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He'll develop at his own pace

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

Vijay from Montreal, Quebec:
At first I thought this draft was just OK, because I had no idea who these players were. After reading up on all of them, I am very impressed and I congratulate everyone who is involved with the picks the Jaguars made. I read up on Brandon Green and Malaefou MacKenzie and they look like the steals of the draft. How do you think they'll do in the future?

Vic: Brandon Green is an undersized speed-rusher who is said to have a great "motor." Malaefou MacKenzie is athletic enough to have played tailback at USC and is considered to be a very good pass-receiver. If Green can hold up physically against the NFL's mammoth and athletic tackles, and if MacKenzie is able to develop the blocking skills required of a fullback, yes, they could become major steals in the sixth and seventh rounds.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA:
Do you think the free-agent route works best in building a Super Bowl team?

Vic: You'll ruin your salary cap if you build your team through free agency. I believe in building through the draft and patching in cheap free agency.

Joey from Memphis, TN:
Thanks for your frequent updates to this column. It keeps the fans (especially those of us who are outside Jacksonville) abreast of what is going on during the difficult time of the offseason. My question relates to the rookie pool. First, I would assume it is currently incorporated into the current salary cap figure. Is that true? Also, how is this amount calculated? It would seem Byron Leftwich's contract with the Jaguars would be pre-determined by the way this is incorporated into the total salary cap figure.

Vic: The Jaguars' current salary cap count includes room for the rookie pool. Understand, of course, the league doesn't do that automatically. The team may do that if it chooses, but it is not required to set aside room for the rookie pool; just make sure you're under the cap and within your rookie pool amount as you sign each guy; it's a cap within the cap. The rookie pool is derived by a complicated formula employed by the league. A high first-round pick earns a team more rookie pool room than a low first-round pick, and so on and so on. It's based on the previous years figures for each position in the draft.

Tom from Orlando, FL:
I have been e-mailing you about the Jags secondary for about three weeks now and you have not responded, so please respond to this question. Does Rashean Mathis start at free safety and, if so, what happens to McCree. Does he go to strong safety and are the Jags going to lose McCree in free agency next year?

Vic: Tom, I didn't answer your question because the answer appears among the stories I wrote on draft weekend. Yes, it would be logical to assume Marlon McCree might make the move to strong safety next season and that Rashean Mathis would settle in at free safety, but neither one of us has a crystal ball. We'll just have to wait and see.

Gary from Middleburg, FL:
My question has to do with this weekend's mini-camp. Is it open to the public and, if so, what are the scheduled times for practices?

Vic: It is not open to the public. The scheduled practice times are 10 a.m. and four p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Tom from Jacksonville:
I think the Jags should bring Leftwich along slowly instead of just throwing him in before he is ready. Don't you agree you can ruin a quarterback by starting him too soon? I see Brunell starting the season. If it becomes clear we will not make the playoffs, you begin to work Leftwich in, a series here, a series there. What do you think?

Vic: Each quarterback develops according to his abilities. Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb were starters in their rookie seasons. John Elway, Steve McNair and Daunte Culpepper became starters in their second seasons. Way back, when quarterbacks called their own plays, it was said it took five years to develop a quarterback. I agree coaches have to be sensitive managers of the development of their franchise quarterbacks, but the pace of Byron Leftwich's development will be determined by Leftwich, not by those who've gone before him. Don't push him forward or hold him back. When he's ready to go, he'll get the ball.

Brandon from Miami, FL:
Just one quick question I need answered. Who, in your opinion, are going to be the starting cornerbacks?

Vic: Fernando Bryant and Jason Craft. I consider each of them to be competent, NFL-caliber cornerbacks.

Nate from Tampa, FL:
How, exactly, did Drew Henson become eligible for the draft? I know he hasn't played football for a couple of years and he didn't want to be drafted, so how was he eligible to be drafted?

Vic: The class with which he entered college "graduated."

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