Ravens Will Discuss Drafting a Backup Quarterback

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The Ravens will be on the lookout for offensive playmakers in this year's draft, and one of the positions they will consider addressing is quarterback.

Starter Joe Flacco is heading into his 11th NFL season and backup Ryan Mallett is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Head Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens will be on the hunt for a young signal caller.

"It is something that we will talking about for sure," Harbaugh said Thursday during his season-review press conference. "When you have a veteran quarterback at this stage, that is the time you are always looking for a young backup."

Baltimore still has Flacco under contract through 2021, so it would be somewhat surprising if they drafted a quarterback in the early rounds. They have another needs they would like to address and Flacco is entrenched as the starter.

"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."

The Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since 2013, when they selected Keith Wenning in the sixth round. Before that, the last quarterback they drafted was Tyrod Taylor in the sixth round of the 2011 class.

Wenning didn't make the 53-man roster at the conclusion of his first NFL training camp. Taylor spent four seasons as Flacco's backup before ultimately signing with the Buffalo Bills in free agency where he won the starting job and led his team to its first playoff berth in 17 years.

Finding another long-term backup like Taylor would be an ideal situation for the Ravens. That would allow them to save the money they've spent on veteran backups like Mallett and Matt Schaub, and also have a young option in case Flacco were to get injured.

Flacco has only missed six games in his NFL career, which came in 2015 because of a torn ACL, but he battled a back issue last year that cost him the entire preseason. He's going to be 33 later this month, and the Ravens want to make sure they have depth at the most valuable position in sports.

"If [drafting a quarterback] turns out to be the thing we do, it is only going to make our team stronger," Harbaugh said.

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