Ravens Insider VIP Q&A column

OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers with Ravens Insider publisher Aaron Wilson: Subscribers, please keep reading for further details.

Question: Thanks for taking my question. With DRC moving up the draft charts, is there a realistic chance that we could take him 8th overall?

Answer: Honestly, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a really intriguing prospect. However, it would be a reach to draft him eighth overall despite his speed, potential and family NFL pedigree. I think he's a player that should be drafted in the bottom half of the first round or early in the second round. I don't expect him to be available at No. 38 when the Ravens pick in the second round.

Question: Are there any QBs in particular that the Ravens seem to really like other than Matt Ryan, who everyone knows DeCosta loves? Just curious as some sort of precursor to who we could be hoping to get when Ryan doesn't make it to us in the 2nd.

Answer: They are whacko over Joe Flacco. The Ravens really like him, including the new coaching regime as well as the personnel department. They would love to be able to draft him in the second round. Best arm in the draft, lots of size and potential.

Question: Has there been any updates on JO making his retirement/return official? I think I read that he said he would have his answer by the Super Bowl, and although the word is that he's likely to retire, it would be reassuring to hear his definite answer... IMO this dragging out of his decision is getting annoying similar to how Favre used to do it over the past couple years.

Answer: I would think he'll make an announcement before the draft, but nothing seems imminent. I've been told that everyone expects him to retire and have been preparing for him to not retire. I respectfully disagree with the idea that he's dragging this out. I know he's not doing it for attention and he has assisted the team by restructuring his contract to create $5 million in salary-cap space. Eventually, they will save another $2.5 million when he retires. I will be mildly shocked if he changes his mind, given his comments and what he's privately told members of the organization. Adam Terry is your new left tackle in all likelihood.

Question: Do you think Sedrick Ellis is a legit possibility at 8? How do you think the Ravens view him to other prospects such as the small school creation Rodgers-Cromartie?

Answer: The Ravens are very high on him, grading him highly for his technique, explosion, football temperament and toughness. I don't think he'll still be there at No. 8. If he's there and Leodis McKelvin, Matt Ryan, Vernon Gholston and Glenn Dorsey are gone, I'm sure they would turn the card in on him.

Question: Would Ozzie really take McFadden if he's still there at 8?

Answer: No, he wouldn't. I believe he would be able to trade the pick. However, he's not going to have to make that decision. I predict McFadden winds up with either the Oakland Raiders or New York Jets.

Question: Beyond the QBs, what players do you think the Ravens are targetting in the second round, anyone in particular you think they like? Answer: Antoine Cason, Phillip Merling, Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie, if he inexplicably slides, Gosder Cherilus, Chris Williams or Tony Hills, although I think the first two will be gone. Question: Are the Ravens interested in any of the QBs outside of the big 4 (Ryan,Brohm, Flacco, Henne)? Do they have any genuine interest in Booty or Johnson or someone else?

Answer: I don't think they're very high on the two quarterbacks you mentioned other than liking Johnson's athleticism. I would say they would have some interest in the Tulsa quarterback and Andre Woodson, but only as developmental types. Question: If Ellis is there at 8 do we take him or work a trade?

Answer: They would likely draft him unless Denver made them an outstanding offer.

Question: Do the Ravens feel that any other teams besides MIA, ATL and maybe CHI may take a serious look at drafting a QB in the top 50 picks?

The only time you've "reached" when drafting for a starting QB is if they turn out to be a bust Answer: Kansas City is a real possibility, so are the Minnesota Vikings.

Question: Bischotti wants a QB, Ozzie wants a defensive lineman..... which player gets selected?

Answer: Defense. Ozzie still rules the war room. Question: Despite position of need or not...are there any players that we are going to be avoiding like the plague during this draft? Whether its an injury or character concerns?

Answer: I've been hearing some bad things about Aqib Talib, Mike Jenkins on character front. Injury issues will hurt the stock of Philip Merling and Oregon's Stewart.

Question: Do the Ravens feel that Suggs has a reasonable chance to win his grievance?

Answer: They are optimistic that they will emerge victorious, and hopeful of eventually striking a long-term deal with Suggs.

Question: Is Suggs the kind of guy that would consider a "home team" discount?

Answer: Maybe to an extent, but his agent usually pushes for top dollar and this is his chance to cash in, too.

Question: Aaron, I am handing you the "Miss Cleo Psychic Mojo" for a few days.... 1) Knowing what you know and from whom you have talked to, which player do you see there at #8 that the Ravens will most likely be able to grab? I see it as a CB but I'd like your take. Do you see Steve McNair on the sidelines for the first pre-season game this year? My gut says no, but "You da Man."

Answer: Thanks for granting me psychic powers. Here's my prediction: I think they will likely be able to draft Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin. I could see New England grabbing a defensive lineman like Sedrick Ellis or going for USC linebacker Keith Rivers. At this point, I think it will be Steve McNair even though it's questionable whether he has anything left. They seem determined to try to resurrect him.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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