Tyler Huntley has dazzled this preseason, leading onlookers to wonder if he's miscast as a second-string quarterback.
In two exhibition games, the 24-year-old has gone 29-of-32 for 238 passing yards and two touchdowns. Though he's certainly not competing with Lamar Jackson for the starting job, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh proclaimed that Huntley is a starting-caliber quarterback.
“I definitely believe that," Harbaugh told reporters Thursday (h/t Pro Football Talk). There’s no question in my mind about that. I’m glad we have him. We’re very, very blessed to have him as one of our players, one of our quarterbacks, and our backup quarterback.”
The Ravens won just one of Huntley's four starts --he also played most of a Week 13 loss -- last season, but the 2020 undrafted free agent held his own with a 64.9 percent completion rate. He also ran for 294 yards and two touchdowns during the season.
Despite Harbaugh's endorsement, he won't want to see Huntley back in Baltimore's starting role this season. At 8-4, the Ravens looked poised for a playoff berth before Jackson sprained his ankle early in Week 13.
They lost the final five games, cementing their second losing season since Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2008.
With Huntley set to make $895,000 this season, the Ravens will likely be happy to keep him as a backup, especially if Jackson begins his contract year without a new deal. However, Huntley could land a considerable raise as a restricted free agent next offseason.
If other teams share Harbaugh's assessment, Huntley could land a starting job in 2023.