With Matt Schaub continuing an underwhelming final act of his career, there is always the possibility of him not making the final roster. If so, who would be the backup quarterback in his stead now that Tyrod Taylor is battling for a starting spot with Rex Ryan's Bills?
The answer to that question is Bryn Renner, a 2nd-year player out of North Carolina. Peter King commented on the feasibility of Renner winning the backup QB spot following his visit to the Ravens training camp, saying:
When the quarterbacks go with black jerseys and purple numbers, the easiest way to tell Flacco from 6-6 backup Matt Schuab is Schaub’s lackluster arm strength. Don’t count out Bryn Renner for the No. 2 job
So who is Bryn Renner?
- 6"3, 230 lbs. 3 yr starter at North Carolina.
- Set single season school and ACC records for accuracy his first game as a starter. 66.5 career completion percentage in college. 8,221 yards, 64 touchdowns, and 25 interception in 2 1/2 years as a starter (32 games)
- Renner’s father is former Green Bay Packers punter Bill Renner, who is also a respected high school coach
The summer before his senior season, Renner was a standout at the Manning passing academy. Draft analyst Mike Mayock praised him for his size, accuracy, polish, and his throwing ability:
Bryn Renner, North Carolina Tar Heels:
"He probably is the most polished of all the quarterbacks I saw," Mayock said. "Great feet, bigger kid than I thought -- (6-foot-3), 220 (pounds) -- ball comes out beautifully. His father is a highly recognized high school coach, so it doesn't surprise me that he is so polished."
He was even thought to be in the first round conversation according to PFT:
It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Renner — who completed 65.4 percent of his passes and threw 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season — is a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
So why was Renner undrafted?
Quite simply, he suffered a a detached labrum and a fractured shoulder seven games into his senior season. The injury required surgery, although it wasn't to his throwing shoulder. He also did not look stellar in the six games before his injury, although he was playing behind a porous line which allowed 16 sacks in the seven games that he played. He was still thought to be a candidate to be drafted in the sixth or seventh round after the injury, with analyst Bill Polian calling him one of the big sleepers in the 2014 draft. But he slipped out on Draft Day.
Here are some profiles on his strengths and weaknesses:
He doesn't have an elite arm and will get himself in trouble when forcing throws, but he shows good-enough arm strength for the next level with downfield touch. Renner understands how to find mismatches and exploit them, doing a nice job taking what the defense gives him. His ball placement and on-field leadership need to be refined, but he'll look down the gun barrel and give his weapons a chance to make a play. While he won't "wow" with his physical tools, Renner is an intriguing quarterback prospect who might get a camp look.
STRENGTHS Sets up with balance. Clean three-quarters release. Can throw with timing and anticipation short-to-intermediate. Understands ball placement -- tries to put throws where only his receivers can make a play. Flashes touch. Tough and competitive. Commands the huddle and shows good on-field demeanor. Three-year starter.
WEAKNESSES Arm strength is just functional -- struggles to drive velocity throws on a line. Does not push the ball downfield often and accuracy wanes when he does. Needs a clean pocket to have success -- flustered when his rhythm is broken. Could stand to quicken his eyes. Tends to lock on and force throws into traffic. Slow-footed (not a scramble threat). Lacks ideal intangibles -- judgment, intelligence and preparation should be checked out.
DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 6-7
Renner is known for his grittiness and determination. He played on a broken foot for much of this sophomore season. He played for three different Head Coaches and Offensive Coordinators, on a team that was banned from Bowl games and docked scholarships for his final two seasons.
Renner chose the Broncos after he went undrafted, and I am sure he picked up some things from HOFer Peyton Manning. Renner though, models his game after Brett Favre, a QB who he got to watch in person as a young child while his father played for the Packers.
The bottom line is, in my opinion Ravens fans might be underestimating Renner. The incumbent, Matt Schaub, isn't exactly tightening his grip on the backup job behind Joe Flacco. So basically the job is Renner's to earn. And he may be the better man for the job.