JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Jimmy from Orlando, FL:
Wow. Teddy Bridgewater struggled at the Pro Day Monday. How much does that hurt his draft stock? Really?
John: It doesn’t help, but realistically, it probably won’t be disastrous. Teams will certainly go back and take a look at Bridgewater and try to determine what caused him to struggle a bit at times at his Pro Day Monday. Perhaps it was throwing without a glove Monday. Perhaps he was trying to change something fundamentally. Perhaps it was nerves. Perhaps it was a combination. But if a team really, really liked Bridgewater in college and thought he was worth a Top 5 selection … well, if a team thought that then one Pro Day workout won’t change that. It shouldn’t, anyway.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX:
Is it "normal" for a team to have so many defensive line players rotate in and out? I thought I saw an interview where defensive linemen said they don't like to rotate since it stops them from building a rhythm during the game and causes decreased performance.
John: I don’t doubt there have been defensive linemen say that at some point, but conventional wisdom is pretty much that it’s good to have defensive linemen rotate. Very good. Offensive linemen rarely rotate – for exactly the reasons you cite – but defensive linemen need rest. It’s much more taxing physically to rush the passer than to protect the passer and you rarely would see a defensive lineman take as many snaps as his offensive counterpart.
Huh from Jacksonville:
Who is this Culligan guy and why does he have a commercial?
John: Oh, he’s just a hard-working sort who believes in a day’s work for a day’s pay. He deserves all the good that comes his way.
Cole from Section 116:
Does the front office ever come to you for your opinion of fan perception? For instance, would they even care or consider how many MJD questions you get on a daily basis and would they consider such things in their decision making? I know that Tebow hysteria is a little different but I think it would make a lot of people happy to see MJD finish his career here and the new regime should try to accommodate.
John: The front office is not dim to the notion that Jones-Drew is popular with Jaguars fans, and the front office understands that fans would like to see him finish his career with the Jaguars. As for how much that will be accommodated, you can’t make on-field decisions based on sentiment or popularity. Jones-Drew would be one of the first to tell you that’s true.
Nate from York, PA:
With David and Gus addressing the lines and pass rusher needs so much in free agency it seems as if they are gearing up to draft a quarterback with our third pick. I'm excited with what they are doing and can't wait to see their work unfold in the years to come. Never been prouder to be a jags fan!
John: I should take this opportunity to reiterate what has been iterated more than once – that’s that it’s probably unwise to draw many conclusions about the Jaguars’ draft plans based on the events of the past week or so. Free agency is great. The Jaguars have used it to their advantage. But the Jaguars in the first round will try to draft a player who will be a cornerstone of the franchise for at least the next four-to-seven years. Free-agency is a far shorter-term proposition.
Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
For some reason I really enjoy the "Hey!"s at the beginning of the one-fers. Can I get one fer heys?
John: Hey! Hey!
Sam from Orlando, FL:
After Bridgewater's Pro Day, I'm thinking we go Clowney or Watkins in the first round in May. Can you give us any insight on Derek Carr? I feel like he could be a great second-round pick for us.
John: I’d let a week or so pass following each Pro Day before drawing too many conclusions. The Pro Day is a part of the pre-draft puzzle. A small part. While many were downgrading Bridgewater dramatically based on his performance Monday, I get the idea that in a week or so he will be back to being judged as he should be – on his game tape and overall body of work. As for Carr, we shall see.
Joseph from Jacksonville:
I read Mayock and other analysts’ average-to-slightly below average assessment on Teddy Bridgewater’s Pro Day. Then, I googled the same people’s assessment of Blaine Gabbert andJamarcus Russell and saw the praise and awe of those two prospects. Therefore I cannot help but not be phased by Teddy's subpar performance. Isn't game tape more accurate than anything in the "practice" field? If that’s the case, Teddy and Johnny are still worthy of Top 5.
John: The game tape is indeed what matters. Whether that means Manziel and/or Bridgewater is a Top 5 selection is a completely different issue.
Brad from Jacksonville:
I think Clowney will be a great pro player but the guy I want most in round one is Sammy Watkins. Speed (we know Gus and Dave like speedy guys), great hands (we have had issues with this in the past few years) and the potential to become a true franchise receiver. How likely is it that we will draft Sammy if Clowney is off the board? It would also fill an area of great need, especially if Blackmon ends up not returning.
John: I darned sure wouldn’t rule it out.
Keith from Summerville, SC:
It's safe to say that at this point the Culligan girl is the face of the franchise. Wouldn't you agree?
John: Hey! I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Alex from Chester Springs, PA:
I have been the most diehard Jaguars fan. If they don't draft Manziel, then I will finally give up on them. Caldwell and you don't breathe and sleep Jaguars like me. I just really want people there to understand he is the best quarterback in the draft and if you don't see that then I seriously know you know nothing of football.
John: You don’t think Caldwell breathes and sleeps Jaguars? Really?
Mike from Albany, NY:
It seems like the Jags now have plenty of personnel to handle the LEO, 3- and 5- technique positions along the D-line, but who besides Miller is available to handle the 1-technique if everyone that is expected to make the final rooster does?
John: That’s the position that still needs to be addressed.
Bryant from White Plains, NY:
Gus is the face of this franchise.
John: No argument.
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and Section 215:
Shad Khan is clearly the face (or at least the moustache) of the franchise.
John: No argument here, either.
Phil from Boynton Beach, FL:
Why are NFL contracts written as they are? Why can't they sign a player for $25 million for three years instead of writing it up as $60 million for six years with $25 million guaranteed? What's the purpose of writing contracts when most of them are rarely played out to the end date without the player reworking or getting cut?
John: Contracts are written that way mainly for salary-cap purposes. In the NFL, it’s wise to take contracts and spread them out over time. Teams can ease a salary cap hit by spreading a cap hit out over the life of a contract, so making a contract six years as opposed to four years can help in that regard.
Joseph from Jacksonville:
I know you are a believer that Dave Caldwell is not a smoke-screen guy. I sorta sense that too. However.. if he does take Manziel with the third pick, that will dispel the notion that he isn't a smoke-screen guy because I don't sense at all that they will draft Manziel yet I wouldn't be surprised.
John: Yep, I’d be surprised, too.
Charles from Bangalore, India:
Are there advantages of building a defensive line through free agency and building the offensive line using the draft? Looks like that is the way we are going. Just wondering if there is any significance to that strategy, or if it even is a strategy?
It’s not so much a strategy as circumstance. There actually is a school of thought in the NFL that free agency is a better avenue through which to build an offensive line than a defensive line. That’s a school of thought pushed forth recently by former NFL Executive and six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian. In the Jaguars’ case this offseason it made sense to address the defensive line through free agency because of the players that came available. Chris Clemons
, Red Bryant
, Ziggy Hood
– these were players that fit and who have identifiable roles. That’s the biggest reason for addressing the line through free agency.
Jack from Jacksonville:
O-Zone, why has no one ever brought up the real issue with this franchise? Nobody has been talking about putting you on the Pride of the Jaguars? While Shadrick might have the BMW you should have your name on the stadium.
John: I’d sort of like a BMW, too, though.