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O-Zone: First reference

Posted Mar 11, 2018

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Clif from Washington, DC:
At the end of the 2015 season, you talked about how Blake Bortles’ stats weren't a very good indicator of how well he played and that he still had a lot to improve upon. Well, looking at the Jaguars’ 2017 offense as a whole, don't you think they have a lot to improve upon? Saying they were the No. 6 offense in the league is true – but they had a lot of stinkers. Wide receiver Allen Robinson would have really helped this past season and it's a mistake to let him, most likely, walk.
John: There’s no question the Jaguars have a lot on which to improve offensively. When I note that they finished No. 6 in the NFL in total offense last season, I do so to make the point that the unit was not in any way awful last season – and when measured against the rest of the NFL, the Jaguars’ offense indeed absolutely was well above average. This is not just shown in the league rankings, but in the fact that the Jaguars won 12 games – including two in the postseason. Here’s where the disconnect between fans and team direction may be happening: while it appears many fans believe the only way to improve offensively is to re-sign Robinson and improve the No. 1 receiver position, the team believes there are other avenues to improve offensively. The guess here is that the Jaguars are far more concerned with their lack of ability in the second half of the season to run effectively when they needed to run – i.e., in the second half of the AFC Championship Game. With that in mind, I would guess you’ll see the Jaguars focus this offseason more on the offensive line – and perhaps tight end – than wide receiver. We’ll see.
Chris from Mandarin:
Do you think the Jaguars drafted Jalen Myrick with an eye on him being Aaron Colvin's replacement this season? I remember him making some plays this year, as well as Tyler Patmon.
John: I think the Jaguars drafted Myrick last offseason because his speed made him intriguing. You always hope drafted rookies can develop into players who can replace veterans that leave for free agency. But neither Myrick nor Patmon are close to a one-for-one replacement for Colvin right now. If Colvin signs elsewhere, I would expect the Jaguars to draft or sign a nickel corner.
Dave from Duval:
Dear John, why is it so difficult for so many of my fellow fans to realize it is PROFESSIONAL football; it is about the MONEY? I’ve been reading the O-Zone and listening to sports-talk radio about the Jags not tagging A-Rob and fans just don’t get it that A-Rob is looking out for A-Rob and the Jags are looking out for the Jags because of the money and that’s OK because it’s PROFESSIONAL football.
John: THERE is some truth to this.
Steve from Memphis, TN:
I noticed you mentioned the Jags going after Carolina guard Andrew Norwell and Philadelphia tight end Trey Burton. That would be great if they signed both, although most likely might only be one of them. Let’s suppose they do sign both. I see taking a wide receiver in the first round, then possibly another interior lineman or quarterback in the next several rounds. Linebacker depth might be important as well. What are your thoughts on this scenario?
John: I absolutely can see the Jaguars taking something close to the approach you lay out. I don’t know that quarterback is going to be a Day 1-2 selection, but I suppose Day 2 isn’t out of the question.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O ... Trey Burton?! Seriously?! I love when former Gators play for the Jaguars, but if Burton is signed to fill a need at pass-catching tight end the Jags are still going to have a need at pass-catching tight end. I get that he was the star of a fun play during this year’s Super Bowl. I get that he had his best season as a pro this past year, though at under 300 yards and five touchdowns (same number as Marcedes Lewis), that’s not exactly dynamic. He’s also too short and small to fill the role of dominant tight end. If it’s just about bargain hunting, then just draft a guy and cross your fingers. Why wouldn’t this team look more to a win-now, draw-the-respect-of-defenses option like Jimmy Graham, Martellus Bennett, or Austin Sefarian-Jenkins?
John: Maybe they will.
Josh from Orlando, FL:
Zone, if you had to identify one draft prospect that you strongly believe 1) will be drafted in Round 1 before the 29th pick, and 2) is viewed by Jags' brass as warranting a move up the board (for the reasonably expected price of moving to that player's projected spot), who would that player be, in your opinion?
John: I would be very surprised if the Jaguars move up in Round 1 this year because I expect there to be enough players at positions they want that they can wait and use the No. 29 selection. I think there’s a far better chance of them moving down because they appear to have needs at positions such as tight end, offensive line and wide receiver – and because there could be teams wanting to move up with the idea of getting a quarterback at No. 29.
Andy from Roswell, GA:
The A-Rob decision seems like a classic money-ball, analytic move to me (which I think is a good thing). How do you replace or surpass his production? With a better run game, a tight end that opens up the middle and complimentary – but not elite – wide receivers. And last time I checked, when did a truly elite WR1 bring anyone to the Super Bowl? Don't get me wrong, I want Robinson back, but I'm very pleased with the front office on this one.
John: Hey … one fer the front office!
TC from Kingsland, GA and Section 114:
I think our long drought of not getting compensatory draft picks may come to an end next year.
John: Perhaps not. Compensatory selections are decided by a formula based on free agents signed by the team and lost by the team the previous offseason. It would appear that the Jaguars are going to lose at least one or two higher-profile free agents in the coming days. At the same time, we don’t yet know how many free agents the Jaguars will sign – nor do we know the profile of those free agents. If the Jaguars sign as many high-profile players as they lose, then the two groups will balance each other out and no compensatory selections would be awarded.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
I'm gonna predict the future. We will not resign another player currently on our roster between now and the 14th. We will bring in a far below average WR that best fits on the bench. We will sign a backup offensive-line player that will be cut after training camp. We will trade up and waste a pick for a wide receiver or tight end like idiots. And then in September we will cry into our beer about how losing Robinson, Aaron Colvin, Corey Grant and Poz was a dynasty-crushing list of choices. Super...
John: (Yawn).
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
O-man, are there any past examples of star players picked at No. 29? Is it possible for us to pick up a superstar at that spot or shall we just be hoping for a solid starter?
John: Center Nick Mangold was selected No. 29 overall by the New York Jets in 2006. It hasn’t been a draft position of superstars, but that means very little. You can get a good player there. You can get a good player anywhere. You just have to make the right selection.
Aaron from White Hall, AR:
I really would like to see Allen Robinson back for next year, but I think he will be wearing a Bears or 49ers jersey next season. I really like A-Rob and the team is better with him than without him, but fans have to realize you can't let one player cripple your cap to where you can't improve other areas of your roster. So you have to be willing to let players walk at times if the cost is too high. Receivers are a dime-a-dozen and with the exception of the Steelers. There's not a lot of playoff teams paying big time money for one player at that position.
John: I don’t completely buy into the dime-a-dozen theory. Players such as Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, etc., can trump any theory. Beyond that … yeah, there certainly is a strong NFL School of Thought that you shouldn’t pay the position franchise money if you’re not getting elite in return.
Steve from Duval:
Hey O, you’re my favorite read every day. I stop my work to read "Let's get to it" every day. If I get fired for lack of production, can I use you as a reference for my next job interview?
John: Yes … no, wait. No. No, you can’t.


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