Welcome to the first edition of the Ravens offseason mailbag. We are two Sundays removed from NFL football, and seven weeks removed from Ravens football. Naturally, this is a bit of a dead period so I took to the deep realms of social media to field your questions. Without further adieu, here we go!
@Kyle_Maynard00 asks: You think Doom would restructure or get an extension instead of us cutting him...same with Webb?
Great question Kyle! I don't see Dumervil restructuring. They may bring him back for depth, but I think the team likes what it has with Judon and Smith. I expect they'll draft somebody, but they've been rumored to be in on Eagles DE/OLB Connor Barwin, and if that happens I don't think it make sense to bring him back. Webb is an interesting case, but they can't keep him for $7.5 million. The team can save $5 million by cutting him, but it leaves them thin at the position. I think due to that fact, he's likely to restructure.
@rlukeclifford asks: With so much talent at TE, could the Ravens try to trade one of the vets for draft picks instead of cutting them?
That’s an interesting question, but I would be inclined to say there isn't a market for them. The two veterans are Watson and Pitta, but due to age and contracts I don't see a team being interested in either. Pitta will be 31 and Watson will be 36 when the 2017 season starts. Watson will be coming off of an Achilles tear and Pitta is one hit away from paralysis. Watson carries a cap hit of $4 million and Pitta carries one of $7 million. I can’t envision teams wanting either one unless they were outright cut.
@Tim_Too_Trill asks: With all the different mocks, who are the three players you could realistically see us picking and why?
Mock season can get wild, especially before the Combine and Pro days. Right now I would say Sidney Jones, Corey Davis and Malik Hooker. The Ravens are likely to cut a lot of defensive backs in the coming weeks due to cap numbers, so they'll need to supplement that level of the defense. Jones has polished ball skills and is a playmaker, unlike Hooker who has about a year of starting experience and will have a longer learning curve. I threw Corey Davis in here because the team could use a playmaker at wide receiver and he is one of the more polished receivers that stands a chance of being there at 16.
@RyanG77 asks: Do you think the Ravens will make a change to their defensive scheme, maybe to a 4-3?
I do not see them making a change. You want to scheme to the strength of your personnel, and I think that the team is best situated with the 3-4. Based on some of the players the team has been linked to, such as Barwin, I believe they'll stick with the same scheme.
@UniStar4Ever asks: Last 5 drafts + Flacco money and QBR have killed the Ravens - who should be held accountable?
There are a lot of factors that play into this question. The Ravens haven't found a true stud in the last few years outside of Williams and Mosley, but after one year I think they found some gems in the 2016 draft. Stanley was one of the better tackle prospects in years, Judon showed flashes and Tavon Young showed that he had what it takes to be a top tier corner in the league.
As for Flacco, the age old question of whether he is elite will rage on. I thought he had steadily progressed each year, but inconsistency at offensive coordinator, an iffy supporting cast, injury and questionable decision making have put him under a magnifying glass. I think Flacco kind of ‘is what he is.’ An average to slightly above average QB with a big arm who can win you one or two games a year, but will never carry a team for an entire season. I fall into the category of thinking he is overpaid, but I think next year will be the final evaluation of what Flacco truly is.
@mwyche22 asks: Who’s a better fit, John Ross or Corey Davis?
Give me Corey Davis every day. I’m skeptical of Ross’ health. Two major knee injuries and now a shoulder injury scare me as a first round possibility. Ross has speed and excellent footwork, but Davis is the full package. Davis is a good route runner, has great ball skills, good size and doesn't have the injury history Ross does, however I do like both.
@jkahlilt asks: Why don’t we have an established offense in over five seasons?
I think this goes back to the revolving door at offensive coordinator and receiver. The team has done an excellent job at picking up veteran receivers, but the downside is that they're only there for 2-3 years and gone. The best offenses have either a great quarterback, great system or talented personnel (Manning, Brady, Brees and the Falcons). The Ravens have had a revolving door at halfback and receiver in addition to a QB that won't make those around him much better.
Sean Howley asks: What free agent wide receivers could be an option for the Ravens?
I would say Kenny Britt and Pierre Garçon if he hits the market. Garçon is a nasty, aggressive receiver who always fights for the ball. He checks the “Raven mentality” box as a guy who will give the team all that he has every week. Britt has been plagued with injuries, but posted his first 1,000 yard receiving season with abysmal play from the Rams quarterbacks. I’d tread lightly with the injury concerns, but Britt is talented.
Dominique DeAlveraz Quillian asks: What are the chances that we draft OJ Howard from Alabama and also sign Josh Gordon?
I doubt they’ll touch Josh Gordon and I don't know if he’ll even be available. I think the chances of drafting Howard are low because I don't think he’ll be there at 16 in addition to the log jam at TE. The team currently has six TEs on the roster, but Howard is a playmaker. He blocks like an offensive lineman but is likely to run a sub 4.60 at the NFL Combine. I like Howard a lot as a playmaker, but I don't think it'd be a wise pick considering the best player available could also fill a need for the team.
I want to thank everyone who participated in this edition of the Ravens Mailbag! I couldn't get to all of the questions, but make sure to follow us on twitter @bmorebeatdown and like us on Facebook as we gather questions for next week’s mailbag!