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)
Hi everyone. Glad you stopped by for the chat. Let's get to some questions ...
Rich (New Jersey)
Hi Jamison - With the signing of inside linebacker Daryl Smith in the off season, will Baltimore draft or go the free agency route for another inside linebacker or two or are they comfortable with their linebacker situation ?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:03 PM)
Ravens coach John Harbaugh is on record saying the team wants to improve its depth at inside linebacker. This could mean Rolando McClain or drafting someone. The Ravens will start Daryl Smith and Arthur Brown. Behind them on the depth chart are Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan. Both have starting experience but the Ravens are looking to upgrade.
Greg(MD) [via mobile]
There are mock drafts that have the Ravens taking Hageman. Doesnt this seem redundant seeing as the Raven are loaded at DT?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:04 PM)
I wouldn't say the Ravens are loaded at defensive tackle. The Ravens lost Arthur Jones and only signed Terrence Cody in free agency. I don't see the Ravens taking a defensive tackle in the first round because there are more pressing needs. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens add a defensive lineman at some point in the draft.
Jamison, now that the Ravens have improved the offense and addded some low costing players, is there a chance we trade up in the draft at all for someone like Evans, Lewan or Clinton-Dix? Those are the three players that are very high on our board and each would fill an immediate need, your thoughts?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:07 PM)
Not much of a chance of the Ravens trading up. They only have four picks that they can trade. Comp picks can't be traded. The Ravens have too many needs to give up picks in the second and third rounds to move up for one player. The Ravens will either stay put at No. 17 or trade down.
Tyler (Ellicott City) [via mobile]
What do you think the odds are of Rolando McClain un-retiring and joining the Ravens?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:10 PM)
It sure sounds like McClain wants to come back. The question is whether the feeling is mutual. Harbaugh said at the owners meetings that McClain has to convince the Ravens that he has matured and has a passion for the game. What helps McClain is the Alabama connection with GM Ozzie Newsome. Even if McClain comes back, there is no guarantee that he makes the Ravens.
Duane (Baltimore, MD)
Opening Day who do you see at FS beside Matt Elam, whether it is someone from the draft, a current FA, a person currently on the roster, or a person you see as a future cap-casualty?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:11 PM)
It will either be a draft pick or Darian Stewart. That rookie could be someone like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (first round) or Jimmie Ward (second round).
Hey Jamison, tell me what you think about this mock draft?Round 1: Clinton-Dix FSRound 2: A. Richardson OTRound 3: Landry WRRound 3: Purifoy CBRound 4: McCullers NT/DTRound 4: CJ Fiedorowicz TERound 5: Wilder Jr. RBRound 6: Colvin CB
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:13 PM)
Those picks make a lot of sense. You hit a lot of needs for Ravens. One thing I would change is the third round. My gut feeling says Ravens will take a running back with one of their two third rounders. The Ravens will probably take a flier on a quarterback as well. Overall, this is a good job.
george baltimore [via mobile]
Do you think the league will suspend ray rice an if so do you think we will be able to make up for his production on the field?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:14 PM)
It's a very good chance that Ray Rice will get suspended by the NFL. He doesn't have to be convicted to be disciplined under personal conduct policy. As far as production, I'm not sure if Rice has much left. We'll definitely find out this year whether that's accurate.
Mike (Catonsville) [via mobile]
Hey Jamison I hope you are doing well; what are the possibilities of ravens taking OL in 1st round like zack Martin then going for safety Jimmie ward in the second or do you think there are other needs in the first that you see. Thanks!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:16 PM)
Martin and Ward are Mel Kiper's two picks for the Ravens. In terms of need, here are the Ravens' top five: OL, FS, RB, CB and WR.
Zach (St. Kitts)
I hear a lot about biggest need and are the ravens going OT/G or FS in the first but I would like to ask if we can take the division with what the ravens have?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
Right now, the Ravens still trail the Bengals. Some may say the Steelers are better than the Ravens after their free-agent moves. But I see the Ravens as the division's second-best team heading into the draft.
Do you own any NFL jerseys? if so what players , if not why?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:19 PM)
Only jersey I own is a Montreal Canadiens one. I'm not a fan of any team. After covering the NFL for this long, you root more for good games than actual winners and losers.
what do you think of the ravens drafting kelvin Benjamin as a project wide receiver that will be able to come in later when he is ready.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:21 PM)
Taking Benjamin at No. 17 is too high because he needs some development. Talent-wise, he has the potential to be a No. 1 WR in the league. If the Ravens want Benjamin, they should trade back to get him. He has better value at the bottom of the first round, not in the middle of it.
J Shaw (Lisbon, MD)
Back when the held the coin flip to determine draft order between the Cowboys and Ravens, Ozzie said that the draft order alternated after the first round. Looking at the NFL.COM draft order, they've got Dallas in front of Balt in every round. Does the order alternate or not? Thanks!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:25 PM)
Good question. There are six teams that finished 8-8. This is where they alternate every round. So, Bears pick first among the 8-8 teams based on strength of schedule. In the second round, the Bears pick last among the 8-8 teams and the rest of them move up one spot. The Ravens pick first among the 8-8 teams in the fourth round. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they traded that pick to the Jaguars for Eugene Monroe. Hope that clarifies.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Could you see a scenario where Bernard Pierce is the starter all season? From Ray Rice being suspended for the start of the season or Pierce being younger and fitting a zone-blocking scheme better, or a combo of both?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:27 PM)
Pierce's stock dropped a lot last season. He can't stay healthy and he didn't show great instincts in hitting the right hole (yes, when there was an opening). This is why the Ravens need to draft a running back. Pierce is good as a backup. He hasn't shown the durability needed to be a starter in the NFL.
Do Taylor Lewan's legal/character issues remove him from Raven's draft board?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:28 PM)
I don't think so. And I don't see the Ravens having to make a decision on him. Lewan will be drafted before the Ravens are on the clock.
Hey Jamison, My question is how do the Raven's plan to improve the OL besides the draft and is there any fresh news on Rice's availability for next season?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:30 PM)
The first question: the Ravens have improved their line with the trade for center Jeremy Zuttah. They also re-signed Eugene Monroe and get back Kelechi Osemele, who missed most of last season. The Ravens should improve the OL by taking a lineman in the first or second rounds. The second question: Rice's next court appearance is April 28.
Which Safety best suits the Raven's play style and why, Ha-Ha, Pryor or Ward?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:31 PM)
Clinton-Dix and Ward are better fits at free safety because of their coverage skills. Clinton-Dix is a first-round prospect because he is a more complete safety right now. Pryor is more of a thumper.
Pete (Olney, MD)
What do you think the odds are of T. Smith signing an extension before training camp? Season opener? Thanks!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:34 PM)
The Ravens would like to get a deal done sooner rather than later. Torrey Smith may want to test the FA waters. He is repped by Drew Rosenhaus. One of his clients, WR Antonio Brown, did sign an extension early in training camp a couple of years ago. So, there is a history of getting something done before the season.
Will Flacco have a bounce back year with new weapons and improved line? How much gas is left in the tanks of Sizzle and Ngata?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
The Ravens have given Flacco every chance to improve with the moves made to improve the offensive line and his targets. How the Ravens run the ball will also determine Flacco's improvement. The Ravens need to have balance. Suggs still has something left, and the Ravens believe that. It's why he got an extension. I'm not sure about Ngata. He was a dominant defensive tackle a few years ago. Ngata still draws attention but he doesn't make the same plays.
I would love to see Chris Johnson in the Ravens backfield. I love his running style in a zone offense. Your thoughts? Any possibility this happens?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
Not a chance. The Ravens already have a running back on the decline. They don't need to spend money on another one.
David (Arlington, VA)
If Joe Flacco host an organized training session, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:40 PM)
Critics always make noise.
Dylan Blackburn (The Boro, Indiana) [via mobile]
Signing Jacoby Jones to a 4-year deal makes me think the Ravens have long-term plans at WR for him. Is that accurate or is his contract structured in a way that they could cut him in 1-2 years if needed?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:43 PM)
I don't see a four-year contract saying the Ravens have long-term plans for him at WR. The Ravens do think he can be a productive WR. They overestimated him as a No.2 last year, which is why they signed Steve Smith this offseason. His contract reflects what a good returner should make. His base salary is $2.5 million for 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Any noise on Thomas DeCoud as a possible FA pickup? Not so long ago he was a Pro Bowl player.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:43 PM)
Not on Ravens radar. They're looking at the draft for their next safety.
Any chance Kadeem Carey becomes a Raven?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:46 PM)
Carey has the vision you want when running a zone blocking scheme. He did have an assault charge against his ex-girlfriend (who was pregnant at the time). The charge was dropped, but this isn't exactly the track record the Ravens want in their next running back after what happened two months ago.
DAVID [via mobile]
What are the chances the ravens trade up to take a Sammy watkins?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:46 PM)
Is there something less than 0 percent? If so, that would be it.
David (Arlington, VA)
Do you think the Ravens are going O Line or S in the first round? While I am not particularaly enthused with our current options at S outside of Elam, I really dont know what to think of Ricky Wagner.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:48 PM)
Pryor can play center field, but he seems to be more of a strong safety. The Ravens could have a different opinion of him. I see Clinton-Dix and Ward as better fits for what the Ravens want. Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens needed a more athletic safety with range.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:49 PM)
Thanks for all of your great questions. Sorry I couldn't get to all of them. Let's chat again next week. Have a great rest of the week.