The deadline for all NFL teams to trim their rosters down to 53 active players in this Saturday afternoon. Like every other team, the Ravens will therefore begin making final cuts throughout the week.
One of the more closely-contested competitions in Ravens training camp this year has been at the quarterback position. Baltimore’s starter and backup are already entrenched in Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin II, but who emerges behind them is soon to be decided.
For years, the Ravens rarely ever carried more than two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster but since drafting Jackson in 2018, the tide has shifted. In 2018, Jackson, Griffin, and Joe Flacco were all on the active roster. Last season, Trace McSorley joined Jackson and Griffin on the depth chart.
This season, the Ravens intend to once again keep three signal-callers on the active roster, as HC John Harbaugh has made clear:
"That's the plan, we'll have to see how it shakes out."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 7, 2020
Coach Harbaugh on carrying three QBs: pic.twitter.com/AGsG6VrP1M
McSorley was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round of last year’s draft and used a promising showing in training camp and preseason to make it through final cuts. He faced little to no competition for the No. 3 quarterback job, though, which isn’t the case heading into the 2020 season.
After going undrafted this year, Utah QB Tyler Huntley was quickly scooped up by the Ravens. Huntley experienced a breakout senior campaign for the Utes, throwing 19 touchdowns to just four interceptions, completing 73% of his passes and recording a passer rating of 177.5 — the latter two representing new school records at Utah.
Huntley’s performance earned him an impressive PFF grade of 90.0, which ranked eighth among all FBS quarterbacks. In many respects, Huntley was in a similar class of the likes of Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert. These three players were Top-10 picks, though, while Huntley did not hear his name called.
Despite a strong collegiate resume, many saw the Ravens signing Huntley merely as a move to add another arm in training camp. However, Huntley has reportedly impressed throughout training camp and has shown a strong grasp on the Ravens’ offensive system.
Huntley’s stock is on the rise, so much so that he now appears to have a reasonable shot to leap McSorley in the quarterback pecking order. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reported as such during the Ravens’ intrasquad scrimmage yesterday at M&T Bank Stadium.
In watching the scrimmage, it’s apparent that the Ravens’ No. 3 QB job is up on the air between Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley. Ravens likely will keep 3 QBs on 53-man roster and another on practice squad. But no one should be surprised if Huntley beats out McSorley.— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) August 30, 2020
With no preseason games this year, neither player has had the benefit of legitimate in-game reps against other teams to showcase their skill and stake their claim to make the final roster. Preseason reps were a huge reason, if not the biggest reason, that McSorley was able to obtain staying power ahead of the 2019 season.
McSorley demonstrated some promising skills on tape in the various exhibition games last year, and it’s unfortunate that we haven’t been able to see him or Huntley in action on television in August.
As such, it’s difficult for spectators to make an accurate judgement as to exactly where these two players stand in comparison to one another. McSorley obviously possesses the advantage of experience over Huntley, given he’s already played a year in the Ravens system.
On the flip side, both players fit the system well on paper, and Huntley may have a bit of an athletic advantage over McSorley. Huntley also appears to have a strong chemistry with Lamar Jackson, as well as Marquise Brown, given their ties to Broward County, Florida.
However, all of the indicators out of training camp thus far suggest that the competition between McSorley and Huntley is neck-and-neck, and that the Ravens could go in either direction to fill the third quarterback spot on the depth chart. With cut day less than a week away, we’ll soon find out which direction that is.
How do see you this battle playing out? Vote on the poll below and chime in!
Who do you think will win the No. 3 QB job?
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