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Everyone wants pounder

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

Scot from Jacksonville:
What hours will you and the rest of the radio team be on the air on draft day? I'd rather listen to you than ESPN.

Vic: A couple of picks prior to the Jaguars' selection at 28, provided they stay at 28, we'll come on the air on 690 WOKV. We'll stay through the Jaguars pick and coach Jack Del Rio's interview with the media. That show will be streamed live on Other than for that coverage, we will provide updates every 15 minutes from noon until six p.m.

Bill from Atlanta, GA:
I think if Maurice Jones-Drew were a few inches taller he'd be one of those guys you'd think about taking in the first 20 picks. Can you talk about some of the best height-challenged running backs to ever play the game?

Vic: Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Mike Garrett, Joe Morris and Essex Johnson come to mind. There have been a lot of successful short running backs but they need to have some girth to them. All of those guys had great leg drive. It's not all about quickness, though, in Sanders' case it was but Sanders is a one-in-a-million back. At some point you gotta drop the pads and shorter guys have the advantage of getting under defenders' pads.

Greg from Hollywood, CA:
That Pittsburgh guy probably sucks at golf, too.

Vic: You're not kiddin'. The jerk's got his name embroidered on his bag and I've seen better swings in old-timer softball games.

Courtney from Jacksonville:
Wasn't it 2003 when the Vikings fell asleep at the wheel during the draft and the Jags moved up to take Byron and the Vikings ended up with Kevin Williams?

Vic: Yeah, it was the '03 draft when the Vikings didn't get their trade with Baltimore turned in before their pick time expired. It cost them a later draft pick because they didn't get the trade, but they kind of new what they were doing because Kevin Williams was the guy they wanted and they knew Baltimore was coming up to draft Leftwich and Williams was likely to have been available to the Vikings whether they did the deal or not. Here's how it worked: The Vikings had the seventh pick, the Jaguars had the eighth pick, the Panthers were to draft ninth and the Ravens 10th. The Ravens wanted Leftwich, the Jaguars wanted Leftwich but wouldn't have drafted Williams even if Leftwich was gone, and the Panthers wanted and drafted Jordan Gross. If the Vikings get the trade in, the Ravens pick Leftwich at seven, the Jaguars probably would've picked Terrell Suggs at eight, the Panthers would've selected Gross and the Vikings would've gotten Williams at 10, which would've saved them money making Williams a later pick. As it turned out, they passed on their pick at seven, then passed again at eight and let the Panthers pick, then picked Williams at nine and still saved some money. The Ravens took Suggs at 10.

Jeff from Richmond, VA:
What are your comments on the latest mock draft posted on the homepage? Looking at the second round, it says the Jags will draft a running back. Is that really the most pressing need at that point in the draft?

Vic: You're obviously not a daily reader of "Ask Vic." If you were, you'd know I don't believe in drafting solely for need. I appreciate the concept and I believe need should be addressed when the value board allows it, but I never condone drafting solely for need and ignoring the value line.

James from Sierra Vista, AZ:
I think all this hype about violent home-team crowds is overrated. Where in the NFL does it not exist? Even in Sun Devil Stadium there were die-hards who wanted my neck.

Vic: If you had problems at Sun Devil Stadium last season, then you had to be looking for it. The attendance was announced at 39,198, but there weren't that many eyeballs in the place. It's the only game I've ever attended at which the crowd migrated from one end of the stadium to the other as the ball moved up or down the field. The Cardinals made some kind of a long-gainer in the second half and a crowd that would've filled no more than two sections of seats rose and moved in unison about 40 yards in the upper deck. I think you could've sat in the end zone at Sun Devil Stadium that day and shouted insults without fear of reprisal because nobody would've been close enough to hear you. It was a pathetic professional football environment.

Adam from Tallahassee, FL:
Listen, I have posted way more intelligent, thought-provoking questions than most of what I see on your board. What is your deal? Are you just trying to get the job done or do you want to do it right?

Vic: I wanna do it right. By the way, I think this is your best question.

Adam from Tallahassee, FL:
How well would Bobby Carpenter fit the Jaguars and would he make Mike Peterson a lot better with his speed and size on the outside?

Vic: Carpenter is big and fast but he's not a disruptor; at least, that's not his reputation. He's a guy with a serious anchor who defeats blocks and defends his turf. I think the Jaguars are looking for a more disruptive guy. I could be wrong.

Chris from North Branford, CT:
I think the Jaguars have a good chance to take LenDale White as our first pick. What do you think?

Vic: Carolina at 27 is a serious threat to pick White. He's the Panthers' kind of guy; a pounder with good feet. If White is available to the Jaguars, he will be tempting. He may be out of shape, he may not be the hardest-working guy in the weight room and he may have a slight tear in his hamstring, but he's also a lot of football player to be available at pick number 28, if, in fact, he is available.

Adam from Sandown, NH:
I understand that you don't think Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady aren't overrated, but please acknowledge the other teammates. Tom Brady didn't win all those Super Bowls, the Patriots did.

Vic: Nothing could be further from the truth.

Eric from Jacksonville:
Don't worry, Vic, I hate Pitt, too. The only team I hate more than Pitt is the Titans. You have a brother in hate. Together we will overtake the NFL.

Vic: I love the hate.

Jamie from Tampa, FL:
What are your thoughts on the Jaguars defense this year? I love great defenses and after I read the Peterson article, it seems they are gaining the "swagger" that is characteristic of most great defenses. If they add a LB or Cromartie in the first round they will be a nightmare for opposing teams.

Vic: That swagger stuff is nice but first comes success then comes the swagger. I've seen a lot of bad defenses that had swagger and, frankly, it's embarrassing. My thing is if you get the success, isn't the swagger after the fact and do you really need it now? I'm not a swagger guy. Just win, baby, win. The Steelers defense didn't do it with swagger in the postseason. They did it with focus, as evidenced by Troy Polamalu's reaction to the non-interception call. Nobody plays with less swagger than Polamalu. Swagger is overrated.

Tammy from Jacksonville:
Do you think Leftwich has the potential to develop into a star quarterback and take this offense to the next level?

Vic: If he takes the Jaguars offense to the next level, which means winning in the playoffs, he will automatically become a star. Yes, I think he can take the Jaguars offense to the next level. Don't tell me about stats, one way or the other. Just show me you can win in the postseason.

Harsha from New Tampa, FL:
I have no problem with FSU, but there are so many FSU defensive players being touted as first-round material in all the mock drafts that you would think no one could've scored on them, which wasn't the case. They all can't be that good, right?

Vic: I think they are. Don't forget, of course, that Antonio Cromartie didn't play last season, but your point is well-taken. Wait until you see the next batch of Florida State defensive backs coming into the NFL. Florida State has a machine that keeps churning out defensive players.

Derek from Rio Rancho, NM:
As of right now, who do you think the Jaguars are picking?

Vic: If Cromartie is available, I think he'll be their pick. Cromartie is not expected to be available, however, so I'm leaning toward Mercedes Lewis right now. That might change, but right now my gut is saying Lewis.

Fred from Portland, OR:
You've probably heard some of the recent talk about the Texans taking Mario Williams number one over Reggie Bush. Is there anything to that?

Vic: Probably not; the Texans are probably just trying to bait somebody who might be in "love" with Williams into trading up to get him. I can't imagine the Texans making a defensive player that was very inconsistent last season the number one pick of the draft, especially with a new coach who is all about offense and has available to him the "next Gale Sayers." I'll say this about Williams: He has a Julius Peppers look to him and if Williams plays in the NFL as he did in the second half of last season, he would absolutely be worth the first pick of the draft. The Texans want to know what team or teams might also think that way.

Eric from Erie, PA:
Why has LenDale White's stock fallen so low in this draft?

Vic: A recent MRI shows a small tear in White's hamstring. He's damaged goods. That's why he's falling, but I'll bet his fall levels and he starts to work his way back up the board before draft day. He's the only pounder in the draft and everybody wants a pounder.

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