Marvin Lewis and company have a chance to push the franchise to heights not seen since the days of Boomer Esiason,” wrote Mike Florio. 

Quick Hits

  • Hey Jamison, will the Ravens draft a rookie center or sign center Jason Brown?  ”I don’t see the Ravens signing an offensive lineman until after the draft. I think they want to see if they can address some voids with younger players. If they don’t draft a guard or center, then Brown comes into play.” [EPSN]
  • Another columnist believes the Ravens will select Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower, but in Don Banks’ mock draft, Ozzie doesn’t need to trade up six spots to nab him. Hightower falls to the Ravens at No. 29. []
  • Ravens-Steelers twice in three weeks? “The teams most happy about this arrangement are probably the Redskins and Chargers,” wrote Bo Smolka. “That’s who the Ravens and Steelers, respectively, face on Dec. 9. It’s fair to assume that, after two smackdowns in three weeks, both the Ravens and Steelers will be limping into their Dec. 9 matchups.” []
  • Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth break down the draft position of the Ravens. [ESPN Radio]

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