Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley, who was inactive for all but one game as a rookie in 2019, says that although he’s open to contributing however possible to help out the Ravens in the near term, his long-term goal is to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
McSorley, who was drafted out of Penn State in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, sat behind Lamar Jackson and primary backup Robert Griffin III in 2019. McSorley was active for the Ravens’ regular-season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, rushing one time for a yard. McSorley completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 533 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions during the preseason.
With Jackson and Griffin ahead of him on the depth chart, playing time again figures to be tough to come by for McSorley in 2020. What would he think about being used outside of the role of a typical quarterback, much like Taysom Hill with the New Orleans Saints?
“You always want to be able to contribute to the team’s success in whatever way possible. You were able to see some of the things we did with RGII this year, kind of getting him and Lamar on the field at the same time,” McSorley said on Glenn Clark Radio April 3. “I think that’s one of the great things about our coaches and the offense that we run is we want to get our best athletes on the field. We want to try to do as much as we can to put the defense on their heels and make them have to try to make certain checks or something like that. Those are some of the things that we as a team and our coaching staff want to do.”
But McSorley pointed out that he is, in fact, a quarterback, as his sterling career in State College, Pa., would indicate. He went 31-9 as the starting quarterback at Penn State from 2016-2018, finishing his career as the leading passer in Nittany Lions history (9,899 yards, 77 touchdowns). He also ran for 1,697 yards and 30 scores.
Though Jackson is entrenched as the long-term starter in Baltimore, McSorley’s potential path to a starting job in the NFL may have already been carved out by a former Raven. Tyrod Taylor, the second-leading passer in Virginia Tech history, was drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. He was Joe Flacco’s backup for four years, playing in a total of 14 games, before starting for the Buffalo Bills from 2015-2017. He’s currently set to start for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020.
Though he’s open to doing whatever the Ravens ask of him, McSorley still has a long-term goal in mind.
“The ultimate thing that I try to keep, No. 1, is I’m a quarterback. That’s kind of where I’m going to be at in the long run, wherever it is,” McSorley said. “Obviously the end [goal] for any backup is to be the starter at your position. So that’s kind of the end goal. But it’s a fine line. You don’t want to end up being one of those jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none kind of guys. You always want to have that, ‘You’re a quarterback, but you can also do some other things.’ It is a little bit of a fine line.”
Two other second-year players looking to carve out successful careers in the NFL are receivers Marquise Brown, drafted in the first round out of Oklahoma, and Miles Boykin, drafted in the third round out of Notre Dame. Brown caught 46 passes for 584 yards and seven touchdowns despite being limited throughout the season with a Lisfranc injury suffered in college, while Boykin caught 13 passes for 198 yards and three scores.
Brown had postseason surgery to remove a screw in his foot, which should put any difficulties with his foot in the rearview. McSorley is thinking big things for Brown and Boykin.
“Hollywood’s finally had the opportunity to get healthy and [not] worry about his foot anymore that he was worrying about for most of last year,” McSorley said. “So I think just from that standpoint, it’ll be a huge deal for him. Now he can play and not have to worry about being on essentially one foot.
“Both of them, they came in and you had your first year. You’re worrying about dealing with learning the playbook and everything that comes with being a rookie and the long season and everything like that. I think for both of them, just being able to understand what comes with the NFL, what an NFL season is like, how DBs play you, those kinds of things, they’ll be able to take that and now just add to it and keep progressing.”
What makes Lamar Jackson such a great leader? How would Penn State receiver KJ Hamler fit on the Ravens? To hear about that and more from McSorley, listen to the full interview here:
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