With training camp fast approaching, we're breaking down each position's competition. Today is the quarterbacks.
In the Hunt
Robert Griffin III, 8th season Tyler Huntley, undrafted rookie Lamar Jackson, 3rd season Trace McSorley, 2nd season
Jackson is coming off an incredible season, leading the league in touchdown passes and setting the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback. The danger he presents as a thrower and runner fuels the NFL's most unique offense, and Jackson will remain the key to Baltimore's attack regardless of what Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman adds to the playbook.
More than just an electrifying player, Jackson has leadership qualities that are crucial for the quarterback position. Those traits should help the Ravens during this unique training camp during the COVID-19 pandemic when players will be asked to learn quickly and to practice with a strong sense of urgency. Jackson's magnetic personality galvanizes the locker room, and his day-to-day competitiveness rubs off on teammates.
Jackson led Baltimore to the best regular-season record in franchise history (14-2) in 2019 and established himself as a star at age 23. The next goals for Jackson are obvious - winning a playoff game and ultimately winning a Super Bowl. While Jackson has gotten together with teammates for player-organized workouts this offseason, he will use training camp to re-establish chemistry with his returning targets and to gain familiarity with new targets like rookie wide receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche.
Jackson had a 2019 season that far exceeded most people's expectations, and it's early in his career. If his command of Baltimore's offense improves, along with his accuracy, Jackson has the talent to take his game to greater heights. That's a wonderful possibility for Ravens fans and a worrisome proposition for opponents.
It will be difficult to unseat Griffin as the No. 2 quarterback. During his two seasons with the Ravens, Griffin has earned the trust of the coaching staff as the quarterback who gives them the best chance to win should something happen to Jackson. Griffin has been working diligently this offseason and views himself as a player who will start again one day.
The most intriguing battle could be for the No. 3 quarterback spot between McSorley and Huntley. Though he wasn't drafted, Huntley completed 73.1 percent of his passes at Utah last season and his mobility fits Baltimore's offense. McSorley earned a roster spot last year with his strong preseason play, but he only dressed for one regular-season game and did not earn a regular role on special teams.
The pandemic casts uncertainty over the length of this year's preseason, and practice performance will be crucial for both McSorley and Huntley. The Ravens have carried three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for the past two seasons and there is a definite chance they will do so again in 2020, especially if Baltimore is concerned about the possibility of a quarterback having to be quarantined.
Under the Radar
Huntley is not a well-known commodity among Ravens fans, and without rookie camp or OTAs, the coaching staff has not been able to watch him throw daily. Huntley's team defeated Jackson's team in an epic high school playoff game that Huntley talked about on "The Lounge" podcast. But how much of a threat is Huntley to make the 53-man roster? Once he takes the field, Huntley will need to make a positive impression quickly.