In 1996, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell decided to move the team to Baltimore and become the Ravens. The team has found a lot of success so far with 10 playoff appearances since the 2000 season and a pair of Super Bowl victories to go along with it. Baltimore has been established as one of the most stabled franchises in the NFL, even though they are only 20 years old.
The Ravens do not use their stats from when they were the Cleveland Browns, instead opting to start over the record book from scratch. In those 20 years, the Ravens have had a total of 19 starting quarterbacks. Though you would think a team with the success that the Ravens have had would mean that they have fewer quarterbacks and more with personal success, it has proven to be a team effort.
If you were to rank all 19 of the Ravens starting quarterbacks, it’s pretty obvious who you would rank as number one. But what about the other 18? After all, not many of them played for more than just a handful of games. We decided to go ahead and rank them, but not on their career accomplishments, instead focusing on what they have done while a Raven. Here is the ranking for all 19 starting quarterbacks in the 20 year history of the Baltimore Ravens.
19 19. Scott Mitchell
Scott Mitchell was drafted out of Utah in the fourth round in 1990 by Miami, but had his best years with the Detroit Lions when he was there from 1994 to 1998. The Ravens would trade their 1999 third round selection and 2000 fifth round pick to the Lions to obtain Mitchell, who we have deemed as the worst starting quarterback in Ravens history (so far). Mitchell appeared in just two games (both of them starts) and he finished with a record of 0-2.
18 18. Jimmy Clausen
At one point, Jimmy Clausen was considered to be the greatest high school quarterback of his generation and had a lot of ballyhoo surrounding him when he enrolled at Notre Dame. Clausen had a fine career in South Bend, but his NFL career has been nothing short of a disappointment. The Panthers drafted “Pickles” in the second round in 2010 before replacing him with Cam Newton.
17 17. Stoney Case
You would think that a guy with a name like Stoney Case would be more memorable, but a lot of NFL fans probably don’t remember him at all. Case was a third round pick by the Cardinals in 1995, where he spent four seasons. Case would appear in just five games for Arizona with one start, not throwing a single touchdown to go along with three interceptions.
16 16. Chris Redman
Chris Redman is the first quarterback on our list to actually be drafted by the Ravens, but he doesn’t even crack the top 15 in terms of franchise players at the position. Redman was one of the famous six quarterbacks drafted before Tom Brady and he spent four seasons with Baltimore. Redman would see playing time in each of those years, appearing in 11 games but only starting in six.
15 15. Matt Schaub
After starting his career with the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Schaub showed a lot of flashes of talent with the Houston Texans from 2007 to 2013. After all, Schaub was a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback that ended up leading the league in passing yards during the 2009 season. Then, it seemed that Schaub suddenly fell off of a cliff in terms of production and he was dumped by Houston.
14 14. Ryan Mallett
Now we meet one of the only two quarterbacks on the list that are currently on the Ravens roster and it’s obvious which one of the two is lower on the list. Ryan Mallett seemingly had all of the talent in the world coming out of high school and would attend both Michigan and Arkansas before backing up Tom Brady after the 2011 NFL Draft. Mallett then went to Houston to become a starter, before flaming out and signing as the Ravens backup in 2015.
13 13. Troy Smith
One of the two Heisman winning quarterbacks to start a game for the Ravens, Troy Smith was an electrifying player at Ohio State that was never really thought to be an NFL-level quarterback talent. The Ravens drafted Smith in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft so that he could be a project quarterback. However, Smith would end up starting in two games during his first season and made 14 total appearances in his three seasons with Baltimore.
12 13. Randall Cunningham
Randall Cunningham is one of those quarterbacks on the list that has had a very fine career, but not with the Baltimore Ravens. Cunningham played his first decade in the league with the Philadelphia Eagles before tearing off defenses as a member of the Vikings from 1997 to 1999. Cunningham then joined the Cowboys for a year before playing his final season in the league with the Ravens.
11 11. Eric Zeier
Though he was a standout quarterback at Georgia that was an All-American in his senior year, Eric Zeier wasn’t drafted until the third round in 1995 and sent to the Cleveland Browns. Zeier spent just one season with Cleveland and was not impressive at all with four touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Browns then moved to Baltimore where Zeier would remain with the roster and reset his franchise stats.
10 10. Jim Harbaugh
Known as being a great head coach right now and having his brother John be the current coach of the Baltimore Ravens, Jim Harbaugh was once a Ravens quarterback himself. Harbaugh was a former Bear and Colt that was traded to Baltimore in exchange for a third and fourth round draft pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Harbaugh started 12 games in his one season with Baltimore, finishing with a 5-7 record. He would also throw for 1,839 yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
9 9. Jeff Blake
You don’t see too many good journeyman quarterbacks these days, but Jeff Blake was certainly one of them. The former East Carolina Pirate was a late round pick in 1992 by the Jets, where he would not get a single start. Blake found some success in Cincinnati, though, starting in 66 career games. After spending two seasons with New Orleans in 2000 and 2002, Blake made his way to Baltimore.
8 8. Anthony Wright
Not many people remember Anthony Wright unless they were really paying attention to football in the early 2000s. Wright went undrafted in 1999, but was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He wouldn’t see the field, but he would get some chances with the Cowboys over the next two seasons. The Ravens would end up signing Wright before the 2002 season, but he didn’t play a snap until the next year.
7 7. Elvis Grbac
The second best name on our list behind Stoney Case, Elvis Grbac was given a few chances to start while with San Francisco before being acquired by Kansas City. It was with the Chiefs that Grbac had his best years, even making the Pro Bowl in 2000 thanks to more than 4,000 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. Grbac signed as a free agent with Baltimore after Trent Dilfer left, and he only played one season with the Ravens.
6 6. Kyle Boller
Kyle Boller took a lot of heat as the Ravens quarterback, which is a testament to how few good quarterbacks the franchise has had, as he makes the list at number six. Boller is among many first round picks on the list, but one of just two that was selected by Baltimore. Boller was the 19th pick out of Cal in 2003 and he would end up playing in each of his five seasons on the squad.
5 5. Trent Dilfer
If you ask people who the worst starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl was, a lot of them would probably say Trent Dilfer. Dilfer was a first rounder out of Fresno State by Tampa Bay, but his time there was not met with great praise. Dilfer would sign with the Ravens before the 2000 season and was initially slated to be the backup for the number four quarterback on our list. Dilfer would replace him after poor play, and he finished the regular season with a 7-1 record, compiling 1,502 yards with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
4 4. Tony Banks
There were times where it looked like Tony Banks could have been the next great NFL quarterback, then there were times where you wondered how he ever got drafted in the first place. The Rams selected Tony Banks in the second round back in 1996 out of Michigan State, where he would start 43 games with just a 14-29 record. Banks had his best moments with the Ravens, though, signing before the 1999 season.
3 3. Steve McNair
Although some people might argue that Steve McNair is the best quarterback overall on our list, he is only the third best quarterback as a Raven. McNair spent his first 11 seasons with the Oilers/Titans, where he would lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance, a 76-55 record and three Pro Bowl appearances. The Ravens signed the 33 year old McNair before the 2006 season, where he would spend two years.
2 2. Vinny Testaverde
Playing 21 seasons in the NFL is beyond impressive, even if former first overall pick Vinny Testaverde was never really the best quarterback in the league at any point in his career. Testaverde famously had several stops in the NFL and he was with Tampa Bay before joining Cleveland for the 1993 season. Testaverde was still on the roster when the team moved to Baltimore in 1996, so we use his statline for his time as a Raven.
1 1. Joe Flacco
That’s right, not even Joe Flacco has been named to a Pro Bowl, but he has established himself as far and away the best quarterback in Baltimore Ravens history. Flacco was the 18th overall pick out of Delaware in 2008 and still remains as the quarterback of the team. Flacco has won a Super Bowl already with Baltimore and carries a 10-5 record in the postseason with 25 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions, as one of the true clutch QBs in the NFL today.
Flacco’s regular season numbers aren’t half bad, either, as he has established a 78-48 record as a starter, finishing under .500 just once (2015). Flacco has 166 touchdowns and 106 interceptions through week four of the 2016 NFL season and 29,394 passing yards behind it. Those numbers are tops for the Ravens franchise and Flacco has also entered the top 50 in all-time passing yards.
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