Ravens Insider VIP web chat transcript

OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers with Adam Caplan and Aaron Wilson in our latest Ravens Insider VIP web chat: Subscribers, please keep reading for further details.

Adam Caplan: The Ravens are having Chad Henne, Brian Brohm and Malcolm Jenkins in for visits and private workouts. The knock on Jenkins is bad knees.

The knock on him was his hands at the combine, but I think he did a little better at his pro day adamcaplan FOR: Yes, they have three QB visits lined up

What do you think about Penn State's quarterback?

adamcaplan Morelli's arm at least gets him a look I wouldn't touch Morelli with a ten foot pool...the guy has no clue how to play QB

adamcaplan PSU: If you're 50 ft in the stands you could catch one of his passes.

aaronwilson What do you make of the Bears-49ers tampering case? It had to be more than two 20-second telephone calls to Drew Rosenhaus. I wonder if there was e-mail evidence. Also, what do you think of the prospective early verbal agreement period Rich McKay and Ray Anderson outlined on today's conference call previewing the owners meetings.

Lots of talk on sports center about Dallas trading up for a QB if they don't get jones...would they be a contender for one of the top 4?

What do you think about the negative comparisons of Brian Brohm to Chris Redman?

adamcaplan AA: He's getting a bad knock for being a Petrino Protege

6,0Who is better between DRC and McKelvin as potential #8s?

adamcaplan and his arm isn't great

adamcaplan but he's a WCO fit

adamcaplan probably

Dallas isn't trading up for a QB...I think you meant RB

adamcaplan AA: It's more than what's being reported

adamcaplan has to be

adamcaplan WAY: They would like a shot at a RB

adamcaplan Not just McFadden

adamcaplan they know Barber isn't a featured back

Adam, how do you say his arm isn't great...he throws harder than the wonderboy Ryan

adamcaplan nice back but not special

adamcaplan PSU: Ryan has a better arm than Brohm

aaronwilson That early signing period could be a gold mine for industrious reporters. It would also reduce the hypocritical stance of some team that they don't talk deals prior to the launch of the signing period.

Not according to the combine results

adamcaplan AA: I thought it was interesting in the conference call today that the league is proposing that teams could get in touch with other free agents before it all starts

adamcaplan PSU: All you have to do is talk to any scout or GM or watch game tape

so whats up with Malcolm Kelly and his knees? Are they really that bad.

adamcaplan FOR: Apparently so

I don't get the love affair over Ryan...the guy threw 19 interceptions this year. I saw many forced throws...sounds like a guy we've already got here.

adamcaplan PSU: Look at his WRs

aaronwilson How would you rank the top five cornerbacks?

adamcaplan he tried to make things happen

Adam: who do you like as interior lineman (centers in particular) in the middle rounds?

aaronwilson I tend to agree. Ryan is very polished and ready to play in this league. At worst, I think he has some solid success. I don't think he'll fail.

I like Brohm, but if Ryan fell I would be happy...even just stability would be pleasing

adamcaplan AA: We've done this before but McKelvin, Talib, Jenkins, then after that anyone's guess

adamcaplan Cromartie worries me because of the system he played in

Have the Ravens brought in Talib? I get the feeling they don't like his character issues

WHat about DRC?

aaronwilson New secondary coach Chuck Pagano attended his Pro Day.

adamcaplan EARL: Most of them are 4-5 rounders

aaronwilson Talib, that is.

adamcaplan except for Pollack who goes probably in the third

aaronwilson Baltimore met with Pollack at the Senior Bowl, but that's not a big deal necessarily.

adamcaplan PSU: There are more character issues than ever for first day picks

adamcaplan it's about eliminating as many of them and figuring out which are real

If/when we draft a QB, who do you think will be the odd man out between McNair, Boller, and Smith?

Could he be last until the Ravens comp pick?

Adam, do you agree with DeCosta's assessment of Ellis...at this point coming out of college he's better than Nagata, however, Ngata had more upside.

Pollack, that is

aaronwilson Let's let Adam catch up, guys.

adamcaplan GEN: Smith

adamcaplan sorry, was taking a call from an agent

adamcaplan PSU: Ellis is more explosive

adamcaplan but Ngata more versatile

adamcaplan ellis also isn't a run stopper

adamcaplan like ngata

Ellis next to Ngata would be sick

Can Ellis play in a 3-4...would he play at defensive end?

aaronwilson Just wondering who makes Adam Caplan's all-bad boy squad?

adamcaplan PSU: I asked a pro personnel guy that, he said 4-3 DT (3-technique)

adamcaplan AA: Probably 20 of them in the draft

aaronwilson Wow, that is a big rap sheet.

Brandon Flowers

adamcaplan AA: Medical issues too

Whats the outlook for mid round OTs? Any names?

adamcaplan Franklin Dunbar-MTSU OT

adamcaplan worked out well recently

adamcaplan rounds 5-6

adamcaplan 6 OTs could go in first 40 picks

Do you have any late round gems at WR you wanna proclaim at this point, Adam?

adamcaplan but after that there's a real drop-off

adamcaplan GEN: Steve Johnson Kentrucky-4-5 area

6,0Since Musa Smith has not talked with the Ravens since the season's end, who do you see as a potential day 2 3DRB?

Do you think Rodgers-Cromartie is being way over hyped? Doing well at the senior bowl to me doesn't seem as impressive as it's played after a week of prep.

adamcaplan Mario Urrutia-same thing, worked out well recently

adamcaplan moving up

aaronwilson Would you pick Leodis McKelvin or Ryan Clady at No. 8 assuming that Matt Ryan, Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis are gone?

adamcaplan BE: Totally, same as Ricardo Colclough was 5 years ago

adamcaplan AA: McKelvin, not even close

And David Pittman unfortunately...

aaronwilson They are wary of small-school cornerbacks since David Pittman has been such a bust.

adamcaplan Clady you don't know what to expect from game to game

adamcaplan I wrote then on Colclough he should have been a 5th round pick, not 2nd

adamcaplan I thought PIT really reached.

As Ozzie loves to say the Ravens are prepared to draft tomorrow... who do you think THEIR money is on at being available with the 8th pick?

adamcaplan RAVE: This is the best RB class I've seen covering the league in 9n years

adamcaplan there are literally 17 RBs that could be drafted in the first 4 rounds if teams really needed RBs

aaronwilson What do you make of Chris Mortensen's report that Baltimore would draft Darren McFadden at No. 8? I don't put a lot of credence in that. Seems like a smokescreen. Plus, I figure McFadden winds up with the Raiders or Jets.

adamcaplan AA: There's no way

adamcaplan makes zero sense

It's the best player available

If that happens, then Jerry Jones is ringing Ozzie's phone and we're getting 2 first rounders...I'd be jumping for joy

adamcaplan I actually don't think McFadden is the best player there though

Yeah, the two first rounders being 22 and 28.... I wouldn't be jumping

adamcaplan AA: I think NYJ makes the most sense

yeah

adamcaplan OAK needs so much help in other areas

adamcaplan Tashard Choice, Justin Forsett are two good mid-round RBs

adamcaplan that would be a good complement to McGaheeBR>
Aaron - Do you think we'd take Stewart in the second if he fell?

didnt the colts owner say there are four RBs worth top ten picks?

adamcaplan Forsett plays faster than his listed 40-time

aaronwilson The Ravens attended Choice's workout, also keeping an eye on Ga. Tech linebacker Phillip Wheeler.

Wheeler would be awesome

Yeah Wheeler is incredible

adamcaplan AA: Wheeler is good

I saw him play down here in Miami

Adam, what corners will be there in the early second round and who do you like in that range?

All over the field, guys were saying they wish he'd graduate already

adamcaplan PSU: Justin King or Patrick Lee (probably later) who I really like

adamcaplan great senior bowl week

aaronwilson Depends what they accomplished in the first round. I would tend to think he could still go in the first round after McFadden and Rashard Mendenhall.

Lee fits the ravens style too

I think he was one of the first they met with at senior bowl week

adamcaplan FOR: Great ball skills, aggressive too

aaronwilson What do you think of Porter at cornerback?

adamcaplan I wrote back then that he was the most impressive DB there

Justin King didn't have a very good season, last year. He does have tremendous speed.

not that it matters, but didnt Porter get a 4 on his wonderlic?

adamcaplan PSU: Teams love his versaatility

adamcaplan AA: third rounder or so

adamcaplan They need a high end CB

adamcaplan who can start possibly by 2009

I would totally be fine with Lee in round 2, if he falls

adamcaplan I think Rolle or McAlister are gone

adamcaplan FOR: My sense is he's a mid to late second rounder-Lee

How can they afford to cut Mcalister?

6,0C-Mac will probably try to move to S

Adam, this year or 2009???

McAllister? Rolle, yes

6,0Rolle might roll.

aaronwilson What do you think New England is going to do right above Baltimore? Are they a threat to take Leodis McKelvin or do you think they're zeroed in on someone else?

adamcaplan BE: It's not about affordibility, it's about his play

adamcaplan he's not what he once was

aaronwilson Chris has a $10.9 million cap figure, but his play is slipping.

adamcaplan teams aren't going to keep a player around that long, he could be restructured

adamcaplan it's actually a very easy move to make

aaronwilson He has an $8 million base salary.

adamcaplan happens all the time with older players

adamcaplan they either accept a paycut or get cut

The Ravens can't eat that, they're restructuring contracts now just to get 4 million under

6,0all their trade movement in FA has been 2ndary right?

Adam, where do you project Charles Godfrey of Iowa to go? Think he'll be around by the Ravens' (presumed) 3rd round comp pick?

adamcaplan BE: McAlister will be targeted for a paycut if he doesn't play well this year, pretty much a given

aaronwilson I agree.

Nice to know

aaronwilson They'll carry that salary for only so long, especially with a new coaching staff.

adamcaplan OR: He worked out well recently so he's moving up

CMac will only play 2 or 3 more years at Corner then he will be moved to safety ala Rod Woodson.

adamcaplan PSU: I'd say past 2008, it's fluid

aaronwilson I'm not sure how his instincts will translate at safety. He's a good tackler, but I wonder about him calling signals. I wouldn't compare him to Rod Woodson. Totally different players and character.

adamcaplan he turns 31 in a few months

adamcaplan They must get a young CB in there

adamcaplan who has good skills who could be ready for a bigger role in 2009

aaronwilson Adam, I was wondering what you think New England is up to right above Baltimore and how that might affect the Ravens' draft outlook?

adamcaplan AA: NE will go either for a CB or OLB adamcaplan Belichick doesn't like to draft LBs early though

adamcaplan history shows that

Harvey or Rivers if they do

adamcaplan I did a study last year prior to the draft

adamcaplan Tully Banta Cain was the highest 6th round

6,0so McKelvin might go 7?

adamcaplan RAV: YEs

adamcaplan they worked him out and like him

6,0and DRC would be ours!

adamcaplan and remember his return ability

say no to DRC

at least at #8

adamcaplan RAV: I'm not so sure he should go that high

DRC is not a #8 pick!

aaronwilson The Ravens are pretty firm on not picking Cromartie that early.

Do you think there's a wildcard in the top 7 anywhere and someone takes somebody not being talked about?

adamcaplan he has a learning curve right away aaronwilson I believe him.

6,0if not him, then what other corners?

FOR: arena league 3rd rounder

6,0at 8?

Country...none at #8

adamcaplan All: That's all the time I have, see you soon.

I don't think there's a corner beyond Mckelvin worth having in the first for the Ravens

Who's the Ravens money on with the 8th pick do you think?

aaronwilson I think they want Leodis McKelvin, but are obviously hoping Matt Ryan will fall to them.

6,0Could we be on the hook for one of those Buffalo games I posted about a while ago?

aaronwilson No, I don't think so.

or overseas?

aaronwilson I hope not.

wouldn't you get to travel though?

aaronwilson I don't think Steve Bisciotti is interested in inconveniencing his football team.

aaronwilson I don't want to travel honestly.

What if Ryan and McKelvin are gone, Aaron...then what? I think they like Ellis but it would be overkill for the D-Line and I don't think he fits the 3-4.

6,0How's Heap doing?

6,0Is he ready for the season?

then we go 4-3

aaronwilson I think they would try to trade down or go for Ryan Clady.

aaronwilson As a last resort if they can't move.

aaronwilson Todd Heap is doing really well. He's working hard and looking forward to this season.

aaronwilson I don't think Sedrick Ellis would be there.

6,0And the alleged non-throwing shoulder of McNair? Is he ready to compete for the starting job?

aaronwilson I think Steve will report in better shape and health than last year.

6,15Better shape would be a BIG plus

aaronwilson He needs to be in better shape obviously.

Its weak throwing arm that I'm concerned about...he threw like a 5 year old girl throwing left handed

aaronwilson It wasn't good. He couldn't step into this throws and follow through smoothly.

6,0Maybe the 5 y/o grl IS L-handed...

what?

6,15I don't think he could throw across that big gut, frankly.

aaronwilson He thought he was being funny, but Todd is fairly serious and it hit him the wrong way.

Is it safe to say that the Ravens expect to bring in another QB in the draft on the first day?

aaronwilson They really hope to upgrade this position significantly, yes.

aaron...do you see Stills being released?

6,0what?

aaronwilson I think he will be cut unless he can make the team as a reserve linebacker legitimately.

Who do you think is the most likely candidate for us to draft?

aaronwilson If they don't get Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco is unavailable in the first round, probably Chad Henne or Brian Brohm.

aaronwilson In the second round.

aaronwilson It's possible Henne might be the only one left at No. 38.

6,0What about the future of the backups in the secondary?

aaronwilson Some of them will be on the team, others will likely get cut.

6,0Henne is tough.

aaronwilson Tough kid, yep.

Whos your money on in round 1

aaronwilson Good arm. Strong leader. Doesn't move around that great, but he's all right. Reminds me of a Jon Kitna type.

aaronwilson Leodis McKelvin.

i would be pumped if McKelvin was passed by the pats

if Ryan falls, the Pats will get calls

Who do you expect the Pats to take then?

6,0Are there any day 2 DEs? Or should we wait for '09 for that problem

Langford

of the Kenda;ll variety

aaronwilson I could see them drafting Keith Rivers or Vernon Gholston or Sedrick Ellis if available

aaronwilson The kid from Hampton is promising.

I keep saying Keith Rivers is a possibility especially if this is Ray's last year

aaronwilson I could see Calais Campbell still being there late in the third round.

hed probably have to get his weight back up to 295...it was at 270, then 285

aaronwilson Rivers isn't really a middle linebacker type.


Aaron Wilson Remember Bart Scott's in a contract year, too.

aaronwilson Linebacker is a very fluid situation.

6,0If Ray does retire would Griesen get promoted?

What do you think about Ray's contract situation? Has there been any talk at all?

aaronwilson Sluggish workouts hurt a player a ot.

aaronwilson Absolutely zero conversation other than Steve Bisciotti saying he thought Ray Lewis had three or four more good years left.

aaronwilson I could see them re-signing him, but there's no deal imminent or being discussed.

I don't think people are caught up in his size as much as his potential Aaron, what kind of offense will Harbaugh/Cameron run? Power running game with a vertical passing game?

aaronwilson I don't think they are looking to promote Greisen into the starting lineup. Ray Lewis isn't going to retire anyway. He wants to make more money. Why would he quit now?

aaronwilson Controlled passing game, longer patterns than Billick obviously, with a power running game.

Well, that doesn't bode well for weak armed McNair.

6,0I'd like to see a balances run 'n gun.

6,0*balanced

aaronwilson Remember, you need the quarterback and the receivers to open up the offense. The best assets they have are McGahee and Heap. They'll try to get as much mileage out of them as possible.

Is Chester being given the starting center position? Is there any talk of moving Brown to center?

That'd be better than LT, most likely Chester is getting the first shot. The next choice is moving Brown and instituting a line shuffle.

6,15Can Chester realistically do the job?

Do you agree that Yanda would make a very good guard? And that the Ravens need to get another tackle in rounds 2-4?

aaronwilson The jury is out. I know Chris' father said Chris is excited and ready to prove himself. We'll see. I worry about him anchoring at the line of scrimmage against bigger nose guards.

What do you see out of Ben grubbs, Yanda and gaither this year?

aaronwilson I do agree that Yanda would be a good guard, but right now he's the best right tackle on the team. Would you feel comfortable giving that job to Jared Gaither at this point?

I think I would at RT

aaronwilson I see the first two players you mentioned starting and performing well. I'm not sold on Gaither.

Let's see how much he matures.

NO, I wish the Ravens would trade down if they can with the #8 pick and address QB, CB and RT with their first 3 picks.

aaronwilson I would advocate trading down as far as the mid 20s and drafting Joe Flacco if they can pull it off.

I'm not sold on Gaither. DeCosta said he needs to do a LOT of offseason workouts to be ready.

6,0Jerry Jones has those 2 picks...

aaronwilson They are going to try to be as strict as possible with the value principle.

so Joe Flacco is your #2 Aaron? aaronwilson I don't think Joe Flacco will be there in the second round.

what do you base your rankings on?

aaronwilson If he is, not for long.

Parcells will take him

Bledsoe esque
Flacco is Bledsoe esque?

aaronwilson I base them on watching games, talking to scouts, reading and research. I don't consider myself a draft expert per se. I just zero in on the big picture rather than getting bogged down on minutiae. It's unnecessary to know every single player. That's not my job. My job is to outline who the Ravens are interested in and why and tell you as much as possible about those scenarios.

id say so. big pocket passer with a good arm

aaronwilson Ryan reminds me more of Bledsoe actually.

aaronwilson I think Flacco is kind of like Roethlisberger.

Besides Bowman is there talk of any other receivers? They only have 3 on the roster.

aaronwilson Flacco runs pretty well for his size.

Flacco accumulated a lot of sacks

aaronwilson They're having Malcolm Kelly in for a visit. I think they want to know more about his medical issues.

I said first overall as a joke because you said Parcells would take him Bledsoe-esque, which could include first overall

aaronwilson I could see him going as high as the Bills' pick.

Do you think Cameron wants to bring in another wideout to stretch the field or be a red zone threat eg vincent jackson

Limas Sweed visiting?

aaronwilson I haven't heard about him visiting. Remember, they only have 30 visits. Some of them are just intended to be potential free agents. They use the castle as a recruiting tool.

just wanted to make sure you didnt think I was actually serious

aaronwilson I think Cameron would like a deep threat, yes.

but Aaron, what do you think of Adam's comment that Troy would be the odd man out?

Its time for DW and Clayton to stand up.

aaronwilson I'm not sure about that. I think he's an affordable reserve. It's hard contractually, though, to get rid of McNair and there's no real reason to cut Boller. He's your best insurance policy if McNair can't cut it.

6,0Do you think they'll cut him if worse came to worse or just run with 4 QBs?

aaronwilson Williams and Clayton are being counted on to have healthy, productive years.

aaronwilson They won't keep four quarterbacks. Someone would have to go.

6,0like Smith...

aaronwilson And the move could happen before or early in training camp.

Do you think the production we saw on offense the past few years is as much to do with talent or was it playcalling?

lol put McNair on the practice squad

I think Billick struggles when he doesn't have great talent. His play-calling was unimaginative. Very vanilla.

That's insulting the word "vanilla", Aaron

Figurs on some end arounds

that would be sweet

aaronwilson I tend to doubt it, although Cameron does like some wrinkles like the option on occasion.

aaronwilson Figurs' hands are awful.

What do you think we'll see the most of besides Willis with him?

aaronwilson I think he should just concentrate on the return game.

didnt they know that about him when they drafted him?

Do you see Edgar Jones, Burgess and Barnes having bigger roles this year?

aaronwilson Passes to the tight end.

aaronwilson I could see Barnes emerging on third downs.

aaronwilson I don't think they have big plans right now for Jones and Burgess. They seem to be reserves at this point.

6,0Could Wilcox get more pt?

aaronwilson If he's healthy He's coming off toe surgery. Might not be ready until training camp.

When do you think we'll finally hear from Ogden...in a couple of weeks?

aaronwilson Sypniewski should be on the roster again with a decent role.

Are we going to see a few special teams players drafted later do you think?

aaronwilson I'm sure Ogden will say something soon. It's anticlimactic. He's already said what he intends to do. Just needs to make it official.

aaronwilson He said he already told the Ravens to proceed as if he's retiring.


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