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I like Cobourne, too

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

Scherer from Snyder, NE:
I know all about best available player in the draft and that sounds great. My question is do you think there could be a type of draft-day trade like the Saints trading their two first-round picks for the Jaguars' number eight pick? I would hate to see the Jaguars fall out of the top 10 with another good player on the board, but what if all their top prospects have already been drafted?

Vic: The potential for trading with the Saints was greatly reduced recently when the Saints traded with the Patriots for Tebucky Jones. Had that trade not occurred, the Jaguars may have been able to interest the Saints in Donovin Darius.

Jonny from Taylorville, IL:
I want to thank you for having such a great column. Up here in Illinois, the Jags website and your column are my main sources of information during the offseason. Now my question: With all the talk about the Jags needing a quality back running back for Fred Taylor, and Elvis not having much experience, do you think the Jags might take a running back in the second or third round? If so, what do you think of Penn State's Larry Johnson?

Vic: I wouldn't have a problem with taking a running back in the second or third round, provided he's the best available player. As far as Larry Johnson is concerned, it would seem he's destined to be drafted in the first round, but doesn't rate as high as the eighth pick of the draft; so he's not a likely candidate for the Jaguars. Johnson is an interesting prospect. He reminds a lot of people of Eddie George, who had a lot of knocks on him coming out of Ohio State; too high, not punishing, lacks speed. My question of Johnson is: Why did it take until his senior year to blossom? Was last year just a fluke? I'm not convinced he's the real deal.

Patrick from Pittsburgh, PA:
Vic, if you have any contact with people on the draft team, you should tell them to watch for Avon Cobourne in the later rounds of the draft. I think he would be an excellent addition to the running back position, and he will be passed up, but he'll be a pleasant surprise to whatever team he goes to.

Vic: Coaches and personnel directors don't get paid the big bucks to listen to sportswriters. But I couldn't agree with you more. Avon Cobourne is being completely overlooked in this draft and I don't understand why. Being short didn't hurt Barry Sanders. Did you see Cobourne against Miami last year? Cobourne could be the steal of the draft and I'd love to see the Jaguars draft him.

Clay from Jacksonville:
How would you rate our drafts on average during the Coughlin era?

Vic: They were very good in the first round (R.J. Soward was the only first-round bust), but not very good in the late rounds. I think the late-round failures were the result of really pressing the need issue. Tom Coughlin almost always used his late-round picks to address major needs, as he did in 1996 when his last three picks were wide receivers. Unfortunately, panic drafting is usually unproductive and none of those three wide receivers made the Jaguars' final roster.

David from Port Orange, FL:
Keep up the great work in your reporting. You do a heck of a job day in and day out. Now that we all know how the new "West Coast offense" is going to work, how's the defense going to work? Will it be a "Cover Two" like the Tampa Bay Bucs, or a 4-3 or a 3-4 with Big John Henderson in the middle? What kind of defense do you think is the best fit for the Jaguars? I think a 3-4 with Big John as nose tackle with Hugh and Marcus as ends would be exciting. What are your thoughts?

Vic: Every team plays "Cover Two." It's the most basic defense in professional football and the Jaguars will certainly incorporate it into their defensive package. As far as a 3-4 with John Henderson on the nose; no chance. Nose tackles are squat guys who play low to the ground and use their shoulders to keep blockers off their knees. That is not John Henderson. I expect the Jaguars to employ a defensive philosophy similar to what Carolina used last season. After all, Jack Del Rio was the Panthers' defensive coordinator. What Carolina did was feature its defensive linemen. The Panthers didn't blitz a lot. They put pressure on the front four to rush the passer, and they did that very effectively by employing a lot of line stunts and games. That's what I expect from the Jaguars defense; a lot of stunts and games from its defensive linemen. I believe that to be the foundation of Del Rio's defensive philosophy and there were indications of that approach during last weekend's mini-camp.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Does the implementation of a "West Coast offense" typically cause the down-sizing of a team's running game? Might we see Fred get fewer carries and perhaps more receptions in 2003 (or just less activity overall)?

Vic: The "West Coast offense" sure hasn't kept San Francisco from running the ball effectively. However, most critics of the "West Coast offense" will tell you it results in a weaker running game and an overall decrease in physical play. I guess it depends on a team's ratio of run vs. pass. The more you throw it, the less often you're going to run it. By and large, the "West Coast offense" is considered a passing attack.

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