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Haden helped himself

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

Guy from Hilton Head Island, SC:
My question is a follow up to drafting a safety at 10. I have debated with several people that in today's pass-happy NFL the safety position may become a premium position. Someone else pointed out to me that if we drafted a safety at the 10 spot his guaranteed money would be out of whack with other safeties in the league and would also make re-signing him too hard. What do you think about this?

Vic: Premium and important are different things. I've never said the safety position isn't important. What I've said is that it's not a premium position because supply and demand is tilted toward supply. Certain positions are premium because the demand is great and the supply is limited. Quarterback, left tackle, right defensive end and left cornerback are those positions. Guard is an important position as it pertains to the run game, but guards are easy to find and that's why it's not a premium position. There's nothing wrong with paying a safety big money, but he's got to be a featured player, such as Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
I would love to see Rolando McClain at 10. Any chance he might be there for us?

Vic: He'll be there.

Greg from Carlsbad, CA:
Based on your value board and your impressions of which players teams 1-9 might pick, who do you think has the best chance of falling to the Jags?

Vic: Based on my value board vs. the mock drafts I've seen, it would be Dan Williams of Tennessee.

Brandon from Jacksonville:
So I just saw the "Teal Deals" article. Seems like a great incentive. I mean, it's no scarf, but it'll do.

Vic: I don't know why they just don't do the scarf thing and get it over with. I'd love a teal scarf to wear with my white golf shirts on game days.

Jonathan from Southern Pines, NC:
Watching "Around the Horn" and then talking about which team should open the new Meadowlands stadium, I agree with the guy who said they should just play each other.

Vic: Talk about boring. Man, that must've been a slow day for sports news. Who cares which team plays first? They'll tear the place down and build another one in 20 years; just alternate teams.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I disagree with McShay about his assessment of where Tim Tebow goes. Jacksonville would be just as good as any place for him to play. As far as the pressure of playing in his hometown, give me a break, Tebow's not going to fail because of too much pressure. It's his NFL skill set that is questioned.

Vic: I agree with McShay. There's no way the Tebow mania in this town, for and against, would afford him a patient, pressure-free development period.

Matthew from Bartow, FL:
With Brandon Spikes' slow 40 time at his pro day, will he still be considered to play middle linebacker in the NFL? Could he possibly play defensive end or gain some weight and even play the interior?

Vic: Spikes' agent has to contact the teams he believes are interested in his client and beg them to give Spikes a re-do at a personal workout. It's just that simple; he has to run faster than he did on Wednesday because 5.anything doesn't qualify you to play any linebacker position in the NFL, not even weakside inside in a 3-4. When a guy that slow is on the field, the offensive coordinator will find him and make him cover a back or a tight end. What really hurts is that Spikes ran that time at a pro day, which traditionally yields faster times than the combine 40's do.

Al from Orange Park, FL:
I've always agreed with your opinion concerning the announcers and analysts with their "cover two" jargon, but then you hit us with "route tree/progression." What is that?

Vic: The route tree is the design of all the routes the receivers run on a particular pass play. The progression is the quarterback's scrutiny of the receivers in the route tree. A "route tree/progression" type of quarterback is one that is technically skilled at moving from his primary receiver to his secondary receiver to his third option, etc.

James from Mooresville, IN:
Do you think Joe Haden's 4.42 40 time at his Florida pro day significantly helped his draft stock? Do you think he may have moved up a few spots on GM Gene's draft board and could be an option if he's there at 10, or do you think that might be too high to take him?

Vic: Yes, I think Haden helped himself by running better at his pro day on Wednesday than he did at the combine. I also think Haden is a candidate for the Jaguars at pick 10, but how do you know what he ran at his pro day? There's no official time at a pro day and the scouts don't announce the times they got. I had one guy e-mail me and ask if Haden's 4.39 has moved him into the top 10. So where does that time come from? There are only two possibilities: a media guy with a stopwatch and an agent who's doing his due diligence by attempting to advance information that'll benefit his client, and I wouldn't trust either. My information is that Haden ran in the mid to high 4.4's, and that's good speed, but not elite speed. Haden is a wonderfully-talented cornerback worthy of a top 10 pick, but he does not have elite speed, which is what 4.39 is.

Don from Macclenny, FL:
In your article on Tebow's pro day you said: "He needs time. That's the consensus of opinion from Wednesday's pro day." Was this your opinion of Byron Leftwich? It seems that with the complaints about his motion Tebow is essentially Leftwich with mobility. Tebow is willing to change and work as hard as needed. That's something Leftwich was not willing to do. So why did many have Leftwich in the top 10 and yet Tebow is ranked in the second round or lower?

Vic: Because Leftwich had a stronger arm, threw a better ball and was skilled at the art of reading and dissecting defenses. Byron's mechanical flaws have always been his undoing. It's not his lack of mobility; it's his lack of technique. That's how important it is. I salute Tebow in his attempts to fix himself, but it's not an easy thing to do. I think Byron saw that he couldn't do it and, therefore, decided he would have to live with his flaws and find a way to overcome them. There were indications yesterday that when Tebow's arm got a little tired toward the end of the drill and when he needed to muscle up on a throw, he reached back a little more in his delivery and reverted to old ways. That's why he needs time. You're not going to reconstruct a guy's throwing motion in a month. It's going to take years of work, if it can be done at all. Frankly, I don't think it can. I think he should go back to being what he is and tell teams, "I am what I am, take it or leave it." I can think of teams that would be happy with the old Tebow.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
Did the Jaguars brass require you to write the article regarding Todd McShay saying the Jags are the worst place for Tebow (trying to soften the fan's blow if Gene doesn't select him)?

Vic: Oh, absolutely. As I've said before, I am a shill, I have no integrity or dignity, and I think that's been obvious to my readers on several occasions, such as recently when I wrote that I wouldn't pay Aaron Kampman the money he would want, and then the Jaguars did.

Mat from Jacksonville:
What do teams do when a guy's 40 time is very different at his pro day than it was at the combine, as was the case with Joe Haden? Do they just go with the faster time?

Vic: If they have a serious interest in him, they ask him to submit to a personal workout. If he times fast, you throw out the slow one. If he times slow, you throw out the fast one. If he times between the two, you average out the three.

David from Marietta, GA:
I feel like I'm missing something when it comes to Toby Gerhart, Stanford's running back entering the draft this year. He seemed to dominate some pretty solid defenses and refused to go down. Then he quiets the critics of his speed by running a 4.5, yet, he still projects as a third-rounder at best. What am I missing that's preventing him from being a first-round lock?

Vic: I love to watch him run, but there are questions about his feet. Are they quick enough and light enough to get into and out of the hole? Remember T.J. Duckett? He was supposed to be the next Jerome Bettis, but Duckett didn't have Bettis' feet and that's why Duckett was a bust. I think there are also some questions about Gerhart's burst. He's an intriguing prospect. Some team could end up getting real lucky with him.

Alex from Jacksonville:
Is there anyway, anyhow, under any circumstance you could see the Jags trading up in the first round?

Vic: No.

Jeremy from Long Island, NY:
Wow! Henry from Oakland asks a simple, fun-hearted question and you shoved their fan base problems down his throat. Recently, you were the one saying it's easy to point the finger at other teams. I think we should adhere to these rules, especially since we live in a glass house. Vic, I have respected you for too long to think you are a hypocrite. Say it is not so.

Vic: Let me guess: You studied drama at Julliard.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL:
"He's in play." What happened to "I wouldn't worry about that?" Do I need to worry, again?

Vic: I don't think so.

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