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All's well that ends well

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Bob from Neptune Beach, FL:
Why the Patriots with our second-round pick? Anybody but the Patriots. If they get the next Tom Brady with that pick and Cox is not the next Spider Lockhart, we are finished.

Vic: What if they use that pick to draft Tim Tebow. Oh, no!

Jonathan from Jacksonville:
Do you think it would have been a better option to draft Darius Butler in the second round over Britton? Butler also was expected to be a late first-rounder and many, like myself, believe he is a first-round talent at corner. Would you have gone with Butler considering the line is pretty solid with the additions of Monroe and Thomas and we could have saved next year's second-round pick and that Britton may not even start this year?

Vic: The Jaguars stayed with their board and I like that. They loved Butler and I think they gave consideration to picking him, but it came down to big vs. little and big guys will almost always win because there are so few of them. Butler has all of the movement skills you want. What hurt him is that he only did five reps on the bench and he's not a physical player. He's a low tackler and often will go for the feet. He'll likely get bigger and stronger in an NFL strength program, but Eben Britton is already big and strong and that was the deciding factor. Also, Derek Cox is a big corner and a good tackler.

John from Jacksonville:
After seeing the large outpouring of late-round wide receivers, it made me think, how many guys did we miss on due to our commitment to our first-round busts?

Vic: The following wide receivers were selected in rounds 3-7 in the 2004-08 drafts: Bernard Berrian, Jerricho Cotchery, Patrick Crayton, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston and Steve Breaston. Those receivers caught 386 passes for 30 touchdowns last season. I'm not including undrafted players, such as Nate Washington and Wes Welker. Who will be added to the list from this year's draft?

Lee from Jacksonville:
For those of us planning to go to the mini-camp, what should we expect to see and what should we be looking for?

Vic: Expect to see the fields full of players in their "underwear." They'll be doing the basic stuff; position-specific drills and front-of-the-playbook plays. The coaches will push the tempo so they can acquaint the rookies with that kind of a pace. That's the important thing this weekend, that the rookies learn how to practice, NFL style. Don't spend too much time watching the linemen because little, in my opinion, is worth observing of them in a non-contact environment. I don't like putting stock in what receivers do in non-contact drills, either, for the obvious situation. If there's one position that is worth observing in "underwear" practices it's cornerback because cornerbacks aren't valued for their hitting as much as they are their coverage skill, and that can be evaluated in "underwear" practices. Keep an eye on Derek Cox. Can he shadow, turn his hips and run? Does he move fluidly and gracefully and does he have a closing burst? Can he play the ball in the air? He's the guy I'm gonna watch the most.

Cole from Jacksonville:
I can't speak for everyone else, and I'm not necessarily upset that the Jags gave up a second-round pick for a third-round pick, but we ended up getting first-round talent in the second round this year, according to some people. What's to say we wouldn't have that opportunity next year? Does Gene Smith feel that Derek Cox has late first-round talent?

Vic: Who's to say they won't get that second-round pick back? Maybe they'll trade back in the first round, as Cleveland did, and get a second-round pick. I don't like trading away first-day picks, but I don't wanna judge this decision until it fully plays out. I've used Carolina as an example. They traded away a lot of picks to draft Jeff Otah, but I doubt Carolina regrets having done it because Otah appears to be a foundation player at tackle for the next several years and you seldom regret drafting a top player, regardless of the cost. Troy Polamalu is another example. The Steelers moved up to draft Polamalu. Any regrets? I'm not going to tell you I'm a fan of trading away picks because everyone knows I'm not, but I'll also tell you that all's well that ends well. It's all about the performance of the player for whom you trade. If he turns out to be a good player, it's usually a good trade for you. That's the key; he must be a good player, which means you're taking a big risk because if the player isn't good, then the loss is doubled, maybe even tripled if you traded away from a good player. The trade has been made. The player has been picked. All we can do now is wait and watch, and then we'll judge. This will likely take a couple of years to decide whether it was or was not the right thing to do. With that, I have reached the limits of my tolerance for conversation about this subject. We have completely beaten it to death and it's now time to find life somewhere else.

Stephen from Durham, NC:
Do the official new uniforms have sewn-on numbers and letters, or are they screen-print like the ones they are selling through the website?

Vic: They're sewn on.

Gary from Nancy, KY:
I'm starting to realize that if Mel Kiper and the rest of the talking heads really knew their stuff, a team would hire them and put them to work.

Vic: Kiper would never take a job as a scout. He'd have to take too big of a pay-cut.

Jon from Lewistown, PA:
I got a problem. I really like this girl but I'm not sure if she likes me. Prom is coming up and she is going with my friend and I don't know if they like each other, however, I don't think they will go out. Should I make my move to get her or should I just chill out and play the friend card until she makes the move?

Vic: She doesn't like you. She told me. You should take Carrie to the prom.

Justin from Virginia Beach, VA:
Was Raymond Berry the prototype for the modern wide receiver?

Vic: Yes, he was, but he had an advantage other receivers didn't have: Johnny Unitas was his quarterback. The two changed the way the game was played. They made down and out to stop the clock an art form. Berry showed us how to sit down in a zone. Prior to Unitas and Berry, the pro passing game was what I call "lob ball." It was all about getting behind the defender. Unitas and Berry worked underneath defenders, which brought to an end the days of the "Umbrella Defense."

Greg from Westchester, NY:
How do you feel about Rod Hood?

Vic: He's like all the other Hoods. I like 'em all.

Lane from Longwood, FL:
Is the arrow pointing up now?

Vic: I truly believe the arrow is pointing up. I believe that because it has been my history that when a team gets serious about cleaning out its roster and bringing in new talent, the results are usually positive. It's important for us to remember, however, that progress will require patience.

Jack from Conway, AR:
You say about Graham Harrell and Chase Daniels, "weak arm, too short." What is to like about QB Nathan Brown, who the Jags picked up as a rookie free agent?

Vic: He's from Arkansas.

Stephen from Jacksonville:
I read in the last "Sports Illustrated" that out of 80 offensive linemen drafted since 2000, 73 of them are still active in the NFL. That just goes to show that if you are going to pay first-round money you better pay it to players with staying power.

Vic: "Ask Vic" readers can be very impressive at times. This is one of those times. Thank you for that information.

Jacob from Cocoa, FL:
Last year, Derrick Harvey did not play that well. He obviously got off to a late start because of his holdout and his technique was in question. What are some realistic expectations for him and former Gator Reggie Nelson?

Vic: They're both first-round picks; Harvey was picked eighth overall. Do I really need to tell you what the expectations are? They are expected to do big things. Top 10 picks inherit a Pro-Bowl expectation. I think the same can be said of first-round safeties.

James from Jupiter, FL:
I am a Seminole fan, Vic; you're right about that. But I don't believe if a player is not a Seminole or a Gator he won't be good in the NFL. I'll admit I overreacted after I saw the Jags trade the second-rounder to pick Derek Cox. I've never seen him play and the scouts have. In my opinion, I thought it was steep to give up next year's second-round pick, but I can't see the Jaguars' value board. I hope he becomes a great cornerback and I am proven wrong, but with the history of the Jaguars draft picks of recent years, can you blame me?

Vic: I can't say I do.

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