With training camp beginning next week, we’ll take a look at a position group for the 2017 Ravens every day as they aim to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Projected depth chart: Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett, Dustin Vaughan
Why to be impressed: Coming off a season-ending knee injury in 2015, Flacco started all 16 games and recorded the first 4,000-yard season of his career after coming within 200 yards three previous times. The 2008 first-round pick also completed a career-high 64.9 percent of his pass attempts, improving in that department for the third straight season.
Why to be concerned: Despite the Ravens expressing a desire to run the ball more, Flacco threw a career-high 672 passes, which ranked behind only Drew Brees (673) for most in the NFL. His yards per attempt mark (6.42) was the second worst of his career and ranked 27th among qualified quarterbacks while he threw just 20 touchdowns, illustrating how inefficient the high-volume passing game was.
2017 outlook: The additions of Jeremy Maclin and Danny Woodhead will help offset the departures of Steve Smith, Dennis Pitta, Kamar Aiken, and Kyle Juszczyk, but Flacco attempting 600 passes per year isn’t a winning formula. The 10th-year veteran is never going to put up huge numbers, but an improved ground game would allow him to be more efficient and to push the ball downfield more effectively.
Prediction: Flacco will throw more touchdowns and fewer interceptions than he did last season in 100 fewer passing attempts as the Ravens find more offensive balance under Marty Mornhinweg.