Chat with Jamison Hensley
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN NFL Nation Baltimore Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley stops by to chat and answer all of your Ravens questions.
Hensley joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun for 11 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son.
Send your questions now and join Hensley Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:00 PM)
Thanks to everyone for stopping by for today's chat. Let's see what everyone wants to talk about ...
Ruskin (Detroit Lakes)
Even if we re-sign Pitta, I think that Eric Ebron is as close to a must-pick as there is, for us. He would give the Ravens the chain-mover that they lack, plus create an invaluable mismatch receiver for Flacco, whose value is increased even more if Pitta is full-strength. What do you think?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:02 PM)
That's exactly what I said in my NFL Nation Buzz video (http://espn.go.com/blog/baltimore-ravens/post/_/id/6886/nfl-nation-buzz-baltimore-ravens-16). Yes, we're starting off with a shameless plug. The Ravens are extremely thin at TE with everyone at that position becoming free agents. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak likes using two tight ends a lot. So, it's in the Ravens' best interest to retain Pitta and add a young tight end like Eric Ebron from North Carolina.
Eric Ebron has been mocked to the Ravens, however isn't it an issue that he's dropped catchable passes?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:05 PM)
I'm not going to say I've watched every game that Ebron has played in. From what I saw, he makes tough catches and looks like an NFL tight end when he's playing. Of course, drops are always a concern. The Ravens don't want to go from one tight end who couldn't hold onto the ball (Ed Dickson) to another. But, from everything draft analysts say, Ebron has the chance to be a special tight end in this league.
I saw your latest video on how Eric Ebron is a great option for the Ravens with the 17th pick. However, I feel that after his great combine, he might be taken earlier. Which tight end prospect would you take if Ebron was off the board? Do you know how the Ravens feel about Texas Tech Tight end Jace Amaro?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:08 PM)
First, thanks for watching the video. Second, I agree that Ebron's showing at the combine may entice a team in the top 15 to take him. The Ravens have the No. 17 overall pick. Amaro has been rated as a first-round talent, but he didn't have a great combine. He had some drops in the pass-catching drills, and his hands are the smallest (9 inches) at his position among tight ends at the combine.
Kevin Baltimore [via mobile]
If let go do you think Brandon Prettigrew would be a good fit for the ravens?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:12 PM)
The Ravens liked Pettigrew in the 2009 draft. He was taken 20th overall, three picks ahead of when the Ravens selected offensive tackle Michael Oher. Pettigrew has been a disappointment as a first-round pick, but he isn't a bad tight end. His ability to catch and block is a rare commodity with tight ends these days. If the Ravens use a good chunk of their cap on Dennis Pitta, I'm not sure they're going to spend a lot on another tight end in free agency.
Ed (Queens Village)
Do Ravens have a huge following or regional following when on the road?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:16 PM)
The Ravens surprisingly have a strong fan following on the road for such a condensed market. What I mean is the Steelers have a strong presence in western Maryland, the Eagles have fans in northeast Maryland and the Redskins own southern Maryland. But Ravens fans have taken over games at Miami and Carolina in recent years. It's a loyal fan base that travels well.
Hey Jamison, who do you think will have the biggest impact this upcoming season, Juszczyk, Wagner, Mellette or B. Williams?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:17 PM)
I would say FB Kyle Juszczyk on offense because the Ravens will use him as an H-back this year. On defense, nose tackle Brandon Williams will see increased playing time because I don't see the Ravens re-signing Terrence Cody. He'll take Cody's snaps.
Do you see the Ravens wrapping up Pitta, Monroe and Smith before free agency starts? Or as Ravens fans should we be worried one or more of these guys wont be back?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
This is how I see it playing out: Dennis Pitta gets the franchise tag, Daryl Smith gets re-signed before free agency begins March 11 and Eugene Monroe tests the market.
Kareem Baltimore [via mobile]
Is there any scenario where the ravens could get Jarius Bryd?(if he not tagged)
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:22 PM)
No argument from me that Byrd is the best free safety available. As you pointed out, there's no guarantee that he'll be available because the Bills may tag him again. If he does hit the market, Byrd will command a lot of money. I wouldn't rule out the Ravens because of the increased cap. I would be surprised if the Ravens did spend that money because their focus needs to be on significantly improving the offensive side of the ball.
If the Ravens pick up a WR or TE in the draft, do you see them becoming more of a shotgun passing team in light of Ray Rice's recent arrest?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
Becoming a shotgun team seemed like the direction this offense was heading in, based on last season. But I believe the Ravens want to be more multiple in their personnel groupings. On one play, you will see Flacco line up in the shotgun with three or four receivers split out. On another, you may see Flacco line up under center in a two tight end formation. What I don't expect to see is the traditional I-formation. That's why I expect Vonta Leach to be a cap casualty.
as a S/FS whos better suited for us... HA HA or PRYOR?.. and are we seriously going to let DIG move on? that wont sit right with alot of fans
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:28 PM)
After using a first-round pick on Matt Elam, it's hard for me to believe the Ravens will draft another safety in the first three rounds in 2014. I expect the Ravens to add a free safety in free agency, but not break the bank on someone line Byrd. James Ihedigbo did an admirable job for the Ravens last season. He was among the biggest surprises. But the Ravens need a safety who can cover ground in coverage. That's not a strength of Ihedigbo.
Bigger priority? Monroe or Pitta?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:29 PM)
Pitta, no question. He's Flacco's security blanket. You saw how the Ravens offense struggled on third downs and in the red zone last year without a healthy Pitta.
Spencer, Baltimore [via mobile]
Chances ravens go after one of two top FS in draft in the first round
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:30 PM)
Ravens have to go offense in the first round. I would be shocked if the Ravens picked someone other than a wide receiver, tight end or offensive tackle.
DontoverpayMonroe (Bodymore )
Will the ravens put the franchise tag on Eugene monroe?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
The tag is $11 million for offensive tackles. That's too much to spend on Eugene Monroe. He's a quality left tackle, but he isn't Jonathan Ogden.
Andrew (Columbus, OH)
Torrey Smith, any chance we look into locking him up sooner, rather than later?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:33 PM)
I know the Suggs extension happened this month, but the Ravens needed to do that to free up cap room. But most extensions, especially for players getting their first big deal, typically happen after the draft and before the season begins.
Who could you see the Ravens signing to fill in the gap at center?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
The Ravens need to go after Alex Mack from Cleveland. He would solve a lot of problems in the middle.
Charlie( Baltimore) [via mobile]
Jamison, do you think that the Ravens will trade up to get the wide receiver they need ?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:36 PM)
Ravens have only four picks right now. They will get compensatory picks, but they can't trade those. For that reason, the Ravens won't give up picks to move up because every pick is valuable in this draft. There's a better chance of the Ravens moving back to get more picks.
Wayne from Baltimore [via mobile]
How many compensatory picks do you see the Ravens receiving and in which rounds? Thank you.
Buzzmaster (2:46 PM)
Hey everyone, we had some technical problems with Jamison's chat and we're wrapping up for the day. We'll be back next week. Thanks!