Thursday, May 1

Flac(co) jacket

The Baltimore Ravens aimed to nab a quarterback in the first round of last weekend's NFL Draft, and they did just that. When Matt Ryan, the consensus best quarterback in the draft, was chosen in the third spot by the Atlanta Falcons, the Ratbirds traded down to number 18 and ended up taking Joe Flacco of Delaware. As a Browns fan, I love the pick.

I'm not all that familiar with Flacco, except I know that he transferred from Pitt before I arrived there in 2005, and that he has a big arm. Scouts like Flacco's size, arm strength, intelligence, and work ethic. That certainly doesn't sound like a typical Baltimore Raven. Joe Flacco needs to log some arrests, develop an addiction to one or more hard drugs, and probably get some ink, but that's what the rest of the off-season and training camp are for.

NFL Draft Countdown lists Flacco as one of the top "reach picks" and projected Flacco as the number four QB (he was second off the board), which can't be a bad sign. Flacco was unable to beat out the mediocre Tyler Palko at Pitt, which is why he transferred to Delaware. Again, I like the sound of that. Joey's also viewed as a bit of a project. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than hearing that a division rival is staking their future on a "project" quarterback.

A big red flag for me is that Flakko played primarily out of the shotgun at Delaware. You know any other incredibly successful college QB that played in a shotgun-heavy offense? Mr. Timothy Scott Couch comes to mind. I don't like college quarterbacks that aren't experienced under center.

All in all, this doesn't seem like a great pick to me. Brian Brohm really fell due to injury concerns, and he should have been the clear cut number two quarterback, in my opinion. Brohm was far more accomplished than either of the signal callers (Flacco and Chad Henne) that were drafted ahead of him. I still think that the Ravens are giving up on Troy Smith too early, the guy showed some flashes late last season playing with a terrible offense.

The last time Baltimore drafted a rifle-armed quarterback who was a bit of a project, it was Kyle Boller. Let's hope for similar results with Flacco.

Fun fact: Chad Henne, if he becomes the Miami starter, will face Vernon Gholston, who was draftec by the Jets, twice a year. Gholston pratically owned real estate in the Michigan backfield during this season's OSU/That School Up North game, sacking Henne three times.

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