Ravens Draft Penn State QB Trace McSorley to Compete as Lamar Jackson's BackupApril 27, 2019
Trace McSorley bet on himself by refusing to work out at positions other than quarterback.
That gamble paid off Saturday, as the Baltimore Ravens selected him with the No. 197 selection during the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft.
The 23-year-old was a three-year starter, resetting the Penn State Nittany Lions' record book. He owns the school record for passing yards and passing touchdowns while setting numerous single-season and single-game marks.
Penn State won at least nine games in each of McSorley's three seasons as a starter and played in two New Year's Six bowls. He was the MVP of the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game and 2017 Fiesta Bowl.
Penn State head coach James Franklin told reporters ahead of McSorley's final game:
"Trace McSorley is what you want in all of your players. You love him because he is the same guy every single day. The guy has not had a bad day in five years. ... He is going to be a great teammate, always a class act, unbelievable with the community, compete like hell on Saturday, and he's going to prepare like nobody else. I think he is a great model for all of our young players and I think he is a great model for college football in general, just about how you go about your business."
While few questioned McSorley's leadership qualities, his ability to be an NFL quarterback is open to debate. His completion percentage dropped from 66.5 in 2017 to 53.2 in 2018, and he is both risky with the ball and lacks downfield accuracy.
There are some concerns about his size at 6'1" and 205 pounds, but with Kyler Murray coming off the board at No. 1 overall, the tepid reviews of McSorley as a quarterback come down almost entirely to his lack of accuracy.
NFL teams asked him to compete with defensive backs at the combine, but he declined. It's unclear if he'll wind up playing at a different position in the NFL.
His 4.57-second 40-yard dash was the best among quarterbacks at the combine and would have ranked in the middle of the pack among defensive backs and receivers.
Players such as Julian Edelman have transitioned from quarterback to successful careers at other positions, but McSorley has been committed to playing quarterback for now.
If Baltimore sees him as an Edelman type, this could be a good gamble.