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Draft talk in draft week

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

Nick from Estero, FL:
Do the Jaguars attend mini-camp and then just work out until it gets closer to the regular season, or do they have practices throughout the three-and-a-half months before their season begins?

Vic: The league will allow the Jaguars three, three-day mini-camps and an additional 15 on-the-field, organized practice sessions, prior to the start of training camp. Because the Jaguars have a new head coach, they are allowed one more mini-camp than teams who don't have a new head coach.

Philip from Woodmere, NY:
Love your column! My question regards the draft. Obviously, if a player the caliber of an Andre Johnson or a Terence Newman falls to the Jaguars, the Jaguars will take them. However, as of now, it seems the three players the Jaguars will have a real choice between may be Marcus Trufant, Jordan Gross and, possibly, Byron Leftwich. Of these three players, who would you like to see taken by the Jaguars and why? Which of these three do you feel is the best available player?

Vic: It doesn't matter what I think. It only matters who the Jaguars believe to be the highest-rated player, and they're not about to divulge their player rankings. My hope for the Jaguars is that they draft the best player available, and I have no doubt they will do that. James Harris has been very firm in his "best player available" belief. I will add this: This is a perfect time for a fresh start. It's a new era in Jaguars football and if Byron Leftwich is the best available player, they should pick him.

Phil from Milwaukee, WI:
What is the status of multi-talented QB David Garrard's contract? I mean, is there a possibility he may sign for another team in 2003 or 2004? I am a huge fan, especially since I also attended ECU and saw (first-hand) Garrard's record-breaking run there. David is the next Daunte Culpepper and it would be foolish not to see him shine as a starter in the NFL.

Vic: David Garrard is in the second year of a four-year contract. He's not going anywhere for a while.

Dan from Thousand Oaks, CA:
We all know you believe in drafting the best available player, but do Del Rio and Harris?

Vic: On more than one occasion, they have each stated their belief in drafting the best available player.

Bharat from Jacksonville:
Vic, as you mentioned, Leftwich is a rare talent. Assuming he's available and we draft him, would Brunell be back next year? Do we trade Brunell or Garrard, if either?

Vic: In my opinion, it would be an awkward situation and not good for team chemistry to keep Mark Brunell if the Jaguars draft a franchise quarterback this Saturday. It wouldn't be fair to Brunell to be placed into a dead-end situation. How do you ask a veteran quarterback to be committed to the team when the team isn't committed to him? In my opinion, if the Jaguars draft a quarterback with their first-round pick this Saturday, they should turn the position over to David Garrard and the new guy. At that point, it would be time to move on.

Daniel from Rowland, CA:
How possible is it the Jaguars are going to have a repeat of the 1999 season? I know that through the view of an expert such as yourself, it would be nearly impossible to do, but last year the Jaguars played nowhere near their potential and the games they lost were very close games. What's your input?

Vic: I disagree with you on last season. I thought that was a very weak roster of players who played at or above their potential. As far as this season is concerned, I am not expecting the Jaguars to go 14-2, as they did in 1999.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I love the column and can't wait for the draft. How would you rate this mock draft: 1. Marcus Trufant, CB, Washington State; 2. Anquan Boldin, WR, FSU: 3. Clifton Smith, LB, Syracuse; 4. Aaron Walker, TE, Florida; 5. Kevin Breedlove, OG, Georgia; 6. Earnest Graham, RB, Florida; 7. Dante Ellington, OT, Alabama.

Vic: The Jaguars' second-round pick may be too high for Anquan Boldin. Otherwise, I like your draft.

Zach from Jacksonville:
Your column is awesome, man! I was just wondering about the kicker Damon Duval from Auburn. I thought this guy was a big-time kicker/punter, especially in his showing against Florida. How has his stock fallen so much?

Vic: Damon Duval had a horrible senior year. He converted only six of 14 field-goal attempts and his punting was very erratic.

Kyle from Jacksonville:
How far down do you think the Jaguars would go in the first round? Who would likely trade with them?

Vic: I'd hate to see the Jaguars move out of the top 10. Baltimore wants to draft a quarterback. If one is available and the Jaguars don't want him, maybe James Harris can take a couple of picks off his old boss', Ozzie Newsome's, hands.

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