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Draft was deep in defensive linemen

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

Ray Galvan from Kingsville, TX:
With all the great defensive teams in our division having so much postseason success, is this draft going to be typical of future ones? Not only did the Jags think defense first, it was apparent everyone else did, too. Is the entire league starting to mimic the Ravens and Titans?

Vic: The success of other teams don't dictate draft strategy nearly as much as available talent does. This year's draft was deepest on the defensive line. Big guys are hard to find and you better take them when you get the chance. That's what a lot of teams did. They were selecting according to what the draft presented in the way of available talent. Don't forget, a quarterback was the first player chosen.

Matt Kochan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
It was obvious the Jags needed much help on the defensive and offensive lines, but do you think the Jags put as much effort as they should have put into finding a backup running back for Fred Taylor? I'm not knocking Fred, because he is an amazing back; one of the best on the field today as long as he stays uninjured, which seems to be a yearly chore. What do you think?

Vic: You can't draft everybody and you can't fix everything when your needs outnumber your picks. Finding a backup to Taylor was a low priority because the Jaguars' other needs were greater and Tom Coughlin believes he has backup candidates on his roster, or that he can find an adequate backup on the waiver wire, if necessary. Matt, the fact of the matter is that if the Jaguars have to play without Taylor, they're screwed. His importance to this team is such that he is almost irreplaceable.

Don Hilton from Jacksonville:
I feel the Jaguars' biggest weaknesses now after the draft are linebacker, safety and fullback, as I don't think Hardy will go full out, Lake is injured worse than anyone is letting on, and I can't even name a fullback on the team. Any ideas on how to overcome these deficiencies with the salary cap problem?

Vic: No.

Brian W. Fullford from Jacksonville:
Vic, I had wanted to ask you this on the radio but missed the opportunity. Hopefully, you can answer this: Based on the little bit of information on Jimmy Smith and his stomach, do we need to face the reality that he may not be around much longer, therefore, requiring one of the wide receiver free agents to be a diamond in the rough?

Vic: There is very little information on Smith's recovery from abdominal surgery because it is a long process and no one can know what the true prognosis is at this early stage. Is there reason to be concerned? Yes. But it's too early to trash Smith's career. Let's be patient. As far as a free-agent wide receiver is concerned: When is it not good to find a diamond in the rough?

Greg Russell from St. Augustine, FL:
Looking at this draft all over the NFL, it is apparent that almost everybody now drafts for needs instead of best player available. I happen to think the Jags' draft turned out about as well as it could have on a needs basis, especially on the first day. Coach Coughlin clearly stated the defense had to improve for the Jags to get better and went with Stroud to help stop the run. Suppose Stroud had been picked by St. Louis. Would Coughlin have then picked Damione Lewis or Casey Hampton and stick with the draft for defense in the first round?

Vic: Had Marcus Stroud not been available, I don't think the Jaguars would've selected Lewis or Hampton. Each player is undersized for what the Jaguars wanted. My guess is the Jaguars would've selected Kenyatta Walker or Steve Hutchinson in the first round, largely because the defensive players available may have represented too great a move down the Jaguars' value board.

Bert Inabinet from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I heard 11 XFL players had been signed by NFL teams and the Jaguars signed three of them. I wanted to know who these three players are?

Vic: Linebacker Richard Hogans became the first XFL player to sign with the Jaguars. Hogans played for the Memphis Maniax. The Jaguars followed by signing safety Kerry Cooks and linebacker Joseph Tuipala. Cooks played for the XFL's Chicago Enforcers; Tuipala for the Las Vegas Outlaws.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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