Countdown: A Delaware Quarterback?!


*In the days leading up to the NFL Draft, takes a look at some of the successes from the Ravens' scouting department. On Friday, it was second-round draft pick Dwan Edwards. *


In the first round of the 2008 draft, Joe Flacco was the pick.

Who would have thought a quarterback from Division I-AA Delaware would succeed at an NFL level?

The Ravens did.

**Joe Flacco** was one of the most surprising picks in Ravens history, Baltimore and new **Head Coach John Harbaugh** threw their weight behind a player whose biggest game came against Navy.

Of course, Flacco also threw for 434 yards and four touchdowns in Annapolis, which is less than an hour from Baltimore.

It helped that Delaware was 45 minutes from here and they played Towson and Navy right around us," said **Joe Douglas**, one of the Ravens' scouts that originally sought Flacco out. "His skills were undeniable, so we had to continue to pursue him, no matter where he went to school."

Flacco was kind of a blip on many teams' radars after earning first-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report and* Pro Football Weekly* as a senior, setting team records for completions (331), attempts (521), yards (4,263) and passes without an interception (212).

But when player personnel assistant Mark Azevedo tipped off Baltimore's scouts to Flacco, the Ravens began their courtship.

Douglas was second on the Flacco scene, and he quickly relayed the message to Ravens **Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta**.

"I called Eric when I left Delaware and said, 'You're not going to believe this, but there is a quarterback at Delaware that can really play for us,'" Douglas said. "He has unbelievable talent.

"A lot of things jumped out to us, physically. But, once you got a chance to talk with him, you realized how calm, how poised and professional he was.

"Those are the things that really stood out to me."

They also translated to the professional level.

The Ravens had to do some maneuvering in order to acquire Flacco. When the Atlanta Falcons selected Matt Ryan with the third-overall pick, Baltimore traded with the Jacksonville Jaguars to move back in the draft, down to 28.

Then, when it seemed like other teams were hot on Flacco, Baltimore traded with the Houston Texans to jump back up to No. 18 and grabbed Flacco.

He wasn't supposed to start right off the bat, but Flacco was thrust into the position when Kyle Boller's shoulder injury put him on Injured Reserve and **Troy Smith** was put in the hospital with a tonsil infection.

The 23-year-old responded by going 9-2 over the last 11 games of his rookie campaign, posting a 90.2 passer rating with 13 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

Still, Douglas maintains that he wasn't surprised.

"I don't think it surprised me that he did as well as he did. I just think that he took advantage of his situation and stepped up, as unfortunate as it was for Kyle and Troy. He really learned from his mistakes.

"I think we've found our quarterback for a few years down the road."

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