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Ravens draft analysis, position by position: Quarterback

From now until May 8, the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, The Sun will look at where the Ravens stand at each position, the likelihood that they will address that spot early in the draft and some of the prospects that they may consider.

The Ravens have eight total picks in the three-day draft: one in each of the first, second, fifth and sixth rounds, and two each in the third and fourth rounds.

Today we'll kick off the series by examining quarterbacks:

Current quarterbacks under contract: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Nick Stephens

Chances that the Ravens draft a quarterback in first three rounds: Low. The Ravens are still looking to add a quarterback to compete with Tyrod Taylor for the backup job and to serve as long-term insurance if Taylor leaves in free agency after the 2014 season. But the reality is that they have much bigger needs early in the draft. Unless one of the draft classes' better quarterbacks unexpectedly falls to the third round, it seems more likely that the team will select a signal caller on Day 3 or just wait until after the draft to fill that need.

Possibly on Ravens' radar: Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), A.J. McCarron (Alabama), Aaron Murray (Georgia), Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech), Keith Wenning (Ball State).  

Outlook: The fact that the Ravens have hosted workouts and met with several quarterbacks shows that they are serious about adding one. Taylor has struggled at times in the preseason and in spot duty and with the former sixth-round pick heading toward free agency next year, the Ravens know that they’ll have to start grooming a young quarterback behind Flacco soon. This, however, might be a year too early to invest an early or mid-round pick on one. Flacco has started every game of his six-year NFL career and his durability is one of his biggest assets. The Ravens also are keeping an eye on the Houston Texans’ quarterback situation with either T.J. Yates or Case Keenum, who both have familiarity with Gary Kubiak’s offense, possibly getting their release after the draft. The Ravens would be intrigued, especially by Yates. It appears that the most likely scenario is the Ravens waiting until later in the draft and drafting a developmental quarterback. However, they might not be able to resist a guy like Garoppolo or McCarron if they are available in the compensatory portion of the third round.      

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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