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April 2, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:00 PM)

Thanks for taking some time to stop by for the Ravens weekly chat. I hosted the chat from sunny Orlando last week. I can't say the same this week from rainy Baltimore. Let's get to some questions.

Greg(MD) [via mobile]

Which WR is more likely to be a Raven in 2014: Aaron Mellette or Deonte Thompson?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:02 PM)

I would go with Mellette, although both are on the bubble as the offseason workouts begin. Thompson didn't impress the coaches with his ability to fight for passes. His off-the-field incident didn't help him either. Thompson has potential as a returner, but the Ravens are committed to Jacoby Jones. Mellette showed enough promise during the preseason to give him the edge.

Ilya (Columbia)

Other then someone new getting cut, do you think the free agent market has pretty much been picked over for the Ravens needs and that they'll probably wait until after the draft (and maybe even June 1st) to sign anyone else? Or can you see the Raven grabbing an Owen Daniels or a RT?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

The Ravens are bargain shopping now. I would be surprised if they signed anyone before the draft to a contract above the vet minimum. That could be a tight end like Ed Dickson or a backup defensive lineman. The Ravens are also looking at backup quarterback. But their big spending is over.

Ryan (Hanover, PA)

How does the indictment of Ray Rice change the Ravens offseason plans? I understand he has not been convicted of any crime yet but an indictment means they feel they have enough evidence against the person. Drafting an RB now?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

I don't think it changes much. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said this week that this was expected. The Ravens seem set at adding a third running back in the draft. I am surprised that the team didn't sign a veteran free agent. There were some good bargains with Knowshon Moreno and LeGarrette Blount. Expect the Ravens to take a back in the third round or later.

Djuan (PA) [via mobile]

Any chance we still get a RT & or LG in free agency or will that likely be solved in the Draft?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

If the Ravens sign an offensive lineman before the draft, it would be a cheap free agent who would brought in for competition. The draft offers more opportunities to find a starting tackle or guard.

Kevin (Baltimore, MD)

Prediction time! How many games (including 0) will Ray Rice be suspended for?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:07 PM)

Two to four. It could be a case where the NFL suspends Rice for four games and he can appeal it down to two. Of course, that's just my prediction.

rj (new jersey) [via mobile]

Do you see the ravens targeting manning as a fs assuming the price is right or would they rather wait for the draft/give Omar or darian a chance?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:08 PM)

The next safety to be added to the Ravens roster will come in the draft. Likely in first three rounds.

Mike (Catonsville)

what are your thoughts on bringing in a veteran like Champ Bailey, move him to safety and then draft Ha Ha or Pryor and use Champ as a veteran leader who could pass knowledge to a young secondary. Thanks!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

All indications from the Ravens is that they're going to start either Darian Stewart or a draft pick at free safety. Champ Bailey was an option before the Ravens signed Stewart to a one-year, $1.3 million deal.

Sonny (Here)

Turn Auto update on!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

I believe it is on.

Mickey (Boston)

Hi Jamison. While I'm happy that the Ravens are patching holes in their roster, I feel like they're aiming for good, not great. Is there any unit on the roster right now (WRs, CBs) that would be exceptional?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

I can see the wide receiver being really good, if Steve Smith is still a viable target. Smith is becoming more of a possession receiver toward the end of his career, and Torrey Smith is one of the NFL's top downfield threats. Add in Marlon Brown, who caught 49 passes as a rookie, and it's the best wide receiver group I've seen since I started covering the Ravens in 2000.

Matt (Baltimore)

Lets say Calvin Pryor, CJ Mosley, Zack Martin, and Marquise Lee are the BPAs left at 17. Who do you pick? Would you attempt to trade down?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:16 PM)

This is a good but tough situation for the Ravens. I feel that Mosley is the best talent of that group. Pryor and Martin fill bigger needs. I'm not as sold on Lee as some others. Right now, I would go with Martin because the Ravens need an offensive lineman more than a safety, where the team can get by with Stewart. But it's not a clear-cut decision.

Jason (New Orleans)

With the need for a third corner, wouldn't it make sense for the Ravens to sign Josh Wilson, someone who did well for them in 2010?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:18 PM)

Not sure about this. Wilson was criticized last season for declining coverage skills. He was still physical against the run as the slot defender. I wouldn't be against signing Wilson because the Ravens need to add another corner. I'm just not sure that he's the answer at the No. 3 corner spot.

Renn (Silver Spring, MD)

Now that the Ravens have made some key additions through FA, do they draft offense or defense in the first round?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

Depends on who's available. It would be a good bet that the first-round pick will be a free safety or offensive lineman.

Michael (Maryland)

DHB just sign with Pittsburgh. Do you think that they are now the odds on favorite to win the division? Maryland guy finally makes good and could become a force!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

Are we talking about the say Darrius Heyward Bey who caught 29 passes and one touchdown last season?

John (Columbia, MD)

Do you think the Ravens will bring back Leach on a cheap veteran deal or stick with Juszczyk?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

The Ravens are going to stick with Juszczyk because they're only going to need one fullback. You're going to see a lot more formations with two tight ends and one running back under offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

Steve philipsburg pa [via mobile]

Will we get another veteran rb

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

Only if the Ravens don't draft a running back in the draft.

Jamal (Baltimore) [via mobile]

I read your article about the Flacco crticsm and sort of disagree. Isn't there certain expectations of getting his deal to take more initiative and put in extra work? Almost every other qb in the league at his pay grade does, I think its time for Joe to step up and lead by example.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

Give me a list of the quarterbacks who you know for a fact are holding private workouts with his receivers this year. You can't because other cities don't care, so the media markets aren't fixated on it.

Ryan (Baltimore)

What do you think of Kapron Lewis-Moore? The coaching staff seems to be very high on him. Could he start this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

You're right that the Ravens are high on Lewis-Moore. Best case scenario is he starts along with Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty. Worst case is he is the top backup to Canty. The Ravens want him on the field this year.

Ilya (Columbia)

Speaking of Ray Rice do you see the league suspending him and if so for how long?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:25 PM)

In case you missed it earlier, my prediction is two to four games.

Renn (Silver Spring, MD)

Breaking News: Joe Flacco Caught Sleeping without Playbook!Your take...

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

Flacco is going to be sorry about that. He has a no-sleeping clause in his $120.6 million contract.

Zach (Westminster)

What's your thoughts on the ravens drafting Stanley jean batiste in the 2nd or 3rd round, a big physical CB that has plenty of upside, great hands, and can push around a WRs.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

Cornerback is a position that the Ravens could address in the first three rounds, although no one is really talking about it. Lardarius Webb has a huge cap number next year, and that makes him a candidate to get cut if the doesn't produce this year. The Ravens are always thinking ahead. This could be a good time to draft a corner who could be eased in as the No. 3 corner this year and be given a shot to start in 2015.

Cloud (Ohio)

I miss you!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

You can't miss me. I haven't gone anywhere.

Alex (utah) [via mobile]

WR looks great to me but experts say Sr Smith will have 950+ yds this year , its that more fantasy or reality ? Was he hurt last year or was age the biggest factor on his declined?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

My prediction is Steve Smith will have more catches than Torrey Smith but fewer yards. I can see Smith making 75 catches for 900 yards, which would come out to 12 yards per catch. That seems like a realistic target.

David (Virginia)

Webby get cut, say it aint so!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

Not this year. But his cap number is $11 million in 2015. The Ravens would open up $4 million in cap space by releasing him.

Earl (from Ipanema)

If the Ravens are not looking to add a veteran RB, why were they pursuing LeGarrette Blount?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

They obviously weren't that interested. He wasn't paid much by the Steelers. The free-agent running backs failed to land good deals. If the Ravens wanted one, they would have paid one.

Cloud (Ohio)

How many more years do you think Ray Rice has left in the tank?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

We'll find out this year. Even though the offensive line was horrible last year, Rice looked like he was done. It's hard to truly gauge because Rice was hurt. But I wouldn't be surprised if he struggles again.

pedestrian (south orange, nj)

Jamison, thanks for your time. With four picks in the top 100, what would you say are the primary 3 or 4 positions that the Ravens should emphasize. Which of those positions should be prioritized in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd, because there may be a sharp decline in the talent level after that?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:36 PM)

Safety, offensive line, cornerback and defensive line.

bradblackandgold (California)

Hey JH. Sort of an off the wall question, but do you have a sense of how the Ravens players feel about the proposed rule changes/playoff expansion?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

I honestly haven't talked to them about it. I hope to get their feelings toward it during minicamps and training camp.

Ravenous128 (Columbia, MD)

Chykie Brown thinks he's up for the nickel CB role. His for the taking?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:39 PM)

I have him as the frontrunner over Asa Jackson right now. This could change if the Ravens draft a corner in the first three rounds. The Ravens think Brown has the talent but he has to become more disciplined on defense. I haven't see enough of him in games that count to make an accurate evaluation of him.

Travis (Westminster)

If Ebron is available at 17 along with a top tackle or safety, do you see him being the pick. He's an intriguing prospect but obviously more important needs are elsewhere.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:41 PM)

Tight end is a need as well. Two tight ends could become the Ravens' base offense under coordinator Gary Kubiak. So, Eric Ebron and Dennis Pitta could both be starters. I don't think there will be such a decision. Ebron had such a good combine that I believe he'll go in the top half of the draft.

John (The Nest)

Worse scenario: Darian Stewart at FS Week 1 or Rick Wagner at RT Week 1?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

Right now, Wagner. He has no starting experience while Stewart has been a starter in the past. That being said, Wagner could end up being better than Stewart by the end of the season. Wagner was considered a second-round talent before his final year at Wisconsin. He had a horrible week at last year's Senior Bowl and dropped to the fifth round.

Dan (NJ)

The Ravens are looking to add another QB. If a QB is the best player available in the top 3 rounds do they go for it?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

Not a chance. It would be a wasted pick. Flacco hasn't missed a game in his six-year career. Because of his durability, the Ravens don't have to make backup quarterback a high priority. I can see the Ravens taking a quarterback in the fifth or sixth rounds.

John (Pasadena)

As the roster stands right now before the draft, do you think the team is better or worse after FA?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:46 PM)

Better at wide receiver and offensive line. Worse in the secondary.

Rants N Ravens (Trinity, FL)

Who is your pick right now for Ravens breakout player in 2014?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

Inside linebacker Arthur Brown.

Reglidan (Charlotte, NC)

Do you think over an 80 passer rating is a reasonable target for Joe Flacco for this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:48 PM)

If throwing for 4,000 yards, 25 TDs and 10 Ints equates to a passer rating of 80, then yes.

Jim (NY)

Can you explain to me why we didn't cut Koch? Would have opened up 2 mil in cap space. Given the fact that a punter of similar talent can be signed for less than a million. I don't see why Koch is still kickin'.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

Harbaugh said Koch isn't overpaid. Koch's $2.2 million salary ranks sixth among punters.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

Thanks for all of the great questions. Let's do this again next week. Talk to you then. Have a great rest of the week.