Joe Flacco, Elite?
Ray Rice was drafted out of Rutgers in 2008 and he has since become one of the top five running backs in all of football. Anquan Boldin was picked up after he solidified himself as one of the stronger wideouts in the game with the Arizona Cardinals while playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald on a team that went to the Super Bowl. Torrey Smith is beginning to establish himself as a legitimate deep threat on every single possession.
The one constant holding these pieces together is a quarterback who has finally come into his own: Joe Flacco. He isn't afraid of the moment, he has an incredible arm and he loves testing one-on-one coverage down the field. He utilizes his run game in order to free up receivers in his passing game. He can use his legs to track down a first down or touchdown if necessary, all while not being blessed with superior athleticism.
There has been much debate about whether or not Flacco should be considered a top quarterback in today's game, however, it's become abundantly clear that he belongs in the conversation. He makes the correct throws at the opportune moments for a team that hinges on its defense, but depends on their offense night in-night out.
Head Coach John Harbaugh has complete faith in his young quarterback and everyone around the league is beginning to catch on. Flacco is a guy you don't want to see if you're the opponent because he finds ways to win. He has become the perfect complement to their hard-nose running game and he trusts his compact back to catch the short dish on a screen and take it for five to ten yards.
A quarterback that has confidence in his line and personnel will thrive in today's league, and Flacco has the talent and the patience, making him one of the more fearsome quarterbacks in the game.