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It begins and ends tonight

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

David from Savannah, GA:
I may have missed your answer on this if it was asked and answered, but what does the vertical jump show anyone in an offensive lineman?

Vic: The jumps are used to determine a player's explosion. For example, LeSean McCoy had a very poor broad jump at his pro day last year and it dropped him deep into the second round because he was judged to lack explosion.

Robert from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
When does the NFL announce their compensatory picks?

Vic: It'll be soon; sometime this month.

Cade from Orlando, FL:
How much of an impact could Eric Berry make on the Jaguars defense and is there any player he reminds you of?

Vic: Berry would be a perfect fit for the Jaguars and he would address a desperate need for a physical presence at safety. He reminds me of Steve Atwater. He also reminds me of a player who will be long gone when it's the Jaguars turn to pick.

Lance from Denver, CO:
I have Esther 8:9 stenciled under one eye and Job 3:2 under the other when I play Madden. Scares the heck out of the computer.

Vic: Vic 1:1—Help is not on the way.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How would you like to have a draft like last year? That will be difficult to do. You need to let the fans know that those drafts do not come along often.

Vic: You're right, but hope springs eternal.

Rich from Lake City, FL:
I heard you talk about Armanti Edwards before. How are you feeling about him getting closer to the draft?

Vic: I feel the same about him. He worked out as a quarterback at the combine and he was as expected, which is to say a guy who knows how to throw the ball but isn't going to knock you dead in that kind of environment because he needs to improvise and run to show you his athletic talent and game-breaking ability. He needs live action to show you what he can do. He's almost certainly going to have to play wide receiver in the NFL and there's not much he can show you in a workout situation to move his bar higher or lower. If you want him, you're gonna have to accept an element of chance. I still believe he has major slash potential.

John from Jacksonville:
We traded our seventh-round pick in this year's draft for quarterback Luke McCown, who played very little in 2009. Was this a good trade?

Vic: GM Gene did the trade knowing he was going to get back a sixth or seventh-round pick or both in compensatory awards. That's why it was an easy deal to do. He had to get somebody in here behind David Garrard or run the risk of putting an uncompetitive team on the field should Garrard become injured. It's just one of those deals you have to do. Personnel directors don't fret over losing a seventh-round pick. They see undrafted free agency as a continuation of the seventh round.

David from Charlotte, NC:
Could Mathis play safety if the Jags draft Haden?

Vic: You wanna put the faster player at safety?

Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
Why do people struggle so much with what the combine is and is not? It's an opportunity, pure and simple. If you are a workout freak, and a lot of these guys are, you can turn some heads and gain some evaluation points. Why is it so hard for fans to get that the combine is all of these things, but does not replace three years of tape that represents real football situations and matchups? Once again, the NFL is not a video game.

Vic: You're right; it doesn't replace real football and the personnel guys know that. As I wrote in my pre-combine editorial, however, the combine is also not unimportant. What goes on there matters. It's a chance to look these guys in the eye and ask them the tough questions, and it's a chance to see who can run. Hey, you can get fooled by the real football, too. Every college media guide says its players are faster than they really are. Have you ever seen a college media guide that didn't say its wide receivers and cornerbacks were fast? Everybody runs a 4.4, right? Yeah, until the NFL scouts put the clock on them. It's all relative. A slow receiver can make a slow cornerback look fast if the corner covers him step for step, and nobody can really know who's fast and who's slow until the NFL scouts put the clock on them. Mystiques can be very misleading. Everyone loves to talk about SEC speed, but where was that speed at the combine? C.J. Spiller and Jahvid Best aren't from the SEC. Dorin Dickerson isn't from the SEC. Jacoby Ford isn't from the SEC. Jason Pierre-Paul isn't from the SEC. Was Chris Johnson from the SEC? Trindon Holliday, a little return man from LSU, ran super fast, but he was the only SEC guy that did. There's a misconception that the SEC wins because of speed. That's not why it wins. It wins because it has, by far, the biggest, strongest and most athletic defensive linemen in all of college football, and it wins because it has the best coaches in college football. The combine exposes the myths and reveals the truth about foot speed. There's nothing wrong with more information, as long as it's used correctly.

Duce from Jacksonville:
I enjoyed your coverage of the combine but one interview I was kind of waiting to see was that of coach Jack Del Rio. I expected to hear what the coach had to say. Was it because he was unavailable or just avoided the interview?

Vic: For the second consecutive year, coach Del Rio invited us into his hotel room to tape a video for which the coach did some significant preparation. He geared his presentation to Gator, Tim Tebow and college football fans as coach Del Rio took us through a film session that included tape from the Florida-Cincinnati bowl game and the Alabama-Texas national title game. Coach Del Rio used the tape to explain what Tebow was changing in his mechanics, and then coach Del Rio, unsolicited, gave us a look at Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, which I found to be a curious choice of players. We said thanks and went off to produce the video, which looked great and was all set to be posted on when we found out that college football does not permit coach's tape to be shown commercially. I'm very sorry, folks. It was something you would've enjoyed. But coach Del Rio also did an "inside the offseason" interview for season ticket holders before the combine, which the IT guys will be posting in two parts the next two days.

Bob from Baton Rouge, LA:
Am I missing something? NFL overtime games are decided on the first possession 34 percent of the time, so it needs to be overhauled? Pardon my limited education, but that's a little more than one-third of all OT games that are decided on the first possession. What happened to majority rule in this country? What happened to playing defense and special teams, getting the ball back and winning the game that way?

Vic: Here's what it is: You know that beer commercial on TV where the bartender pushes a button and the official fixes the game so it can go on longer? That's what it's all about. These people who want to change the overtime rules just want the game to go on longer because they need more entertainment. I'm not changing how I feel on this subject: If it was good enough for Johnny Unitas, it's good enough for me. Shame on the league for trying to change the system. What does it say about the "Greatest Game Ever Played?" So bad the format had to be changed? Hey, it was the greatest game ever played, get it?

William from Jacksonville:
Any thoughts on WVU QB Jarrett Brown? I have read that he compares to David Garrard and should be drafted somewhere in the third or fourth rounds.

Vic: He's a big guy with a big arm and good feet, but he doesn't compare to Garrard, who had a sensational four-year career at East Carolina. Brown was Pat White's backup. He only had one full year as a starter. Brown has physical tools and he flashed them from time to time, but he's wild with his throws and very raw in his development. If you wanna draft a developmental quarterback, he'd be a good choice, but you're looking at way down the road, and I don't know of many fans that like to look way down the road. If you wanna quarterback that might remind you of Garrard, Daryll Clark is the guy. He has a strong arm, powerful physique and distinct running skills. He'd be a developmental guy, too.

Garrett from West Palm Beach, FL:
What about Bruce Campbell? What I wouldn't give to see him in teal next year.

Vic: You want him to be the first guy off the bus, if you know what I mean. I mean, in my next life, I wanna look like Bruce Campbell. He'd make any scout's all-shower team. Campbell lit it up at the combine, too, but the problem is he seldom lit it up on the field last fall. I don't wanna use the Tarzan-Jane line, but in this case it really applies. He's got to improve his play. He certainly has the body and physical tools to do it, but I don't know anyone who feels as strongly about him as you do. Are you sure you don't have him confused with Earl Campbell?

James from Mooresville, IN:
We all know free agency is right around the corner and any true Jags fan and anyone that reads your columns knows the Jaguars are not going to be big spenders. With that being said, are there any players that could be bargain-priced free agents that the Jags might be keeping an eye on who could add some good depth, such as a Sean Considine was last year?

Vic: I'm sure there are but, at first glance, the list of unrestricted free agents resembles the roll call at an old-folks home. Eight-two guys on that list have 10 years or more in the league. One guy, Jeff Feagles, is a 22-year veteran. Matt Stover has 20 years in the league. Junior Seau has 19 years and a reality TV show. I think I was still using a typewriter when Feagles started playing. As far as I can see in unrestricted free agency, help is truly not on the way.

Bobby from Jacksonville:
Can trading begin the same day as free agency or are the days for that separate? Also, what time on Friday does the signing of free agents begin?

Vic: Everything begins at midnight tonight, which makes tomorrow the first day of the league year. At midnight tonight, teams may trade players and sign free agents. The really important thing is that if we don't have a new CBA by midnight tonight, 2010 will be an uncapped year.

Kevin from Charleston, WV:
If C.J. Spiller is there at 10 do you take him?

Vic: If he's the highest-rated guy left on my board, of course I do. Why wouldn't I take him? Because I have Maurice Jones-Drew? Well, I took him when I had Fred Taylor and that worked out pretty well. No matter how many times I say it, it just won't sink in, will it? I believe in BAP.

Jon from Jacksonville:
In response to Haden's slow 40 time, could it be he's a faster player in pads and not a good 40 runner? I recall a WR we had, Jimmy Smith, who didn't have great 40 times, but had great game speed. Any opinions?

Vic: So you're saying that if Joe Haden put on 16 pounds of football equipment he'd run a 4.4 instead of a 4.6? That's like saying that if I weigh myself after dinner I'll be lighter than if I had weighed myself before dinner. Here's another possibility: Haden overcomes a lack of speed with superior instinct, anticipation and technique. By the way, I don't know where you got that stuff about Jimmy Smith not having great 40 times, because he did. Jimmy could flat run in any environment.

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