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Don't pass on a star QB

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

James from Jacksonville:
So which would be better for the Jaguars' short-term and long-term interests, drafting a QB at number eight or trading down and accumulating more picks?

Vic: That's not the question you ask yourself if you have to make the call. You ask: How good is the quarterback? Is he a potential star? Is he a long-term difference-maker? If you believe he has star potential and will be the long-term centerpiece of your offense, you take him. Here's why: They'll forget about the star tackle you didn't take, but they'll never forget about the star quarterback you didn't take.

William from Jacksonville:
Would you take the Jets' number 17 pick and Darelle Revis for our number eight pick?

Vic: Yes, I would, because you'd be getting a top, premium-position player in Revis who hasn't even reached the prime years of his career, and you'd be getting him for a bargain price. His contract runs through 2012 and the $10.1 million in guaranteed money in that deal has already been paid, leaving you to pay salaries of $927,000 in 2009, $1.1 million in 2010, $5 million in 2011 (if there isn't a work-stoppage) and $2.35 million in 2012. In addition to Revis, the place to which you'd be moving down in the draft might not represent much of a decline in the talent level of the players available, yet, the money you'd have to pay your pick at 17 would be greatly reduced from what you'd have to pay the eighth pick. I think it would be a no-brainer deal to make, but only if the player available to you at pick eight isn't someone you're convinced will be a long-term difference-maker, such as a franchise quarterback. Now here's the question: Why would the Jets do that deal?

Kenny from San Diego, CA:
In Anquan Boldin's rookie season in 2003, he caught 101 balls for 1,377 yards and eight touchdowns. The next best receiver? Freddie Jones. The QB? Josh McCown. I think they qualify as "guys."

Vic: I knew all of that when I made my comment, which was not based on stats. They threw 534 passes that year, which is a lot of passes. You failed to mention that. Somebody had to catch them, right? I was asked a question and I provided an answer that is an accurate representation of my opinion. It's not an opinion I invented. It's the prevailing opinion of personnel people; that playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald in a pass-happy offense has its benefits.

Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Super Bowl feeling? Surely, you can't be serious.

Vic: Come on, folks, let's not be so serious about everything, OK? Let's have a little fun. It's March. They haven't even started offseason conditioning yet.

Travis from Jacksonville:
My personal opinion is we should target (Percy Harvin) for a first-round pick, even if we have to trade up. Vic, this is one of those players you talk about. He would help our passing game and, if needed, he could rush 3-10 carries a game. This, I think, could be a low-risk draft pick. He's played here in Florida and seems to be a durable player. How do you feel about that?

Vic: Durable? OK, it's time to wake up. I think he's a fabulous talent but I wouldn't call him durable, and I wouldn't trade up from eight to draft a player who doesn't appear to fit in the top 10. You've been doing too many Gator champs.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
How worried should we be about Manuwai's following comment: "That's going to be the challenge this year; not thinking about it as much?"

Vic: It's a fact of life for a player coming off a serious injury. Tom Brady is going to face the same thing. It's human nature to protect a part of your body that's been injured. It'll take time for Vince to gain confidence in his knee and to ignore the dangers of bodies falling around him. The important thing is for him to be ready to go in training camp and in the preseason so he can regain his confidence before the season begins. The first time he gets hit on that knee and doesn't get hurt, his confidence in it will begin to grow.

Brock from Jacksonville:
Gene Smith said he was going to get a veteran receiver, so immediately I think patching with an old guy, but is there a generally accepted definition of what a veteran player is? Is it just someone who has played out their rookie contract?

Vic: Technically, a veteran is any player who is credited with an accrued season. A rookie is a player in his first season on an NFL roster, though it may only be a training camp roster. A first-year player is any player who isn't a rookie but hasn't been credited with an accrued season. Everybody else is a veteran. By the way, in referring to a veteran receiver, Gene Smith was speaking of a seasoned veteran who would provide immediate help, though it may only be for a year or two.

Brandon from Indianapolis, IN:
Dennis Northcutt and Mike Walker? Ha, ha, ha. You guys have two receivers; two. Ha, ha, ha. Good luck next season.

Vic: Long winter, huh? Don't let that third-and-two get to you.

Chad from Yulee, FL:
Every Christmas my wife buys me a new pair of sneakers. We joke that this is really two gifts in one because the old sneakers become my new shoes for mowing the lawn. Tell us, do you mow your lawn in old khakis?

Vic: Old khaki shorts and a pair of those cheap slip-ons. When I walk into the garage on a steamy summer morning, those slip-ons fill the air and I am reminded of the grass that needs to be cut.

Larry from Rochester, NY:
I see Josh Freeman as a solid pick at number eight. I also feel the same as you on draft picks being the future of the team. Another priority with some quarterbacks is giving them time to develop in a pro system. Is Freeman a sound choice at QB this year or do you know of a QB or two coming out next year? I've heard there's a strong group going to be available in next year's draft.

Vic: Freeman would be a sound pick, but I haven't considered him a top 10 pick, nor have I see his name mentioned anywhere else as a top 10 candidate. He's a big guy with a strong arm, but that's kind of where it stops right now. He is, in my opinion, clearly a developmental guy, and there's nothing wrong with that. Yeah, the quarterback crop next year looks pretty good. Daryll Clark immediately comes to mind. He has that wonderful pass and run combination everybody wants nowadays. Quarterback has always been the most intriguing position to analyze. There's a tendency to look at what you have and think it's OK. You decide that with a little improvement here and a better player there, the quarterback that wasn't good enough last season will be good enough this year. I guess it's that "Why do people remarry?" syndrome. So you pass on a quarterback in the draft to pick another position because drafting a quarterback this year won't help you this year, but picking the player at the other position might put you in the Super Bowl. Sure. After several years of doing that, you go back and look at the quarterbacks on whom you passed and you're filled with regret. Hey, if you wanna have a great quarterback, you gotta pick one. I'm not speaking specifically of the Jaguars' situation because I think David Garrard is a talent, but even when you have a clear-cut starting quarterback, how do you justify passing on a quarterback of true star quality to pick a tight end, safety, guard, etc? If I'm an owner and I have to overpay for a draft pick, I'd rather overpay for a quarterback and at least know I'm secure at the most important position in sports.

Terri from Jacksonville:
Last season Roger Goodell did a Q&A with the fans and a fan asked him about the sorry officiating. Goodell said there was nothing wrong and that the officiating is the best. Well, I am speaking with my wallet and until something is done about the officiating I canceled my season tickets.

Vic: This is cutting-edge stuff. Congratulations, you have invented a new excuse. I thought I had heard them all, but I should know by now to never underestimate the fans. Blame it on the coach, blame it on the quarterback, blame it on the weather, blame it on the parking, blame it on the fans who stand up and block my vision, blame it on the cupholders, blame it on the economy, blame it on the media and now blame it on the officials. You've inspired me. How about blame it on AIG?

Dan from Jacksonville:
Some guys choose not to perform at the combine and rest on game performance. I always like the guys who choose to perform and show grit, however, why would McCoy choose to jump at the combine? Has he not taken out some chalk and a measuring tape?

Vic: He didn't work out at the combine because he had the flu, so he put everything on his pro-day workout this past Thursday. LeSean McCoy no doubt knew he wasn't Ralph Boston, but there was no way around it; he had to jump for the scouts. Here's the bottom line on McCoy: The team that drafts him will do so because of his ball skills. He's 20 years old and his body has loads of upside development. The funny thing is that bad jumps are supposed to be indicative of a guy who lacks explosion, but McCoy is the one guy in this draft who compares to Percy Harvin in one-cut explosiveness. There isn't another back in this draft that has McCoy's short-area quickness and he is a sensational cutback runner. In McCoy's case, I think his bad broad and vertical jumps are indicative of a guy who can't jump; that's all, and I would have no trouble overlooking those failures. I would be much more concerned with Chris Wells' lack of durability.

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