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) (1:59 PM)
Thanks for joining our weekly chat. We'll try to get through as many questions as possible.
Jamison what is your thing against Tyrod??
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:01 PM)
I don't have a problem with him. But, based on what I've seen, the Ravens need to upgrade at backup QB. He has completed less than 60 percent of his passes in the preseason, and he was below average in his most extensive playing time (2012 season finale). I think most people would agree he is average at best.
Ed (Queens Village)
Did Ravens give too many years to Steve Smith on his deal?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:02 PM)
I like how the deal is structured. As I pointed out over the weekend, the Ravens would have only $2.3 million in dead money if they cut him after one season and they would have to pay him only $3 million each season (a relative bargain) if he plays in 2015 and 2016. So, the Ravens can let Smith's play dictate how long he'll be with them.
Ryan (Hanover, PA)
I love what the Ravens have done so far in FA, but isn't there still a concern about the Oline? I like re-signing Monroe but he was on the team when we still struggled to run the ball effectively.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:05 PM)
Offensive line is clearly the weak area of the team. I am surprised that the Ravens haven't addressed that group already. I still think the Ravens would be in play for Cleveland center Alex Mack if the Browns didn't put the transition tag on him. The Ravens are going to sign a veteran at some point, perhaps a stop-gap like Giants center David Baas. Based on how free agency has gone, the Ravens may have to use a first or a second-round pick on a guard or tackle.
Robert (Baltimore, MD)
Heard we made an offer to Ed Dixon. Can I be the first to say WTF?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:07 PM)
Ed Dickson wouldn't have been high on my list. But the Ravens could do worse for a backup tight end. Dickson is a solid blocker and may improve as a receiver if he regains his confidence. He's only 26, so you can't write him off completely. He did show in 2011 that he can be productive. That being said, I would obviously prefer Owen Daniels over him.
phil (harrisburg pa)
what compensatory picks do you see ravens getting for this years draft.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:10 PM)
The Ravens will likely get four. I see the best-case scenario as this: one in the third round (Paul Kruger), two in the fourth round (Dannell Ellerbe and Cary Williams) and one in the seventh (Ed Reed). The worst-case one is two in the fourth (Kruger and Ellerbe), one in the fifth (Williams) and one in the seventh (Reed).
Any chance ravens make a move for Alex Mack?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:11 PM)
With about $9 million in salary cap space, I don't see a way that the Ravens could structure a contract that the Browns would pass on. So, no.
Doug (Eastern Shore, Md.)
When we traded Bryant McKinnie to the Dolphins, I thought we got a 7th round pick out of it. Is that correct?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:12 PM)
I haven't gotten a response from the NFL. But it's possible that the seventh-round pick for McKinnie will come in the 2015 draft.
Ravenous128 (Columbia, MD)
Can we reasonably expect to see Rick Wagner starting at RT this season? Given his limited action, how imperative is it that the Ravens have a fallback plan should he not work out?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:14 PM)
I wouldn't rule out Rick Wagner. He was considered a second-round talent before he struggled his final year at Wisconsin. But I wouldn't give him the job because of his lack of experience. Wagner would have to earn it. I would like the Ravens to draft either a guard or a tackle. If Wagner impresses, that's a bonus. I don't like putting all of your hope in a fifth-round pick developing into a starter.
Jamal (Baltimore, Maryland)
Hello Jamison, are you a little concerned about the wide receiver depth for the Ravens. I am not so thrilled about Steve Smith at this stage in his career and the front office has a knack for drafting bad recivers.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:16 PM)
Honestly, I think the Ravens have their most depth at wide receiver in years. Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are a solid four receivers. If you add a draft pick, that's a talented group of five receivers. It's a much better situation when the Ravens had Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson on the roster.
Do you agree with these current team needs?FS > RT > LG > C > WR
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:18 PM)
I would for the most part, although I would lump LG and RT together. They just have to get one. That will determine whether Kelechi Osemele will play left guard or right tackle. Also, I would put CB (loss of Graham) and TE (no one other than Pitta) before WR at this point.
Hey JH. Do you see the Ravens drafting a RB (I would think it would be 3rd round or later) and what kind of runner would they target if they did?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:20 PM)
I wouldn't rule out the Ravens picking up a free-agent running back as well. If we're just looking at the draft, keep your eye on Florida State's Devonta Freeman. He's fast and makes great cuts, which will work in a zone blocking scheme.
Jon (Finksburg, MD)
After a shaky season, any chance Flacco will be less confident in his abilities this upcoming season?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:22 PM)
Flacco's history is he bounces back from adversity. A lack of confidence has never been a concern for Flacco. He'll be better because of the addition of Steve Smith. The Ravens need to continue to build a better supporting cast by upgrading the offensive line. Flacco can't take as many hits as he did last season.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
I agree the Ravens have a solid corps of WRs, and then you add in the pass-catching chops of Pitta...would you be surprised if Flacco had a career year stats-wise?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:24 PM)
I wouldn't but, and I hate repeating myself, the Ravens need to do something with the offensive line. In the 2012 Super Bowl run, Flacco played out of his mind because he had great protection up front. If he has to scramble around like he did last season, he's going to struggle once again.
JH.. i follow you like your shadow does.. now help me understand something... PLEASE.. im new to football.. WHATS H back? does that mean he will be playing fullback and Tightend depending on formation? personnel?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:26 PM)
An H-back is a combination of a fullback and a tight end. It's the perfect label for someone like the Ravens' Kyle Juszczyk. The name became popular in Joe Gibbs' offenses with the Redskins in the 1980s.
Ravensfan52 (Walled lk, mi)
So McKinney says he will play RT, Is that a call Ozzie will make?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:28 PM)
It's a call no one in the Ravens organization will be allowed to make. I believe McKinnie is on the blocked calls list at Owings Mills. He was a headache for three years, and the Ravens are happier without him.
will Furstenberg get his shot at the Vcanat TE position?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:29 PM)
Matt Furstenburg, a Maryland product, will either be the No. 3 TE or on the practice squad. He has one year of eligibility left on PS.
Beck (Seattle, WA)
Wondering when the depth we've added over the previous few years is going to show up... We have seen some great preseason (and some in-season) showings from players who never seem to crack the practice-squad ceiling. Don't we have a C named Ryan Jensen that was good enough to keep a roster spot despite being on IR all year? In the TE discussion, few seem to bring up Matt Furstenburg. In the FS position, "Baby Ed Reed" Omar Brown. At CB, Asa Jackson. Kapron Lewis-Moore may finally be healthy this year. Where do these names fit into the discussion?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:30 PM)
Of all the names you mentioned, Asa Jackson and Kapron Lewis-Moore have the best shot at making an impact in 2014. Jackson will compete against Chykie Brown for the nickel back job. Lewis-Moore will have a chance to be part of the Ravens' defensive line rotation with Art Jones and Terrence Cody gone.
Hello Jamison,Tyrod ?, Outside of a great def play from Cin DE most thougt Taylor played good at Cin. Joe and the first team "DID NOTHING" be he took over putting up 14pts and giving us a chance to win.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:32 PM)
Taylor was 15 of 25 for 149 yards and had an interception returned for a touchdown. If you think he played well, that's scary.
What will happen if another Raven player gets arrested?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:35 PM)
Bisciotti will fire Harbaugh, and the Ravens will hold their training camp at the Maryland State Prison in Hagerstown. Obviously, I'm joking. But what do you think will happen? Ravens aren't going to act until someone gets convicted.
How do you fill about Ha Ha at #17? I think we can get a WR in the 2nd Round who can play behind our Top 4 guys and play special team. Jarvis Landry
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:36 PM)
I'm on record as saying the Ravens would make a mistake by having two young players starting at safety. But the Ravens may not have another choice but to draft a free safety. The options are limited in free agency right now (Chris Clemons is the best available), and I'm not sold on Omar Brown as a starter.
J (DC) [via mobile]
Any free agents you like the Ravens to pick up at CB before the draft? Or do you think Chykie Brown or Asa Jackson can step up to be the 3rd corner?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:38 PM)
The Ravens should add another corner, whether it's in free agency or the draft. I haven't seen enough of Brown or Jackson to say they are the answer. The nickel back position is not one where you want to have a question mark. Good quarterbacks will exploit that.
Dank (Bodymore, Maryland) [via mobile]
What's the BIG SPLASH the Ravens announced that they'd make this FA? I hope singing Steve Smith wasn't it...
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:39 PM)
When did the Ravens make this announcement? I may have missed that.
Since Jimmy Graham was tagged, any chance the Ravens grab him if he doesn't get signed?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:39 PM)
Is there something lower than zero chance? If so, I would say that.
Dimmy (Rehoboth Beach)
How do the Ravens plan on replacing Michael Oher at tackle?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:40 PM)
The Ravens will either draft/sign a guard or a tackle. If the Ravens add a guard, left guard Kelechi Osemele will move to right tackle. If the Ravens bring in a tackle, Osemele will stay at left guard. That's how I see it playing out.
You & me both have watch Joe play much more scaryer,
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:41 PM)
Please don't try to compare Taylor to Flacco. That's embarrassing.
Russell (Charlotte) [via mobile]
Hey Jamison, huge ravens fan from NC. Having watched Steve Smith every Sunday since he's started for the panthers I can say I'm jacked that we picked him up. He had no help in Carolina for years and made many qbs look very good including Jake Delhomme which he even helped get to a pro bowl. I think Steve even though he is older will help flacco as much if not more than anquan and I'm still mad at us for trading him to SF.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:42 PM)
I haven't watched Smith as closely as you, but I agree completely with your comments.
Marcus (San Antonio, Tx) [via mobile]
I would love for the Ravens to sweep in & grab Mack from the browns, but we both know that's going to happen. So lets say we do get Bass. Is there a chance we draft a RT in the first round? Also i miss seeing Ngata at End, would it be better if we sign or draft a DT so we can move him back? For the secondary i wouldnt mind if we draft a Safety in the second round since this is a deep draft class. Do you see that a possibility?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:44 PM)
The Ravens would love for a right tackle to fall to them at No. 17. The odds of that happening aren't good. I could see the Ravens taking Notre Dame's Zach Martin, who may be a better guard than tackle. On your Ngata question, the Ravens could start Brandon Williams at NT and move Ngata back to DT.
Brandon ( baltimore ) [via mobile]
Do you see the Ravens going with TE Ebron 17th overall. I would like to see two strong tight end sets like NE had with Gronk and Hernandez.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:45 PM)
Ebron is a possible top-10 pick now. Don't see any chance of him falling to Ravens.
What about Thomas Decoud on a 1yr deal?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:45 PM)
Possibly. He was awful last year, though. You don't know what kind of a player you're getting.
Tyrod has had no real action but you continue to talk about this kid like he's started 8 or 9 games and loss WE LOSS all of them because of him. Some of think if Tyrod was playing and i mean "REALLY" playing we would score more points.. In short, let's see him play in real action before just saying he can't play.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:48 PM)
If the Ravens were so confident in Taylor like you, why were they talking to Brandon Weeden?
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Were you surprised with how much Michael Oher received, or is that what a right tackle makes these days?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:49 PM)
I was shocked that Oher got a deal that averaged $5 million per season. If Eugene Monroe got a deal that averaged $7.5 million, Oher should have received a contract that averaged less than half of that. Not sure what tape the Titans were watching.
Kevin fred,md [via mobile]
Are they interested in purseing michal vick as flaccos back up? whats the deal in finding a better center and some other offensive players to help flacco better?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:50 PM)
If Flacco got hurt, it wouldn't matter if the Ravens had five Pro Bowl linemen. This is a QB league. If you don't have a good insurance for your starter, your season could be over with one hit.
Jamison,Is that a new profile picture? Ohhh La La... Looking good!!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:52 PM)
ESPN took the new pics at our NFL Nation summit two weeks ago. So, you get the updated me. I do find it funny to see some of my fellow media members using pics that are 10 years old.
I just saw we signed FS Trawick!!
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:53 PM)
He's an exclusive rights free agent. What this means is this: If the Ravens want him, they extend him a contract that he has to sign. So, he was never really a free agent. Just keep him away from Jacoby Jones.
David (Chiang Rai, Thailand)
Have the Ravens even met with any of the remaining available free safeties? Are they interested in drafting a player like Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix? I don't understand why it seems like we are not hearing anything from management on this front.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:55 PM)
The Ravens reportedly have shown interest in Ryan Clark, which I'm not really buying. He doesn't fit the profile of what they're looking for. Like you, I'm scratching my head over why the Ravens haven't addressed this position yet.
The tape the Titans were watching was a featured film called The Blind Side of a semi-hometown player.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:55 PM)
You make a valid point.
Kevin Baltimore [via mobile]
I see Antonio Cromartie is still a free agent are the ravens showing any interest in him being our free safety?
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:56 PM)
There has been speculation on that front. But no reported contact with the Ravens yet.
Jamison Hensley (ESPN) (2:57 PM)
Thanks for all of the great questions. Hope you have a great rest of the week. We'll see if we can chat next week on Wednesday. I will be at the NFL owners meetings. So, I may have to reschedule.