Name: Joe Flacco
Weight: 245 pounds
NFL status: Quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens
High School: Flacco was hardly a celebrated athlete in his schoolboy days. He was an all-around athlete and starting quarterback for Audubon High School in Audubon, N.J., but was listed at only No. 39 among quarterback prospects by Rivals.com in 2003.
College: Nor was his college career particularly noteworthy. At Pitt, he was a redshirt freshman, then in his sophomore year saw limited action in only three games.
He transferred to much smaller Delaware, and found his niche, though gradually. He started in 2006 and despite a 5-6 record, Flacco threw for 2,783 yards and 18 touchdowns, but he also threw 10 interceptions.
He led the Fighting Blue hens to an 8-3 record the following year and vastly improved his accuracy, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 23 touchdowns, while lowering his interceptions to five.
Flacco led Delaware deep in the FCS playoffs, eventually losing in the championship game to Appalachian State. Flacco left 20 records behind at Delaware.
Being from tiny Delaware, Flacco had to impress NFL scouts if he wanted a shot at the pros, and he did, despite playing poorly at the Senior Bowl. His size and arm strength led several teams to visit the Delaware campus to watch him work out.
At the NFL combine, he continued to impress NFL talent judgers, particularly with his sizzling right arm and surprising mobility for his size, and his stock soared. For example, he won an ESPN-sponsored long distance throw contest with a 74-yard heave.
Pros: The Ravens drafted Flacco at No. 18 in the first round in 2008, making him the first Division 1 FCS player drafted in the first round since Steve McNair from Alcorn State was picked No. three by Houston in 1995.
Flacco became the Ravens' starting quarterback as a rookie, but only because of an injury an illness to the two quarterbacks above him on the depth chart. He had varying successes and failures his rookie season, throwing for 2,971 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He did, however, win two playoff games with Baltimore, the first rookie to do so.
He continued to slowly improve with the Ravens, and with his customary "under the radar" way. USA Today named him to its "All Joe" team, honoring those who play well with relatively little lack of notice.
By the Numbers:
Flacco has been the starting quarterback for the Ravens since that first rookie start, never missing a game. After the 2008 season, he has never thrown for less than 20 touchdowns, his high being 25 in 2010, and he's passed for well over 3,000 yards ever since.
In 2012, he threw for 3,817 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passer rating of 87.7 placed him 12th in the league, and he was only rarely mentioned as one of the NFL's "elite" quarterbacks.
In the 2013 Super Bowl, Flacco had one of the best games of any quarterback who ever played in a Super Bowl. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
He was named Most Valuable Player for his performance, which propelled the Ravens to a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore's second Lombardi Trophy.
The future for Joe Flacco could hardly be brighter. Coming off a season where he guided the Ravens through the playoffs and won MVP honors in their Super Bowl victory, Flacco is looking at a possible record contract as a free agent.
His agent has said publicly he should be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, possibly surpassing Peyton Manning's five-year, $96 million deal. Flacco has his critics, but in any event Baltimore's front office has said they are confident they will retain Flacco on the team.
The team has until March 4 to decide whether or not to make Flacco a franchise player and prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.