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It's about value, not need

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

Tyler from Oradell, NJ:
On "PTI" on Friday, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon were talking to Peter King and he echoed your sentiments about the draft hurting the bad teams by crippling them financially with a pick that may or may not succeed and suggested a method in which the worst team could decide which spot they wanted to select during the upcoming draft and so on. Would you support such a system and do you think it has any chance of actually being implemented in the future?

Vic: That's an intriguing thought. It's better than everybody passing on their pick until they get to where they want to be; that would cause total chaos. My suggestion, however, would be for the league to return to the days of "leaguethink." The system that's in place worked for a long time and it worked because the individual owners acted as one and acted for the good of the league. Just say no to paying ridiculous sums of money to rookies. That's all. Do what is best for everyone. Do what is best for the league. When this league begins thinking and acting again as 32 teams representing one company, instead of 32 different companies, these problems will go away.

Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
What is the one thing that you take away from this weekend?

Vic: I always regret the hype. As the second day winds down, I always say to myself: Next year I'm not going to get caught up in all this ridiculous hype. It's over the top and it creates ridiculous expectations. My inbox was full this morning of e-mails from fans who sounded as though they lost a night of sleep because the Jaguars didn't draft this favorite guy of theirs or that favorite guy of theirs. Hey, the Jaguars would've had to draft every player in the draft to make everyone happy. The wide receiver mania is also out of control. Jaguars fans are wide receiver crazy. The Jaguars drafted two tackles who are expected to cement those two positions for 10 years, but my inbox this morning was a place of great despair. I had scouts and coaches, including the head coach, stopping at my door this morning with big smiles on their faces and eagerly asking me what I thought about the two picks, knowing they were going to get two thumbs up because that has to be the reaction when you draft legitimate bookend tackles on the first day of the draft. Then I turned back to my laptop to start sifting through an avalanche of dissent. It really starts to get to me. I ask myself: What did the fans expect? Did they really think this draft was going to put this team in the Super Bowl? When did I mislead them? When did I tell them the Jaguars were only a wide receiver away from the big game? Folks, this is rebuilding and tackle is where you begin. Deal with it.

Jason from Jacksonville:
During the draft you normally watch players fall. This year we got to watch the Browns fall. I thought this was smart for the Browns. What was your thought?

Vic: I was driving home late last night, listening to the guys on ESPN radio "killing" the Browns for trading back three times and then selecting a center. I couldn't understand the criticism. I love what the Browns did. They got out of the five hole, where they almost certainly would've drafted an offensive lineman and would've spent a fortune to sign him. In return they got an extra two and dropped down in the first round and selected an offensive lineman who will likely be their starting center for 10 years. They saved money, got extra picks, which is what a rebuilding team wants to do, and still got a building-block offensive lineman. Yeah, the Browns are rebuilding, too. One player isn't gonna put them in the big game, either. They need lots of players and by trading back three times they increased their draft picks from five to 10. What's not to like? I have no doubt the Jaguars wanted to trade back, too, but the Browns had what the Jets wanted and the Browns did what it took to get the deal done and get out of a place they didn't want to be. Fans and media want drama, but the draft isn't about drama, it's about value and I think the Browns got it.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
Three years in a row the Jets have directly affected the Jags' fate. Moving up to grab Darrelle Revis one pick ahead of us two years ago. Paying outrageous money to Vernon Gholston, which stalled Harvey negotiations and kept him out of camp last year. Now, they trade with the Browns at five when they could have gotten Sanchez at eight. Monroe is a safe pick, but we could have rebuilt very quickly with the approach Cleveland was able to utilize because of the Jets. "Ask Vic" has taught me not to hate, but three years in a row?

Vic: You have a sound analytical mind. The Browns didn't get much for the fifth overall pick, but they didn't want much; they just wanted out. Yeah, the Jets are likely to do it to the Jags again. I have no doubt, especially following the outrageous Matt Stafford deal, that the Jets are going to follow with an eye-popping contract for Mark Sanchez, which will drive up the cost for everyone in the top 10 behind the Jets. Yeah, it'll likely cost the Jags a lot of money, again, and that's why it was so fortuitous that Eugene Monroe fell to the Jags. Monroe is true quality. He's a player most draftniks had as the second pick of the draft. As I always say, if you're gonna pay a big buck, it might as well be for a premium-position player.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
How much of an impact will Eugene Monroe make, in your opinion?

Vic: How much of an impact did Tony Boselli make? Monroe has that kind of pass-blocking ability. He's a special pass-blocker. Monroe's not the nasty, physical player Tony was, but Monroe gives the Jaguars a premier blind-side pass-protector for the long-term future. Ask a quarterback what that means. Ask a quarterback the difference between knowing the guy you can't see isn't about to hit you, as opposed to knowing you better hurry up and throw or you're gonna get flattened.

Ryan from Cincinnati, OH:
Being a daily reader, I remember when we discussed the most savvy team in the draft and the general consensus was between Pittsburgh and New England, and you were correct, the Patriots are ridiculously good. Right now the end of the first round is near and the Pats have accumulated another two second-round picks; they're the best. They've been able to secure at least four total picks in the second round, which are substantially lower in price. Hands down, they're the smartest team in the draft.

Vic: I saw a lot of smart things being done yesterday. I applaud the Seahawks' pick of Aaron Curry; it was BAP all the way. Over and over I saw teams fitting themselves to the pick, instead of fitting the pick to where they were. Look at what the Steelers did at the bottom of the second. They traded their two and their four to Denver for the Broncos' two thirds. Why go to all that bother, you ask? Because they have a couple of players in mind and they fit in the third round, not the second and fourth rounds. That's how intent smart teams are in adhering to the value line. Don't reach. That was several teams' mottos yesterday and the Patriots are certainly the best at not reaching.

Tim from Tucson, AZ:
Two tackles in the first two picks; any question the Jags are going BAP?

Vic: There's no doubt they were picking BAP. I also heard that a few teams were trying to trade up into the second round to draft Eben Britton. You need to get lucky, too.

Sean from Philadelphia, PA:
I completely agree with the Monroe pick, but what is another tackle going to do, considering they signed Tra Thomas?

Vic: It's a young man's game and the Jaguars just got real young at two real important places.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
What does Eben Britton lack that caused him to drop into the second round?

Vic: He's a right tackle, which means he may not have the feet to be a premier pass-blocker. Metaphorically speaking, the first round is for left tackles, the second round is for right tackles.

Jerell from Miami, FL:
What do you make of drafting two tackles in the first two picks when we clearly have more needs than tackle?

Vic: The draft isn't about need, it's about value. The Jaguars got outstanding value for their picks.

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