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Quarterback Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens

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Joe Flacco

Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens goes into his passing motion during their NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on December 20, 2008 in Irving, Texas. The Ravens defeated the Cowboys 33-24.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
With the 18th pick in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco to be their quarterback of the future. I'm not sure, however, that anyone envisioned him starting from day one, as he has. His maturity and ability to grasp the offense, though, has made his transition to the NFL relatively smooth.

There have been some growing pains along the way, of course. But he has already proven capable of directing the Ravens run-heavy offense, and has shown the ability to burn defenses that don't respect the team's passing attack.

Now that he has been handed another proven offensive weapon in wide receiver Anquan Boldin, Flacco has all the pieces around him to take the next step toward franchise quarterback.

In 2009, Flacco threw for 3,613 yards and 21 touchdowns, completing 63% of his throws and posting a respectable passer rating of 88.9.

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