JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Joey from Middleburg, FL:
I know every team believes going into the draft all of their picks eventually will be starters. But, seriously, how many quality starters can a team expect out of a typical seven-round draft? I've read a few articles suggesting getting three quality starters would be an "above average" draft. Is that number way off? Here are some of the numbers I've found on the odds of drafting a quality starter by round: 1 – 72 percent, 2 – 56 percent, 3 – 35 percent, 4 – 20 percent, 5 – 18 percent, 6 – 12 percent, 7 – 11 percent.
John: First of all, I’d argue your first point – that every team believes going into the draft all of their selections will eventually be starters. People running teams’ drafts don’t believe this – or if they do, they’re not dealing with reality. That’s because the reality is the draft is – as your final point indicates – a percentage game, one in which success is sometimes measured like baseball, when failure is statistically more common than success. When you draft seven players, you essentially hope you can get one player you eventually can call a core player in the first round, then find another long-term contributor somewhere in the rest of the draft. On a very good year, you pick up a third long-term player, but that’s relatively rare. My belief is if you hit in the first round every year and hit on a quarterback, you can have a pretty low percentage in all of the other rounds and still be successful.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
When will sites like NFL.com get the news that the Jaguars changed their logo and update their website accordingly?
John: I don’t know.
Dereck from Jacksonville:
This draft, unlike others, offers the potential to be the best no-brainer in memory. If Kansas City selects anyone other than Joeckel, it's a no-brainer. If he is available and we don't take him, we have no brain.
John: If you believe Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel is far and away the best player in the draft, then what you say is true. And indeed, there are many who believe that, because much of the pre-draft talk until now has had him as head and shoulders above any other left tackle. Perspectives such as that can change in the months leading to the draft, and it appears that could be the case with Joeckel. Not that his stock is dropping, necessarily, but NFL Draft analyst Mike Mayock said Monday there’s actually little difference between Joeckel and Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher. That could make Joeckel a lot less of a no-brainer come late April. Let’s let some time pass and get the combine and Pro Days behind us before we set the draft board in stone.
Danny from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Not trying to whine, just ask. Why, when someone is being interviewed on Jaguars.com is there so much background talking and laughing? In one interview, someone moved the mike closer to the gentleman being interviewed. To me, it's rude, nonprofessional, and disrespectful to the man doing the talking and the people asking the questions. Not to mention us the fans. Just some feedback to maybe shed light on something that this paying customer/diehard fan would like to see change. If Mr. Khan was being interviewed, no one would disrespect him like that and his staff is an extension of him.
John: I believe you’re asking about the press conferences being posted on jaguars.com. If so, those were interviews involving many local media and it’s difficult to control the noise in those situations. The press conferences are posted to allow the fans to see the entirety of what was said, and sometimes they’re not going to sound perfect.
J-School Corby from Denver, CO:
How's the old saying go, "If you have 10-to-12 top-five picks, you really don't have any"?
John: It doesn’t go quite like that, but it makes a good point.
Kyle from Jacksonville:
If the 3-4 defense was implemented would Terrence Knighton fit the nose guard position?
John: The best way to answer this question is how Knighton might fit into the Jaguars’ scheme they’re implementing. The scheme Gus Bradley wants to install is more of a hybrid 3-4 and 4-3 that will feature elements of both. It will begin as more of a 4-3 at the beginning and the plan is for it to gear more toward the 3-4 in time. To answer your question, defensive line coach Todd Wash said without question Knighton would fit into what the Jaguars will be doing. That’s from a physical perspective. Whether new General Manager David Caldwell agrees and whether Knighton fits into the Jaguars’ salary structure is another question that probably can’t be answered just yet.
Ben from Jacksonville:
Is there a chance the Jaguars trade their first-round selection for the Rams’ two first rounds?
John: Sure, there’s a chance.
Nick from Orlando, FL:
I know Andre Branch
didn't perform as well as we expected/hoped last season but I have a feeling he is going to turn out to be very good. What do you expect from him over the next few seasons?
John: I don’t know what to expect from Branch, but I do believe he still has a chance to be good for the Jaguars. That’s because right now what we have from Branch is a bad rookie year coupled with a front office/coaching staff that appears to believe in him. Defensive ends often struggle in their first seasons, and Branch certainly fulfilled that expectation, registering one sack and seeing his playing time diminish drastically. At the same time, Caldwell and new defensive line coach Todd Wash have spoken highly of the 2012 second-round selection, with Wash indicating he may be able to grow into the Leo end/linebacker role in Head Coach Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme. Wash and Caldwell know more about end play than I do, so I tend to believe Branch can be effective in the coming seasons.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
Do you foresee a possibility of anything happening in the 2013 draft? The people need to know, John!
John: Yes, I believe something will happen in the 2013 draft.
Trey from Jacksonville:
Caldwell and Gus have to say things like that. I just don't like when people try to use it as an excuse. I see it this way... if people believe that it is technically his third rookie season it puts more pressure on Gabbert to play really good. Wilson, Luck, RGIII, Newton, and Dalton all had good rookie seasons. A guy with three rookie seasons better play better than guys who actually played good their rookie season. Does that make any sense?
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
There are many who believe Gabbert looked very good when there was little or no threat of taking a hit, i.e. training camp, mini-camp and preseason. Then, when the regular season started and the pass rush was real, he shrunk in the pocket and looked nervous. How does the new coaching staff combat this false representation?
John: Well, first of all, whatever people believed to the contrary, shrinking in the pocket and looking nervous wasn’t a problem for Gabbert last season, and it wasn’t nearly the problem people believed in 2011, either. The idea of quarterbacks standing tall in the pocket is often a myth these days. The best quarterbacks stand in the pocket when there’s no or little pressure, then get rid of the ball and protect themselves against the hit when the pressure is about to get home. Gabbert’s not much different than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Eli Manning in that regard. The difference is Gabbert hasn’t played anywhere near the level of those three, and that’s where the coaching staff and front office is likely to focus because there’s no question that last offseason Gabbert looked very good and even in preseason only to not look nearly as good during the regular season. If he looks good again this offseason how do you know he’ll look good in the regular season? That may be one of the big questions surrounding the Jaguars this offseason.
Bob from Jacksonville:
It appears to me that the Jaguars best chance for a trade is the second round where they have the first pick. Teams have all night to see who is available. Do you agree? If so, when can teams contact the Jaguars to make a deal?
John: This is a theory many are floating and it has merit. The talent is perceived to be somewhat flat in the first round, meaning there’s not an insane amount of difference between the No. 2 selection and the No. 10. The lack of an elite quarterback at the top of the draft also doesn’t help the Jaguars’ chances of making a trade there. There are quite a few quarterbacks projected in the late first and early second rounds, so that would make trading the No. 33 selection a possibility. That selection wouldn’t garner the same value as the No. 2 selection, but it could certainly glean an extra selection later in the draft. Teams can contact one another about draft-day trades at any time, but aside from trades in the Top 10, they usually occur when one of the teams is on the clock.
Travis from Jacksonville and Section 112:
That had to be one of the best quotes ever. "You’re a man of principles. I don’t admire that as much as I probably should." Did you make that up yourself or is it a quote from a movie or book?
John: I thought of it, which is notable in that it’s not my preferred mode of operation. Usually, I vastly prefer stealing a line to making one up, the latter being far more mentally taxing than the former.