By Matt Vensel
1:00 PM EDT, March 18, 2011
Former Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller never came close to touching the lofty expectations that came with being one of the team's first-round picks in the 2003 NFL draft, which is why last month I labeled him as the biggest draft bust in franchise history.
Matt Zenitz, a writer for PressBox, recently tagged Boller as an all-time bust, too.
But one man is willing to stand up on a soapbox and defend Boller: Joe Platania.
In a response to his PressBox colleague, Platania wrote a lengthy post in defense of Boller, who is still in the NFL today as a backup quarterback for the Raiders.
"To me, a bust is a player drafted in the first two rounds who is frequently injured, doesn’t see the field that often, and fails to produce when he does," he wrote. "However, the football-crazy fan base in Baltimore -- as well as some of the media -- would also apply the 'bust' moniker to 2003 first-round draft pick Kyle Boller."
While he didn't say that the "inconsistent" Boller was a good player or anything like that, Platania argued that Boller's longevity in the league disqualifies him from consideration in the bust debate. "A true quarterback bust is someone who, to us, never showed the proper aptitude for the position and proved to be completely inept," he wrote. "Boller was inconsistent, not inept, and there is a big difference between the two."
Point taken, but I still believe that Boller was the team's biggest bust. He never asked for the pressure and the expectations that get heaped on quarterbacks drafted in the first round. But at that position and at that price the Ravens paid to select him, Boller was expected to be more than just mediocre. He never led the Ravens to the playoffs, and his inconsistency helped waste five prime years for Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense.
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