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Trent Dilfer: Drafting A QB Would Be 'Knee-Jerk Reaction' For Ravens

April 26, 2018
A popular opinion among Ravens fans and analysts is that the team needs to start thinking about life after Joe Flacco. In fact, many think the Ravens should consider selecting a quarterback during the 2018 NFL Draft -- perhaps as early as the first round.

However, there is one person in particular who does not think the team should start making plans to move on from the Super Bowl XLVII MVP. That person is the only other Ravens quarterback to have won a Super Bowl -- who the team also happened to cast aside despite his success.  

"I think that would be a knee-jerk reaction," Trent Dilfer said during a Glenn Clark Radio interview April 25. "It's not even in their top-five needs in my opinion. … I don't see it being one of their major needs."

Dilfer has been making the media rounds after launching a new content project with his former ESPN colleague John Brenkus. "Soul & Science" segments featuring the top quarterbacks in this year's draft have been airing on NFL Network. The Super Bowl XXXV winner thinks the issues facing the Ravens aren't about Flacco, but more about what's around him. 

"I think they need to find some playmakers," Dilfer said. "I think they need to find some guys who can play 'beyond the X's and O's' is a term I use. You can dial up a play, it can be really good, the best coaches, but until you have a guy that can take a 12-yard completion and turn it into a 60-yard completion, you're not going to be explosive. And I think they need to find more young players that can do that at every skill position that they have. I would not worry about Joe."

Some fans and analysts feel as though the need for playmakers could perhaps be de-emphasized by the Ravens because of their offseason acquisitions of receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead. But Dilfer doesn't believe that trio is enough. 

"I think all three of those guys are good acquisitions," Dilfer said. "But they're chain movers; they're not point scorers. And I learned a long time ago -- it was after I had left Baltimore, I had gone on to Seattle, and I really started studying football at a deeper level, and I was around [former Seattle Seahawks head coach] Mike Holmgren, who is one of the great minds ever. Sometimes you can just look at players … and there are just certain guys that are point scorers. 

"The guys the Ravens have now are good chain movers. They're going to get open; they're going to wiggle. They have some explosiveness; they're really good football players. I'm not criticizing them. But I think you need to go draft a guy that's a point scorer. A guy that can be a dominant edge wide receiver in the NFL, has versatility to move around."

Dilfer has a particular player in mind that he thinks would be a perfect fit for the Ravens. 

"I personally am a huge fan of [Alabama wide receiver] Calvin Ridley," Dilfer said. "I coached him years ago at 'The Opening' through Elite 11. Even at 17 years old, you saw some 'beep, beep' in him. He's got a special competitive nature to him. I believe he's going to be a big time [Pittsburgh Steelers] Antonio Brown-type receiver in the NFL. I think you need to groom that guy, and I think you need to make him the centerpiece of your passing game."

With that said, Dilfer isn't completely opposed to the idea of the Ravens selecting a quarterback at some point during the draft -- just not with an early-round pick.

"There are some guys in the late rounds," Dilfer said. "If [Washington State quarterback] Luke Falk is there in the third -- I would jump all over him. I don't think he'll be there in the third, but I would jump all over him. This is a kid that I think could be a Joe Flacco -- if he gets behind the right guy, [he] can be your prototypical drop back quarterback and really have a successful NFL career. 

"But I don't think you reach in the first for [Louisville quarterback] Lamar Jackson or if [Oklahoma quarterback] Baker [Mayfield] slides, or [Oklahoma State quarterback Mason] Rudolph -- I just don't think that's a worthy use of a first-round pick for the Ravens."

For more from Dilfer, listen to the full interview here: