Ravens Insider VIP chat transcript

OWINGS MILLS -- Talking draft with Scout.com draft expert Chris Steuber and discussing the Baltimore Ravens' offseason strategy with Ravens Insider publisher Aaron Wilson.

what WR will still be available at #26?

csteuber WayUpNorth: I think Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), Darrius Heyward-Bey(Maryland) and Kenny Britt (Rutgers) are three names to keep an eye on at the WR position late in the first round.

Did Heyward-Bey play out of position at MD?

csteuber Bilbo2: I think Heyward-Bey will be an early second round pick.

Which player do you have an eye on that will most likely sky rocket up the boards after the combine?

What are the strongest positions in the draft? Weakest?

6,0what position should we go for first? WR CB DE?

What will be real value at the end of the first round...? Always some guys drafted too early

csteuber Nemo69: Heyward-Bey still has to develop as a WR. He has blazing speed, but doesn't run good routes. He's not polished, but has a lot of qualities teams will be intrigued with. He reminds me a lot of Troy Williamson when he came out of South Carolina. I guess that's not saying much.

aaronwilson If the Ravens opted to let Ray Lewis and Bart Scott leave and don't feel entirely comfortable with Nick Greisen, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Tavares Gooden as replacements, is there an inside linebacker available late in the first round or second round who could possibly fill the void as a rookie? Any names jump out to you?

csteuber TSizzles31: Great question... I think Utah CB Sean Smith will rise up draft boards. I think USC LB Clay Matthews will continue ascend. But the one guys I'm interested in seeing is Florida State DE Everette Brown. Although he's undersized, he's very strong (480 pound) bench press and explosive.

Any fallers?

I hear Kenny Britt carries the Primadonna label. How true is this and will his attitude have any effect on his draft stock?

csteuber Bilbo2: Strongest positions are: OT, OLB, DE, CB, WR... weakest: QB, MLB, OG

A Ravens draft!

csteuber WayUpNorth: I think the Ravens should go for a CB in the first round. I think they can get good value at WR in the second round.

Seems like a nice fit for the Ravens Amen

Top five CB's?

csteuber Nemo69: I think CB, OT and WR will have the greatest value at the end of the first round. Also, RB is intriguing with Shonn Greene and Donald Brown being borderline first round picks.

csteuber AaronWilson: Honestly, after Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis, the MLB crop is very thin. But in the fourth round, keep an eye on Florida Atlantic MLB Frantz Joseph. He's my big time sleeper!

csteuber Bilbo2: I'm interested in seeing what Michael Crabtree runs in the 40. I don't think he falls out of the top-ten, but if he runs slower than expected, it will hurt him.

Who do you see getting Derrick Williams? Heavily recruited at MD...

get good value at WR in the second round.

Top five CB's?

csteuber Nemo69: I think CB, OT and WR will have the greatest value at the end of the first round. Also, RB is intriguing with Shonn Greene and Donald Brown being borderline first round picks.

csteuber AaronWilson: Honestly, after Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis, the MLB crop is very thin. But in the fourth round, keep an eye on Florida Atlantic MLB Frantz Joseph. He's my big time sleeper!

csteuber Bilbo2: I'm interested in seeing what Michael Crabtree runs in the 40. I don't think he falls out of the top-ten, but if he runs slower than expected, it will hurt him.

Who do you see getting Derrick Williams? Heavily recruited at MD...

csteuber TSizzles31: I'd say Britt is very confident, I don't think he has a major ego. But if he runs a 4.4 in the 40, I'm sure his head will fill up.

6,0should we be looking for A TE this year? who's out there/

csteuber Bilbo2: My top five CBs are: Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State), Vontae Davis (Illinois), D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt), Sean Smith (Utah) and Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest).

kind of shocked at where Alphonso is Do you think Smith goes before thE rAVENS PICK?

csteuber Nemo69: Derrick Williams will be a highly sought after WR in the second round. I can see teams like the Colts, Jets, Bills, Bears, Bucs, Giants and even Ravens taking a look at him. He reminds me a lot of Denver Broncos WR Eddie Royal.

D-Will is a good football player Agreed

csteuber WayUpNorth: There is good value at the TE position in this year's draft; it's fairly deep. It depends what round the Ravens want to address the position. I'm really high on Southern Miss' Shawn Nelson. He's improved his blocking ability and he's a very good receiver. He will be a solid third round pick.

That sounds about right...Rd. 3 after CB and WR.

aaronwilson Do you see any defensive end/3-4 outside linebacker types worth taking later in the first round and which players are appropriate at that position for the late second round and third round?

Chris, who would you compare Laurinaitis to? Will he hold up?

csteuber Bilbo2: Even though I have Alphonso Smith as my 5th CB, I think he could be taken before Sean Smith. A team like the Patriots would love to have his playmaking ability and speed. He's a tremendous playmaker and anticipates the action extremely well. The only knock on Alphonso Smith is his size.

aaronwilson And do Pettigrew and Coffman make it to the latter half of the first round?

What are your thoughts on Connor Barwin and what position do you see him as in the NFL?

csteuber AaronWilson: Penn State defender Aaron Maybin has great value between No. 21 - 29; Northern Illinois' Larry English will be an attractive player at the end of round one. Connor Barwin (Cincinnati) and Paul Kruger (Utah) are quality early second round picks. Hawaii DE David Veikune is emerging and could be a solid pick at the end of round two.

Is Aaron Maybin likely a project because of his size?

csteuber TSizzles: I like Connor Barwin. He's a very good athlete and can lineup with his hand in the dirt or standing up. I think he's a perfect fit for a 3-4. In a 4-3, he's a situational pass rusher. He will be a second round pick.

What is your opinion of Michael Johnson? Is he a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 LB?

I have LeSean McCo

y as my number one RB, where do you have him? Where do you see Cody Brown of UConn going? I've had my eyes on him for a while. I would assume he's going to be playing LB in the pros.

csteuber CrabCake: I love the name... That's what Maryland does best, "Football and Crab Cakes;" what movie is that from? Yes, Maybin's size is a concern, because unless he bulks up, he will have to be an OLB at the next level. At his Penn State size, there's no way he can be an everyday, effective DE at the next level.

How about the top TE's?

I'd like to see Maybin at 260 if the Ravens are considering drafting him

thats a lot to ask

csteuber TSizzles: I think Michael Johnson is extremely talented, but his status as a prospect is primarily based on his potential and not his production. To me, he's a big tease. He flashes his talent here and there, but plays down to the competition too often. I'm sure he will do well at the Combine; he's a physical freak and will probably be a late first, early second round pick.

aaronwilson Can you give us your quick fire comments on the Ravens' past rookie class, including Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Tavares Gooden, Oniel Cousins, Tom Zbikowski, Marcus Smith, David Hale, Haruki Nakamura, Justin Harper and undrafted linebacker Jameel McClain?

csteuber Bilbo2: The top five TEs are: Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State), Chase Coffman (Missouri), Shawn Nelson (Southern Miss), Jared Cook (South Carolina), Travis Beckum (Wisconsin) and James Casey (Rice)

csteuber Crab Cake: I think the Ravens will consider Maybin; he fits their defense well.


csteuber AaronWilson: Flacco did a nice job and gave you a taste for what he can do in the future.

Ray Rice has a lot of promise and showed good strength and quickness this season. Tavares Gooden has a lot of talent and in situational play this season was very good. I like Oniel Cousins, but he has some developing to do.

Zbikowski has a great work ethic and he will improve, but he won't be as productive as he was in college.

Marcus Smith showed some promise towards the end of the season, but is more of a possession guy who is very physical.

David Hale is a good developmental tackle with intriguing size and athleticism.

I love Nakamura's tenacity on special teams and his willingness to bust a wedge.

Justin Harper has great size, speed and good hands... he has promise.

Jameel McClain was a very good pass rusher at Syracuse and now playing OLB, I'm not sure he's a great fit.

csteuber The biggest knock I had on Rice coming out of school was the amount of carries he totaled during his three-year stay at Rutgers. I was concerned his career would be short-lived in the NFL.

Are you surprised by the Gaither turn around? He is a draft pick too...

people said that about DeAngelo Williams

Where would you rank the Raven front office?

Any new insight on our FA's or others?

just to satisfy my instant gratification curiosity, any earth shattering news from today?

Which FA's, if any, do you expect us to pursue/

6,0I heard rumors about the Ravens "paying" Ray any news there? ditto

aaronwilson I think Ray Lewis won't be franchised because it will anger him and it's expensive: $11.3 million. I think they will franchise Terrell Suggs. I think Bart Scott walks even though there has been some conversations going on. I see Jason Brown possibly leaving if doesn't lower his financial demands. Stover and Leonhard are on the back burner, but could be retaiend.

aaronwilson No earth-shattering news, but Ray Lewis' franchise figure would be $11.3 million.

Do you think Brown is going to get a huge offer from another team like Faneca did last year?

And Brown is asking?

aaronwilson I think they will keep their own guys and maybe look for some bargains,no splashy moves.

When do you see the ravens making their first big move?

aaronwilson I've heard they are intent on keeping Ray Lewis and are willing to outspend other teams, who really aren't nearly as interested in him as Baltimore.

If they could sign Suggs, franching makes financial sense. Just might be locker room issue

aaronwilson Brown wants top guard money.

which is?

aaronwilson Like Faneca.

aaronwilson Don't have his deal in front of me.

Franchisng Ray that is

Brown is good, but he needs to do more to get Faneca money. That is baffling.


It might be worth it in the long run Faneca's contract: five-year, $40 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed.

aaronwilson They might let him walk and go with Chris Chester at center.

aaronwilson Brown is posturing, but he's not inclined to settle for a cut-rate price.

If that happens, hopefully Chester will put on 15 pounds

We can't do it all guys

i'd rather draft a Center

What happened to the talk about Brown wanting to stay with the organization?

aaronwilson It's far from over and his agent is working hard on trying to get it done.

Center is key

They're not lowballing him are they?

aaronwilson Brown wants to stay, but he wants money. They already low-balled him a couple times.


I'd be wont to pay him

Maybe Yanda would be a viable center...

aaronwilson As far as what will happen first, I think they'll make a large offer to Ray in the next week or so.

Ray worries me in that we might mortgage the next couple of years for him.

aaronwilson Yanda is no center.

aaronwilson As far as Ray goes, he wants a ton of money, but they seem to want to do it.

So Ray THEN Brown?

Bloody well better sign the whole lot!

aaronwilson Interestingly enough, Ozzie wasn't pleased that Bisciotti made those comments.

what is the feeling that T Gooden will be at full health for next season and be able to actually play? Seems like a bit of a bust maybe?

aaronwilson As far as order of signing, it's really hard to say.

Why is the owner pissing off Ozzie

are we expected to pursue any FAs?

If Rolle is cut or retires, how many CBs do you see getting drafted and in what rounds? The depth of Fabian Washington/Frank Walker isn't very appealing if you ask me.

aaronwilson Gooden's injuries were preexisting, so the outlook for him post surgery is good. I don't think he's a bust, but he has been injury prone at Miami and was a late bloomer.I want to see better toughness and durability out of Gooden.

Asamouaga? Sp?


he'll be franchised

aaronwilson The owner can say what he wants. It's Ozzie's job to sign these guys along with Pat Moriarty.


They need at least two more cornerbacks. Forget about Asomugha and Robinson.

Maybe they can grab Greer.

6,0NO PLEXICO, besides his butt may be in jail

aaronwilson Boldin isn't happening. Costs too much in a trade and a new contract to make him happy.

aaronwilson Plaxico is staying in New York if he's out of the clink and not suspended.

What is Claytons future

What's the Heap status?

aaronwilson I see Mark continuing at his average pace with good moments against so-so cornerbacks. The Cincinnati game wasn't a breakthrough. It was an aberration.

aaronwilson Demetrius Williams is going to be running in six weeks and should be ready at minicamps for some drills. I could see him doing big things if healthy.

Outside of the big names that aren't gonna happen (Boldin, Asomoghua etc.) are there any reasonable FA pickups that they're talking about at the castle?

That would be good news indeed

aaronwilson Heap earned some respect from the coaches for blocking okay and notcomplaining publicly.

Is Wilcox gone?

aaronwilson That said, they could go with a young tight end to groom behind him and dump him after next season.

If Syp is healthy, is TE settled?

aaronwilson Wilcox told me he is gone, yes. Syp will be healthy, but you need a receiving threat. Heap is fading fast

is he retiring?

6,0I think good blocking was less embaressing than dropping passes

aaronwilson Dropping more balls and fumbling easily.

His blocking is average.

Too much double coverage too

Many good TE's in this draft. Give me a CB, WR, TE and DE early.

Who do you see us picking at 26?

aaronwilson As far as names, it is really quiet on other free agents. They think most of the really good ones will never make it to the marketplace. They can't afford them if they do. Re: Haynesworth.

alphonso, derrick williams, and lawrence sidburry

my dream draft

aaronwilson Right now, I'm thinking Alphonso Smith, Aaron Maybin or Chase Coffman. I think Pettigrew will be gone.

Chase Coffman in the first???

or did you mean second?

aaronwilson If he runs really fast.

aaronwilson Utah's Sean Smith is another possibility.

I haven't gotten too far into draft stuff yet, though.

I see a lot of Shockey in Coffman to be honest.

Coffman catches everything, but I think he has a lot fo work on

The one TE I love is Shawn Nelson

being so weak at WR do you see that as a higher priority then CB? Or are there just too many ?'s on defense to go offense with first pick?

especialyl as a blocker

I think we go CB in Rd 1. We kind of missed out last year with the Cowboys stealing our target

aaronwilson I think there's plenty of corner depth, so if they like a receiver they should draft him early.

do you see the Ravens drafting a position that is not that needed?

aaronwilson Joe Hortiz is smart, sharp, well connected, he'll do very well, but Eric will remain in charge of overseeing everything the college scouts do.

What Ravens scout has a Dad that is DL coach for the Titans?

aaronwilson Jeremiah Washburn. His dad's name is Jim Washburn. Jeremiah is a former Arkansas offensive tackle who scouts the Southwest for Baltimore.

aaronwilson Jim Washburn is a great coach. I know him from covering the Titans. He's legit.

he did something with Haynesworth that is extraordinary

What is Landry's status with regards to what tender offer he will receive? Is there any clause in the CBA if a guy is hurt like he is ?

aaronwilson There's no protection clause as far as an injured RFA. I think they might give him the second to lowest tender at best since he's hurt.

aaronwilson Haynesworth has always had the ability, just needed to control his temper.

What does Kyle plan on doing

aaronwilson Kyle is looking for a job. Elsewhere obviously.

Won't happemn.

aaronwilson Cap is expiring, but it might not happen. Lockout more likely than a strike.

Aaron: Any sleeper FA's that might fall our way?

Man, I went through that with the Orioles

aaronwilson Really soon to say about other free agents because I don't know yet

who's going to make it to the market. Will be clearer after franchise deadline ends Feb. 19.

So the verdict is Suggs is franchised, Bart flies the coup, and Ray and Brown are on the fence?

aaronwilson Yes, that's how it looks to me right now.

aaronwilson Bart isn't totally gone, though. They are interested in him again and he's open to listening.

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