Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jarrod from Jacksonville:
When do you think Fred will finally have a break-out year?
Vic: I can't help but get a chuckle from this question. It's been one of the most asked questions to "Ask Vic" in however many years I've been doing this column, and now we've reached the eighth year of Fred Taylor's professional football career and the question is still being asked. Jarrod, if Fred hasn't had by now what you consider to be a break-out year, it ain't gonna happen.
Mark from Yulee, FL:
Who usually initiates a trade for draft picks? Is it the team who owns the pick or the team who wants the pick? Are some trades made prior to the draft?
Vic: Teams talk trade all through the first day of the draft. Everybody is attempting to jockey into the position where the player they want fits. That's what the draft is all about: fitting the pick to the player. It's a way of satisfying both the "Best Available Player" and "Need" philosophies. That's what I've been preaching; fit the pick to the player you want, and that will often require making a trade. Every player on your board has a grade that gives him a specific value. If you have him graded as the 28th-best player in the draft and you take him at 21, you haven't gotten the full value of the pick. Yes, teams are drafting for need, but it shouldn't be at the expense of value, so the phones in draft rooms around the league will ring furiously on Saturday. Teams that target a player ranked higher than that team's pick will call to move up; teams that want a guy they have ranked lower than their pick will call to move down. I expect that late this week the jockeying for position will begin.
Chris from Inglewood, CA:
What does the "GHS" stand for on the Bears jersey.
Vic: George Stanley Halas.
Jason from Jacksonville:
How does a players "stock" rise or fall even though the combine is over?
Vic: The final act of auditioning for the draft is a player's pro-day workout. Most of those are conducted in March. In some cases, a player will agree to a private workout with a team he knows has targeted him for its first-round pick. These pro-day and personal workouts are critical because they provide the most up-close information a team will have on that player. Yes, what a player did in competition during the season is most important, but these scouts know what they're doing and when they get an up-close look at a guy in a tailored workout, they'll come away with a pretty good idea of what he has to offer athletically. At that point, teams tweak their draft boards. Some players move up, while others move down; just like stocks.
Justin from Westerly, RI:
Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers?
Vic: I don't like either one for where they are expected to be drafted. In my opinion, they are not franchise quarterbacks. In my opinion, Charlie Frye, Andrew Walter and Kyle Orton will offer much better value at where they'll probably be selected.
Chris from Las Vegas, NV:
I don't know if this is selfish or not but I have been a big Jaguar fan for a few years now and I saw my first live Jags game last year in San Diego. My mom said we will be going to Tennessee to see them, then Arizona the next week to see them. Is there some way I could get them to notice my appreciation and love for the team?
Vic: Chris, I've been asking the same question in my house for years. I guess love is an unconditional thing.
Anthony from Los Angeles, CA:
If the Ravens had been able to make the deal with Minnesota and take Byron Leftwich at number seven in 2003, who do you think the Jags would've taken at number eight?
Vic: Popular opinion seems to favor Terrell Suggs.
Steve from Williston, FL:
If the 49ers have been on the clock since the end of the season, why have they not chosen to negotiate a contract for whoever it is they like? Why hold out until the last day or last week?
Vic: You never know when you might get a Herschel Walker-type trade. What if the Chargers had decided to just sign Eli Manning or Phillip Rivers last year ahead of draft day, and hadn't waited for a trade with the Giants? Well, they'd have Manning or Rivers sitting the bench without having gotten extra picks from the Giants. As bad as the pick looks now, at least they got the extra picks.
Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
We know the Titans cap is bad, but how bad? Are they in the second year of a three-year cap rehab program, or will it last much longer than that?
Vic: How many years have the Jaguars not made it into the playoffs? That's what happens when you abuse your cap. I expect that it'll get worse before it gets better for the Titans.
Nathan from Waco, TX:
So, according to your value board, the Jags should draft Fabian Washington before David Pollack? That seems unreasonable. I didn't even hear about Washington until the combine. Pollack has been destroying backfields for four years. Is Washington just speed? What else do you know?
Vic: No question about it, Fabian Washington became a first-round prospect on the strength of his 40 time at the scouting combine. And you're right, David Pollack has been a sensationally-productive player all through college. I just don't think he's big enough to play end in the NFL. I think Pollack could be a Tedy Bruschi as a 3-4 linebacker, but that's a projection. Washington has prototypical skills. He's got nice size and great speed and strength (18 reps at 225 pounds). What's not to like?
Daniel from Orlando, FL:
Yesterday you gave your thoughts on how Rob Pettiti has dropped on the board due to his not-so-perfect performance at the Senior Bowl and the combine. I believe you have said similar things about other players as well. Why is so much emphasis put on a player having one bad game or a non-perfect scouting combine right before they enter the draft? Wouldn't a player's performance during his entire college career be a much better indicator of how they will perform in the NFL?
Vic: All of the information is weighed, and, yes, what a player does in competition is most important, but draft prospects know the importance scouts place on the Senior Bowl, combine and pro-day workouts, and it has to say something negative about those players who choose to be out of shape or even skip those workouts. Larry Smith missed the combine and, if memory serves me correctly, missed his pro-day workout, too. Smith was a major talent; a player who looked like he had star potential. He never realized that potential, however, and most people believe it's because he lacked dedication. Did we see the first signs of that at his combine? I appreciate what you're saying, but don't underrate the combine and pro-day workouts. At that point, the light is on and every player understands he is performing for the specific purpose of impressing the scouts. What he does says something about how he might perform under pressure.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
What do you think about the Jags using a pick at the tight end position? Maybe Heath Miller?
Vic: He's a definite candidate.
Steve from Orlando, FL:
Who fits the Jags' need at cornerback better, Fabian Washington, Justin Miller or Corey Webster?
Vic: In my opinion, Washington.
John from Jacksonville:
It was sad to hear about the passing of Sam Mills. He was part of the strong Carolina defense that Jaguars fans disliked in the early years, but, more importantly, he was an outstanding citizen off the field. Do you have any special memories of Sam Mills?
Vic: I didn't have the honor of covering Sam Mills. I am, however, sensitive to the cancer that claimed his life. What I can tell you about Mills is that he's a rather important figure in NFL history. Here's why: Mills played on the USFL Philadelphia Stars team that was coached by Jim Mora, who had on his staff Vic Fangio and Dom Capers. When Mora got the head job with the Saints, he brought along Mills, Fangio and Capers. What we're talking about are some of the main characters in the creation of the zone-blitz defense, which has certainly etched its importance in football history.