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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Add McCarron to Ravens' pre-draft visits

By Jamison Hensley

The Baltimore Ravens haven't downplayed the possibility of drafting a quarterback for the first time since 2011, and the growing list of quarterbacks making pre-draft visits increases the buzz of them doing so.

Alabama's AJ McCarron is the latest quarterback on his way to meet with Ravens officials. He is scheduled to visit on Wednesday, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

McCarron is projected to go in the fourth round, where the Ravens have two compensatory picks at the bottom of that round. He is a confident leader and a three-year starter with a 36-4 career record as a starter, including two national titles. His list of school records includes passing yards in a season (3,063) and career (10,019) and passing touchdowns in a career (77).

Why McCarron will last to the middle rounds is his lack of arm strength. He struggles to get velocity on passes over 20 yards. Draft analysts often compare him to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

McCarron is at least the fourth quarterback to visit the Ravens. Others include: Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo (second round), Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas (sixth or seventh rounds) and Ball State's Keith Wenning (sixth or seventh rounds).

The Ravens are looking for a quarterback for a couple of reasons. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he's been "a little disappointed" in the play of backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and the Ravens may need to look ahead because Taylor is entering the final year of his contract.

If the Ravens draft a quarterback, it's unlikely they'll use a rookie as the primary backup to Joe Flacco. The Ravens could groom a drafted quarterback this season and move him into the No. 2 spot in 2015 when Taylor is a free agent.