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O-Zone: Confirming the obvious

Posted Apr 3, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
With the Jags picking third, they need to be looking at a 10-year player. That translates into an offensive lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker. No quarterback excites me. None makes us a playoff team this year. Finally, on our infatuation with Johnny Football, an old quote applies to him: "He'll win some games that should never have been won and lose some games that should never have been lost."
John: You may be right on the Jaguars taking a defensive lineman or linebacker in May, though I’d be surprised if they go offensive line No. 3 overall. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them go Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack with that No. 3 selection, but as far as your comment, “None of them makes us a playoff team this year,” remember: whether a quarterback makes the Jaguars a playoff team this year isn’t the issue. Is there a quarterback who can become the starter for the long haul? That is what matters.
Justin from Jacksonville:
So, with the new scoreboards, is the whole thing going to be new or will they just add to each side of the existing scoreboards?
John: It will all be new – and different, bigger and bolder in a way that might defy comprehension.
Joe from St. Augustine, FL:
Are teams concerned with the draft being moved back five-to-six weeks? Will this cause draft picks to have an even harder time than usual making an impact in the first year? Not having those six weeks with playbooks, working out at the stadium, etc., could push much of this to training camp. It seems like it will slow the process. Your thoughts on this?
John: The draft actually has been moved back two weeks, from its usual spot in late April to May 8-10. Any time is valuable for a rookie and losing two weeks isn’t insignificant. But it’s more a matter of compressing time than losing it. Rookies still will have 10 organized team activities practices, but those practices will be scheduled into a smaller amount of time than before. There are a few days less for rookies to be in the playbook, so there could be some impact in the area you mentioned, but I doubt it will be major.
Sage from Orlando, FL:
If Clowney is supposed to be as good as or better than Mario Williams, isn't it a no-brainer that the Jaguars make sure to draft him?
John: If they think he’s the best player available at No. 3, then absolutely.
David from Lincoln, NE:
I'm still somewhat lost when it comes to compensatory picks. I always thought they were awarded after the seventh round concluded. Now I see teams getting them at the end of rounds 3, 4, 5, etc. What's up with that O-man? The Ravens have a bunch of them.
John: They’re added at the end of Rounds 3-7, which always has been the case. The Ravens have a bunch because they lost a lot of players in free agency and didn’t sign many.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Houston has the No. 1 pick. Why would they have ANY need to smokescreen?
John: The reason for the Texans to smokescreen would be to create the market for a trade.
Ted from Jacksonville:
What are your thoughts if Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney are gone? Don't the Jaguars go after the best available player? Like Jake Matthews? With him back on the right side – like Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy?
John: I doubt the Jaguars will take an offensive tackle in the first round. They like Austin Pasztor on the right side and believe he can continue developing. If that doesn’t happen, could they address the position in the future? Sure, but Pasztor showed enough last season to merit the opportunity.
William from Savannah, GA:
I would rather you be the face of the franchise than the navel of the franchise. Can I get a "one fer" on that one?
John: I think you could probably get more than one one fer on that one.
Nick from Fort Benning, GA:
Let's say we go 6-10 this year, and all of the losses are seven points or less? Even though everyone is still upset for only winning six games, isn't that still heading in the right direction?
John: It very well could be … if young players are developing and if the team is playing better consistently than it was last season.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
I’m not necessarily calling out Mayock’s journalistic integrity, but when recognizing there is no oversight to what broadcasters can receive personally from sponsors, I’m thinking Mike’s new proclamation of Manziel as the No. 1 quarterback prospect will be some of the best 37-day (at minimum) campaign Nike could buy; especially when theoretically comparing the cost of one man’s voice to the price of commercial advertising time.
John: Well, at least you’re not calling out Mayock’s integrity, but I see no substance to your theory. Besides, I think Johnny Football being Johnny Football will probably get Nike enough publicity to be worth its investment in him. The company doesn’t need Mayock’s help.
Ted from Green Cove Springs, FL:
If the chips somehow fall to where a trading partner emerged, and the opportunity to score either Anthony Barr or Mike Evans along with an additional second-round selection in this draft, count me one-fer that!
John: Hey! One fer tradin’!
Sascha from Cologne, Germany:
I just want to understand it: you say the combine and Pro Days don’t make a significant impact on draft Status. But why did Mayock suddenly change his opinion on Manziel and Bridgewater because of the events? Any idea?
John: Mayock seemed very disappointed in Bridgewater’s Pro Day – apparently enough to drop him behind Manziel and Bortles. One thing I don’t know is just how far ahead of Manziel and Bortles Mayock had Bridgewater ranked in the first place. Did he have Bridgewater rated, say, a 10 and Manziel and Bortles a six? Or was it a case of 8.5 to 8.4 and 8.3? If it was the latter, perhaps it was a case of the Pro Day making just enough difference to push Bridgewater down two small notches. Also, don’t forget: Mayock is well-respected, but he still doesn’t reflect all draft boards. If Bridgewater slides significantly, it still may be a case where it would have happened regardless of his Pro Day performance.
Shawn from Orange Park, FL:
I know anything can happen once a player makes the transition to the NFL, but the more I read about Clowney the more he sounds like the Andrew Luck of defense - a rare talent you don't see very often. What do you realistically think the chances are he falls to the Jags?
John: Slim.
Tyler from Sparks:
With the 29th pick, the Patriots have scheduled meetings with Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles. What do you think the chances are the Patriots trade with the Rams for the second pick and get one of them? Bill Belichick and Johnny Manziel/Blake Bortles, and they both would be learning under Tom Brady for a couple years before they took the field. I don't need to watch the Patriots at the top anymore. That would suck.
John: I think there’s very little chance the Patriots trade up to No. 2. I think they’re wise enough to do due diligence on both players. As vogue as it is to say Manziel and Bortles would each go in the Top 5, some team has to love each player enough to take him, and there are people who think the latter might not happen.
Steve from Jacksonville:
I'd wager a kidney that if Houston goes quarterback, someone will jump to the No. 2 spot and get him. Dang it! Do you think the Jags might participate in a bidding war for him?
John: I assume by “him” you must mean Jadeveon Clowney. No, I do not think the Jaguars will participate in a bidding war for him.
Rob from Fleming Island, FL:
I realize it is all about the deal, but wouldn't it be less expensive for any team such as Atlanta to trade with the Jags versus the Rams? It is strange to see so many mockers suggest Atlanta would trade to No. 2 for Clowney when it seems the Jags are very anxious to trade back a few spots.
John: There’s a perception that the Rams are more likely to trade because they seem to be settled on Sam Bradford as their quarterback, and they already have an elite pass rusher in Robert Quinn. That would make it logical for them to trade back and still be able to draft a big-time wide receiver or offensive tackle.
Jesse from Panama City, FL:
Pro days and draft speculation … the most important question is, did our beloved Culligan Girl make the final roster of the roar? I don't think I saw her...
John: I have no idea what you’re talking about. (But yeah, Shadrick tells me she made it).

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