Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Justin from Jacksonville:
I love your column. I have a good question: When there's a workout – for example, a wide receiver workout – do all the wide receivers in the draft get a workout to show off their skills, or just the top 20 players or so? How does that work?
Vic: Any player who is on the NFL's draft radar is going to get an opportunity to perform in an up-close workout. The scouting combine in February is conducted for that purpose. Then, the individual colleges and universities who have draft prospects within their programs host "pro days" in which NFL scouts are welcome to judge those prospects during a workout. Larry Fitzgerald performed for scouts in Pitt's pro day this past Monday, and Kenechi Udeze and Roy Williams are to workout for scouts today in USC's and Texas' pro days. But pro days aren't limited to major college programs. Pro scouts will go anywhere to find talent. Well over 100 pro days will have been conducted during this scouting season, and that doesn't include one-player workouts being offered by players such as Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Williams. The rule regarding workouts is that they must be conducted at the player's college or university, or in his hometown.
John from Orange Park, FL:
Is Favors an upgrade at "Sam" or is he just a body until we draft and groom a new guy?
Vic: In my opinion, the addition of Greg Favors is insurance as the Jaguars head into the draft. In other words, the Jaguars won't have to "reach" for a linebacker. If a quality linebacker presents himself, they'll probably pick him. But if what's available isn't worthy of the selection, they won't have to panic and make the pick. Obviously, the long-term solution at the "Sam" position will eventually come from the draft.
Lee from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
With four veteran linebackers (Peterson, Ayodele, Favors and Hendricks), do you think the Jaguars might consider a 3-4 alignment under certain circumstances? Thanks for keeping us all informed and thinking.
Vic: There's nothing in Jack Del Rio's background to suggest he might switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Beyond that, the Jaguars' defensive personnel is the complete opposite of what would be required to play a 3-4. There's no nose tackle on the roster and Marcus Stroud and John Henderson could find themselves completely out of position as 3-4 ends. They are true 4-3 tackles. The Jaguars' linebackers don't fit the 3-4 mold, either. In certain circumstances? Maybe.
Jon from Durham, NC:
Where do you have DeAngelo Hall on your "value board?" Does your board take into account a player in several roles? Any comments specifically on him? From what I saw of him last year he seems to be a true shut-down corner. Thanks for your column. I read it every day.
Vic: I currently have DeAngelo Hall at number 11 on my value board, and he could go higher. As I predicted, Hall "lit it up" in the Virginia Tech pro day. In fact, I know one scout who thinks Hall may be the best player in the draft. If you're looking for the next Deion Sanders, Hall may be the closest thing we'll see in awhile. His coverage skills are sensational and he's a game-breaking punt-returner. Hall even tackles like Sanders. That's the only knock on Hall's game; he's not real physical.
Dave from St. Marys, GA: :
What's a "Sam" linebacker?
Vic: Forgive me, Dave, for using that term in the Favors story without explaining it. I usually stay away from using that kind of terminology, but I guess I got lazy this time. "Sam" is the nickname coaches use for strong-side linebacker. The weak-side linebacker is "Will" and the middle linebacker is "Mike." In a 3-4, the other inside linebacker is "Mo."
Jesse from Jacksonville:
Our free-agent signings have been humorous. They are pathetic! What is the deal down there in the front office? These players are unheard of. I know we're being cheap and all, but, as a fan, I want a Super Bowl. Can you ease my mind as to why such lame players?
Vic: I don't agree with your analysis. In my opinion, the Jaguars' performance in free agency has been responsible, sensible and intriguing.
Josh from Jacksonville:
The pro days will be taking place for USC and Texas today. I know two players the Jaguars have been projected as selecting are Kenechi Udeze and Roy Williams. How do the coaches and personnel managers split up to monitor both pro days? Does Jack Del Rio ever attend these?
Vic: There are enough scouts and coaches to get the job done. Jack Del Rio, "Shack" Harris and defensive coordinator Mike Smith are in Los Angeles for the USC workout, and I don't think Del Rio is there to pick up his class ring. The Jaguars will also be represented at the Texas workout.
Chad from Bowling Green, KY:
I was wondering why Oregon State running back Steven Jackson isn't on your "value board." Many other sources have him rated as the top running back in the draft.
Vic: I've been waiting for someone to ask me about that. Here's the answer: Steven Jackson is the one player in this draft about whom I have detected the greatest range of opinion among scouts, coaches and draftniks. Jaguars.com's draft analyst, Tony Pauline, rates Jackson as the number one back in the draft. But I know two scouts and one coach who wrinkled their nose at the mention of Jackson as a first-round pick. I've only seen Jackson play one time, in the insight.com bowl against Pitt two years ago and he gained something like three or four yards for the whole game. Obviously, I don't have a good reference point to put Jackson high on my board, and I haven't gotten a lot of positive reviews from those in the know, so that's why he's not there.
Florian from Jacksonville:
Vic, your analysis of how first-round WRs haven't made that much of an impact as compared to other positions surprised me a lot. At first, I thought we had to get a WR with our first pick but now that you educated me on this subject, I definitely think we can wait until the second round or third round for a WR, since the pool is deep. However, I don't believe Udeze would be a good fit because we need a true pass-rusher to complement our big tackles. My question is, are there any speedy DEs in this draft we could pick up in the second round, because I think the DE position is not deep at all and we would be reaching if we picked one up in the first round?
Vic: What makes you think Kenechi Udeze isn't a true pass-rusher? Ask the Michigan tackle if Udeze is a true pass-rusher. And Udeze would be the best kind of pass-rusher, which is to say a pass-rusher who plays every down, not just passing downs. But your question is legitimate as it pertains to this draft because this year's defensive end crop is loaded with undersized speed guys who will be drafted in the later rounds and could provide impact as pass-rush specialists. So, if you're looking for another position in the first round, I think you can get your pass-rusher in the second round, or maybe even later, but he's only going to be on the field on passing downs. If you want a pass-rusher who offers the potential to be a true, every-downs defensive end, you'll probably have to use your first-round pick to get him.
R.J. from Jacksonville:
Do you think Bolden was a good move or bad move, based on his legal trouble.
Vic: All indications are those problems are going to go away. Juran Bolden is not going to do any jail time, and those who know him from other teams have rushed to his defense. The Jaguars did a lot of homework on this one.
Lee from Jacksonville:
You suggested to Shawn of Three Rivers, MI, to make the Indy or Buffalo games, based on his location. For us hometown fans, if we can make only one away-game trip, which game would you suggest?
Vic: At Tennessee, of course.