Ravens head coach John Harbaugh talks about Joe Flacco. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens have the 16th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft,so it’s highly unlikely that any of the top available quarterbacks will fall to them.
Southern California’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield are expected to be gone by the time the Ravens are on the clock in the middle of the first round April 26.
At some point during the three-day draft, though, the Ravens figure to hone in on a quarterback that could potentially back up Joe Flacco in 2018 and perhaps even serve as his successor.
“It is something that we will talking about, for sure,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a news conference Thursday. “Certain positions are going to be more important than others, but when you have a veteran quarterback at this stage, that is the time you are always looking for a young backup.”
Flacco has missed just six games in 10 seasons and all those came in 2015, when he tore his left knee against the then-St.Louis Rams. However, Flacco will turn 33 later this month. He’s played the past two seasons on a surgically repaired knee and played this season with a back injury.
Because of his current contract, Flacco will be with the Ravens for at least one more season, if not two. Flacco’s backup for the past two seasons, Ryan Mallett, is a pending unrestricted free agent. It’s possible that the perennially cash-strapped Ravens opt to save money on a veteran backup and instead back up Flacco with a rookie.
Some of the other quarterback options in the draft include Lousville’s former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph and Memphis’ Riley Ferguson.
The Ravens have drafted just two quarterbacks since selecting Flacco with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 draft. They selected Tyrod Taylor out of Virginia Tech in the sixth round in 2011 and Ball State’s Keith Wenning in the sixth round in 2014.
Harbaugh made clear that if the Ravens do draft a quarterback in April, it wouldn’t affect Flacco’s status.
“I do not think that jeopardizes Joe at all,” Harbaugh said. “He is our guy, and I am excited about our chances next year having a great season, and Joe is too. If we draft a quarterback, if it turns out to be the thing we do, it is only going to make our team stronger.”