Ravens Met With Draft QB Who Can Play WR

D'Eriq King

Getty The Ravens met with a draft QB who can also play WR.

Finding a quarterback isn’t necessarily near the top of the Baltimore Ravens’ list of priorities headed into the 2022 NFL draft. Yet, the ongoing uncertainty regarding Lamar Jackson’s long-term future means the Ravens would be wise to at least run the rule over a prospect or two.

The process has already begun, with the team meeting with one of the more intriguing members of this year’s rookie class. He’s a raw but versatile athlete who has spent time at both quarterback and wide receiver.

His exploits at the former position may be of greater interest to the Ravens, who have been advised by a former NFL general manager to draft some insurance in case Jackson doesn’t extend his contract.

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Ravens Met With Hurricanes’ Star

University of Miami QB D’Eriq King sat down for a Zoom meeting with the Ravens recently, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. Wilson also noted how King “worked out privately for New England Patriots assistant coach Joe Judge,” and “is scheduled for the Texans’ local prospect day on April 8.”

In addition to those commitments, King “talked extensively with the Denver Broncos following the Miami Pro Day.” While he’s drawing attention from a growing queue of suitors, what’s more interesting is how those teams view King’s hybrid talents.

Wilson said the 24-year-old “is drawing increased interest from NFL teams with an emphasis on his quarterback skills.” Yet, those same teams are “also intrigued by his versatility as a slot receiver and as a red-zone threat.”

King didn’t play much football in 2021, thanks to knee and shoulder injuries, but he’d been highly productive before then for both Houston and Miami. It was at Houston where he spent most of his time at wide receiver, catching 29 passes in both the 2016 and ’17 seasons, according to Sports Reference.

While he hasn’t played wideout for a while, King told WVUM Sports broadcaster Cal Friedman he feels “better about it” now. King also offered a reminder about his experience as a receiver by running a few routes at his pro day, highlighted by David Wilson of the Miami Herald:

King transferred to Miami in 2020 and continued to play both quarterback and wide receiver. His numbers that year included 2686 yards passing and a 23 to five touchdown to interception ratio. King also rushed for 538 yards.

His mobility led to some spectacular plays, like this one from September 2020, relayed by Pro Football Focus’ Austin Gayle:

King could also be prolific through the air, the way he was against North Carolina State in November that year, per SportsCenter:

Kings’ triple-threat skills should appeal to any team looking for more big plays in both phases of their offense. Splash plays are something the Ravens need more of, and King’s passing and rushing double act would mean there’d be little change to offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system if he had to step in for Jackson.

Roman also needs receivers who can stretch the field. Rashod Bateman and Marquise Brown are currently the leading names on a depth chart that does little to inspire confidence.

The Ravens have room for fresh options at both positions, but a quarterback for the future may be the more pressing need.

Ravens Need Options at QB

Jackson’s contract situation means the Ravens would be wise to at least consider their options at football’s most important position. The face of the franchise is about to play on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal before either extending his contract, playing on the franchise tag or opting for free agency a year from now.

One option for Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta would be to draft a potential successor this month, just in case a deal can’t be struck with Jackson. Heavy’s front office insider Randy Mueller thinks taking Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe outside the first round would give the Ravens some cover.

King and Zappe look like day two or even day three picks, but neither is lacking the raw tools to develop into something more at the pro level. Zappe established a niche for moving the sticks during his time with the Hilltoppers, per PFF Draft:

The Ravens may not even wait for the draft to add to their quarterback room. A separate report from Wilson detailed how a work out took place for Josh Dobbs, who has been a roster body for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

De Costa ought to continue exploring ways for the Ravens to add alternatives to Jackson in case they’re needed. A prospect like King would be a low-risk, mid-round flier worth taking.