The Ravens recorded the best regular season in franchise history, but where did their individual players stack up across the NFL in 2019?
Whether it’s discussing the Pro Bowl — Baltimore had a record-tying 13 selections — or determining postseason awards, media and fans spend much time debating where players rank at each position, but few watch every player on every team closely enough to form any real authoritative opinion.
Truthfully, how many times did you watch the Tampa Bay offensive line this season? What about the Atlanta Falcons linebackers or the Detroit Lions cornerbacks?
That’s why I respect the efforts of Pro Football Focus while acknowledging their grading is far from the gospel of evaluation. I don’t envy the exhaustive effort to evaluate players across the league when most of us watch one team or maybe one division on any kind of a regular basis.
We’ll look at each positional group on the roster in the coming days, but below is a look at where Ravens quarterbacks ranked across the NFL this past season followed by the positional outlook going into 2020:
2019 offensive snap count (including postseason): 1,068
PFF ranking: fifth among quarterbacks
Skinny: That one could very fairly question the league MVP’s PFF ranking speaks to how remarkable his improvement was in his age-22 season. You’re well aware of his many record-breaking accomplishments by now, but Jackson leading the NFL in touchdown passes despite ranking 26th in pass attempts and ranking sixth overall in rushing despite finishing 23rd in carries will stand out for many years to come.
Robert Griffin III
2019 offensive snap count (including postseason): 139
PFF ranking: n/a
Skinny: Rarely do you see a backup play so many snaps without there being an injury to the starter or a quarterback controversy, but Griffin appeared in seven games and started one. His skill set and career experiences make him a solid backup and mentor for Jackson, but his play wasn’t a strong statement to be a starter elsewhere as his PFF grade would have ranked next to last among qualified quarterbacks.
2019 offensive snap count (including postseason): 1
PFF ranking: n/a
Skinny: The sixth-round rookie from Penn State showed growth from spring workouts to the preseason where he threw four touchdowns compared to two interceptions, but he was inactive for all games but the regular-season finale, making the coming spring and summer a critical time in his development.
2020 positional outlook
Is there a better quarterback situation in the NFL when you have the reigning MVP under inexpensive team control for the next three seasons? Like virtually any other team with an elite quarterback, the Ravens would likely be in deep trouble in the event of a long-term absence for Jackson, but having two reserves with the athletic traits to be able to operate this unique run-first offense eases some concern about a shorter-term injury. While we’ll ponder all offseason whether Jackson can still hit another level in his development — a terrifying thought for the rest of the league — it will be interesting to see if McSorley will seriously challenge Griffin for the backup spot with the latter under contract and scheduled to make a $2 million base salary in 2020. That’s very reasonable for a No. 2 quarterback, but the Ravens didn’t keep McSorley on the 53-man roster for what amounted to a redshirt year if they didn’t think he could be the primary backup of the future, whether that’s for the coming season or 2021.