Latest Ravens News: Baltimore Ravens Final Stage Talk To Sign No. 8 Pick QB

Ravens Want Josh Johnson to “Upgrade” With Former No. 8 Pick at QB
Lamar Jackson will continue to start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, but by acquiring previous eighth-overall pick Ryan Tannehill in 2024 NFL free agency, the team could improve Josh Johnson, Josh Johnson’s backup.

Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic is the one who proposed the notion. Zrebiec acknowledged that Ravens “officials have stated on numerous occasions that they rank Josh Johnson second only to Lamar Jackson.” Devin Leary, a sixth-round rookie, projects to be the No. 3. Still, it’s difficult to deny that Tannehill would be a better choice than the Ravens’ backup quarterbacks.

Being “a former Pro Bowl selection who has thrown for nearly 35,000 yards in his career, succeeded in a run-first offense, and won playoff games,” Tannehill’s resume is a clear improvement above that of journeyman Johnson.

The fact that Tannehill is accustomed to All-Pro running back Derrick Henry from their time together with the Tennessee Titans is another benefit of signing him. Although Tannehill would gain from that experience, there are other noteworthy advantages to placing him below Jackson in the depth chart.

Tannehill Ryan Suits the Ravens’ Attack
Jackson is in charge of a Baltimore offense that still relies heavily on play-action throwing and a running game built on force. Tannehill is a wonderful fit for this plan.

Tannehill, a former wide receiver who excelled as a quarterback at Texas A&M, has always shown natural dual-threat ability. While not as good as Jackson when it comes to the run, Tannehill has averaged 4.8 yards per rush in his professional career.

Tannehill’s ability to run has made him a prolific player while not in play. When the Titans played the Los Angeles Chargers the previous season, he demonstrated his ability by “completing 7 of 9 passes for 168 yards,” according to Next Gen Stats.

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Pro Football Reference reports that in 2023, play action was a regular occurrence for the Ravens, with Jackson accumulating 525 yards from 58 attempts. Last season, Jackson ran 115 RPOs as well.

With Henry joining the team, the play action and RPO games should continue to be crucial for the Ravens. Defenses still fear the 30-year-old power back, a trait Tannehill frequently utilized with the Titans, most notably in 2021 when he had a 53 percent play-action rate, according to Next Gen Stats.
The Ravens learned the hard way in the postseason following the 2019 campaign just how successful the Tanehill and Henry combination can be. Jackson’s first NFL MVP campaign came to an abrupt end at M&T Bank Stadium as Tannehill led the team to a 28-12 victory in the Divisional Round.

Perhaps the painful recollection of that loss acts as the ideal opportunity for Tannehill to join the Ravens as a more experienced quarterback number two. Or maybe head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta will continue to support Johnson in this crucial position.

Josh Johnson’s Background Is Still Beneficial
Johnson is one of the most traveled passers in the pros. The 37-year-old has played for seven different clubs, such as the 49ers, Browns, and Tampa Bay Bucs.

Although he has only made nine starts, the 6-foot-3, 214-pound quarterback is another agile quarterback who can outscore opponents both on the ground and through the air. In the previous preseason game against the Washington Commanders, Johnson showed off his arm talent by throwing a touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace.
Beyond Johnson, the Ravens would have to consider internal growth initiatives. Unproven signal-callers have the potential to project as wide receivers, such as former New England Patriots undrafted free agent Malik Cunningham.

Given the uncertainty surrounding pass-catchers like Cunningham and rookie Emory Jones, Jackson’s primary backup will probably be Johnson or another seasoned signal-caller still available. The Ravens won’t find a better alternative than Tannehill if the latter is the case.

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