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Bigger is still better

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

Jake from Toronto:
How do last year's elite cornerbacks compare to this year's? Deangelo Hall and Dunta Robinson vs. Rolle, Pac Man and Rogers.

Vic: Last year's crop of cornerbacks was strong. Deangelo Hall missed most of the year with a hip injury, but he came on at the end of the year. Dunta Robinson had a great season and, I believe, was defensive rookie of the year runnerup. Ahmad Carroll and Chris Gamble were picked late in the first round and they also had strong rookie seasons. This year's cornerback crop might even be better. Antrel Rolle, "Pac Man" Jones and Carlos Rogers are can't-miss guys. Fabian Washington, Justin Miller, Marlin Jackson, Bryant McFadden and a lot of other cornerbacks have the look of quality.

Chad from Jacksonville:
What is your opinion of T.A. McClendon? Every time I saw him play he looked fantastic. He could turn out to be a Curtis Martin or Terrell Davis, if he can stay healthy.

Vic: I loved to watch him play at N.C. State. He's a tough, pads-down runner who's tough to knock off his feet. He measured out at 5-10, 235 at the scouting combine, and that extra weight may have caused him to run poorly. He was timed at 4.80 and 4.73, which will downgrade himself considerably. He did 27 reps of 225 pounds, which made him the strongest running back at the combine, and that will certainly help him. McLendon's big problem last season was that he couldn't stay healthy. Curtis Martin missed nearly his whole final season at Pitt due to injury. McLendon's not the same style of runner as Martin, but he's coming out of the same injury background. In my opinion, McLendon could become one of the steals of the draft, especially if his 40 times at the combine aren't a true indicator of his speed.

Bill from Jacksonville:
I keep hearing everyone mention Pollack's size as a reason his draft stock is slipping. I'm just wondering if anyone else remembers that in the mid-'80's the Portland franchise in the NBA took a big player (Sam Bowie) over another three-time All-American named Michael Jordan. Size and combine speeds are nice, but certain players bring it when it counts.

Vic: Michael Jordan wasn't exactly a too-small, too-slow over-achiever. And let's not forget some pretty good big guys: Shaquille O'Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain. Size is a good thing, Bill. I'll take the big guy.

Scot from Jacksonville:
I heard an idea the other day of the 49ers deliberately letting the time expire on their number one pick so they won't have to pay number one overall money to whoever they take a couple of picks later. This interested me. Obviously, it would be better for them to trade down and get at least something, but what if they can't and what if they have four guys graded as a toss up?

Vic: What you're describing is, in effect, what Minnesota did two years ago. The Vikings had the seventh pick of the draft, but had a trade offer from Baltimore, who wanted to draft Byron Leftwich. The Ravens knew, of course, that Jacksonville would draft Leftwich at number eight. The Vikings and Ravens weren't able to complete the deal before time expired and the Jaguars followed by drafting Leftwich. The Vikings, however, knowing Carolina was going to draft offensive tackle Jordan Gross, passed on their pick one more time, then made Kevin Williams the ninth pick of the draft. The Vikings were quickly ridiculed, but then it became apparent that they had Williams targeted from the beginning and were able to get their guy two picks cheaper than it would've cost them to pick Williams at number seven.

Cris from Orange Park, FL:
I see that Monday Night Football will be cut from normal television and moved to cable. If you don't have cable you can't watch MNF, right? It is ridiculous to me.

Vic: To steal my buddy Vito Stellino's line, Howard Cosell is turning over in his grave.

Broc from Annamoriah, WV:
If you had to bet your khakis, would you bet the Jags trade up in the first round or stay where they are?

Vic: Stay where they are.

Quinton from Jacksonville:
Fabian Washington isn't the definition of a workout wonder?

Vic: He very definitely is a workout wonder. So is Matt Jones.

Jose from Corona, CA:
If Thomas Davis is available at 21, do you think the Jags might take him?

Vic: He would be a definite candidate.

Bobby from Jacksonville:
Just wanted to know what NFL coach had the most success as a player and as a coach?

Vic: Jack Del Rio, Herman Edwards, Jim Haslett, Mike Mularkey, Jeff Fisher and Tony Dungy were the best players among the current crop of head coaches. When you put player and coach together, I guess Fisher gets the nod.

Paul from Jacksonville:
Who will be some of the players the Jaguars will be targeting in the second and third rounds?

Vic: That kind of information is safeguarded, but I'll throw out some names for the later rounds. Odell Thurman is a guy I think they like, but to get him in round two the Jags would probably have to trade up. I've already mentioned Courtney Roby as a fast wide receiver who might be a good fit in the third round. Daven Holly is a down-the-road cornerback, and Vanderbilt defensive end Jovan Haye is an intriguing guy. He's kind of squat at 6-2, 284, but he ran 4.78 and 4.82 and did 33 reps at the combine. That's an amazing combination of speed and strength for a lesser-known guy.

Dan from Jacksonville:
So, we could have drafted Ray Lewis in 1996 instead of Kevin Hardy? What made Hardy a better choice?

Vic: Kevin Hardy had all of the physical skills you want in a high pick. He was big, fast and athletic. Ray Lewis was considered to be under-sized.

Bernard from St. Augustine, FL:
When is the mini-camp and is it open to the public?

Vic: The Jaguars will conduct mini-camp on Friday-Sunday, April 29-May 1, at their Alltel Stadium practice facility. Saturday's practices, 10:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., will be open to the public.

Patrick from Jacksonville:
How come there were only 25 draft picks in 1990?

Vic: Dallas (Steve Walsh), Arizona (Timm Rosenbach) and Denver (Bobby Humphrey) made first-round picks in the 1989 supplemental draft, which caused them to forfeit their first-round picks in the 1990 regular draft.

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