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Best case, worst case

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Brian from Jacksonville:
What reports or your own thinking have caused you to push Bradford so far down the board? Not that it's important.

Vic: He's fragile, he's coming off a significant shoulder injury, he lacks power in his game, his conference has a history of turning out quarterback duds and I don't think he's ever won a bowl game, right?

Keith from Jacksonville:
Don't forget about Deion. If I remember correctly, he was a good two-sport player.

Vic: He couldn't hit his weight. As a major league baseball player, he was a minor leaguer.

Justin from Gaithersburg, MD:
What do you see in Brandon Graham that others don't seem to recognize, to place him all the way at number three on your all-important value board?

Vic: In a 3-4 defense, he has big-time impact potential. He can be a 12-sack pass-rusher. Simply put, I think he's the best pass-rusher in the draft, if you view him in a 3-4. It's only when you try to fit him into a 4-3 scheme that he drops. I didn't do that. I put him in a 3-4 as a rush-backer and I think he can have the same kind of impact.

Brendon from Monterey, CA:
Where is the high-quality journalism right now? Who out there still maintains the high bar of quality, even as the industry struggles, and puts out a publication that simply demands to be read?

Vic: There are a lot of great newspapers out there. It's just that the American reader is turning away from newspapers because they're too conscientious. They don't offer gossip as fact and opinion as truth. That's what we want because it allows us to do the same. Sloppy reporting allows for sloppy reading, and both are easy to do. A good newspaper bridles its readers. It cautions them against rushing to judgment. It slows the opinion process by requiring its readers to be patient. It demands that information be assembled and digested over, possibly, a long period of time. Good newspapers are for good readers and the supply of good readers is dwindling. Instead of in-depth reporting, we prefer "McNewspaper," which is the industry nickname for a big headline, a catchy lead and five or six paragraphs of sketchy details. I'm not going to throw out names of good newspapers because I don't want to steer anyone to a particular political bent, but I can tell you that they all have something in common: Writers with awards that make their bylines special.

Stephen from Jacksonville:
Being realistic, what are the best and worst-case scenarios the Jaguars could be facing Thursday night?

Vic: The best-case scenario is that the Jaguars would be able to trade down in the first round and pick up a second-round pick. I think we would all agree on that. The second-best scenario would have a guy much higher on their board than their pick fall to them, as Eugene Monroe did last year, and that guy plays a position at which the Jaguars have need. The worst-case scenario is that the guy they pick is the 10th-ranked guy on their board and he doesn't play a position at which they have perceived need. The worst-case isn't so bad, is it? You know how to make it bad: Reach for a guy who plays a position at which you have need, and three years down the road you're trying to draft his replacement. That's the worst-case scenario.

Micah from Kansas City, MO:
"NFL Network" is having the fans vote for the 75 most valuable draft picks of all time. I just saw 75-50 released and it made me sad. Mel Blount was 64th and was beaten out by current players such as Julius Peppers and Darren Sharper. No offense to Sharper, the guy is a fantastic player, but Mel Blount as 64th? Just goes to show that today's fans have no sense of history or at least don't appreciate it.

Vic: I really wish they wouldn't do those kinds of surveys. They know too many of the fans are too young or too biased to give proper consideration to players from previous generations. The only thing those surveys reveal is that they are worthless. Neither Peppers nor Sharper should be mentioned in the same conversation with Blount. We're talking about a first-ballot Hall of Fame cornerback who changed the game. Yeah, he was the guy who caused the chuck rule to be instituted in 1978. It's known as the Mel Blount rule. I don't blame the fans. I blame the guy who had the idea to let emotional fans with a team bias and a generational divide vote for something as sensitive and time-honored as an all-time team of draft picks.

Susanna from Charleston, SC:
What are your thoughts on the potential changes coming to the Big East? Someone on the radio said that if the Big East loses more than one team, it will dissolve completely, scattering into the SEC, ACC and Big Ten. As a WVU fan, I'm torn. They'd get more exposure in a larger conference, but to see the Big East go away entirely would be very sad.

Vic: Oh, Susanna, there's no guarantee your Mountaineers are gonna be in a larger conference, at least not for awhile. The teams in the Big East that get left behind may be facing a death sentence. I don't know how else to put it. As a rule, conferences aren't looking for more schools with whom to share the profits. The Big Ten wouldn't be doing it, except for one reason: They want TV households for their "Big Ten Network." It's not just about a conference title game, it's mostly about their TV network. They want schools that'll give them the New York market, and that would be Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse. The interesting thing is the Big Ten is making a bold move that could backfire, just as the ACC's raid on the Big East backfired. The Big Ten might find out what little interest New York has in college football. The ACC did it for the purpose of creating a conference title game, which they did, and I think we would all agree it's been a dud. You asked me for my thoughts. Let's start with this thought: The idiot who thought up the 12th-team rule to have a conference title game has the vision of a bat. Why 12 teams? Why did it matter how many teams were in the conference? Just play the game if you wanna do it. All that rule accomplished was to cause an upheaval in college football. It caused the ACC to raid the Big East and now it's causing, to a degree, the Big Ten to conduct a raid on the Big East that'll kill it. What conference could lose its three best teams, as the Big East did a few years ago, and still compete as well as the Big East has? What would the SEC be without Alabama, Florida and LSU? Here's another thought: There are going to be lawsuits that come out of this second raid of the Big East, and you never know when one of these lawsuits will fall into the courtroom of the right judge. Hey, schools such as WVU, Pitt, Cincinnati, Louisville, etc. have sunk millions of dollars of taxpayer money into facilities. Pitt's facilities are so good the Steelers share them. Cincinnati is in a massive renovation of their sports facilities. They just remodeled the WVU Coliseum, right? This is wrong to collapse these programs. It almost has an anti-trust ring to it. At the least, it's a hostile takeover. Meanwhile, the NCAA is powerless to do anything. How can that be? Here's another thought: Under Pete Rozelle and his leaguethink policy of pool the revenue, the NFL grew from a second-fiddle-to-baseball league of 14 teams to the 32 teams today that dominate the professional sports landscape. By the way, without Rozelle's leaguethink, we all of a sudden have concerns about the future of the NFL. During that same period of time, without visionaries such as Rozelle to guide it and without regulations to level the playing field, major college football has shrunk. We've now reached the point that good, tradition-rich programs are in danger of being left to die. This is good for the game? When are the university presidents going to come to their senses? Having said all of that, here's one more thought: The Big East did this to themselves when they denied Penn State admission to the conference. How could they be so stupid to not know that one day their football-playing schools would need Penn State for their football programs just as Penn State needed the Big East's top-notch basketball programs to carry its very weak basketball program? Had they admitted Penn State, Boston College would've never left, the Big Ten would have no shot at raiding the Big East now, and Notre Dame would likely pick the Big East over the Big Ten when the day came to pick a conference. What a shame.

Sid from Pittsburgh, PA:
How many years does it take to determine if a player drafted is a bust? Do you give a first-rounder longer time than say a second-rounder?

Vic: It's tough to quit on either, but certainly more difficult to quit on a first-rounder. If he's not productive toward the end of his second season, you got a pretty good idea this isn't going to end well. If by the middle of year three nothing's happening, it's usually time to say goodbye. Here's one of my favorites: "Get 'em good or get 'em gone."

Franklin from Miami, FL:
What are your thoughts on Penn State DL Jared Oderick? He reminds me of Marcus Stroud a bit. Could he be an option at 10?

Vic: I don't think so. Oderick is best-suited to play end in a 3-4.

Brian from Jacksonville:
So I can't help but notice that Jimmy Clausen is higher on your value board than Sam Bradford. That's a pretty bold statement there, saying that the likely first overall pick is not the best player at his position.

Vic: Yeah, like Jamarcus Russell, huh? Remember that one? How could they not have seen that coming?

Ty from Jacksonville:
Have you guys thought about drafting Tebow in the first round? It would bring up ticket sales and the Jags would have a younger QB.

Vic: Now you tell us. Hey, the draft is tomorrow.

Jenny from Mexico City, Mexico:
According to your value board, you're saying that if you hold the first overall pick and you need a QB, you take Clausen ahead of Bradford?

Vic: That's not what I'm saying. According to my value board, I'm saying that if you have the first overall pick and you need a quarterback, you take Ndomakong Suh, or you trade down and recoup the pick's value. Don't get it, do you? That's OK, nobody does. It's the most difficult concept in all the world to understand. Einstein's last words were, "Why would you take a tackle if you need a quarterback?" Then his eyes rolled back in his head, he heaved a deep sigh and died.

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