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Jones not the only 'Slash'

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

Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How many reps at 225 did Matt Jones put up at the combine? What is a good number for a wide receiver?

Vic: Matt Jones worked out at the scouting combine as a quarterback and quarterbacks do not do strength reps; neither do wide receivers. Braylon Edwards volunteered to do the reps and he did 22. That was above the average for all offensive tackles.

Sam from Largo, FL:
What is your grade of the Jaguars' draft and who did the best?

Vic: I give the Jaguars a B . I can't give them an A because the risk with the first-round pick has to be acknowledged. I like the fact they stayed true to their board. My only criticism of their draft is that I would like to have seen them take more big guys. I like to see at least three big guys in every draft because I believe strongly in the need for "jars on the shelf" on the two lines. My information is the Jaguars signed some intriguing big-guy prospects in their free-agent class. As far as league-wide, I'm in agreement with most draftniks that put the Vikings and Cowboys at the top. As you might've noticed in my draft-weekend videos, I was pretty hard on the Jaguars' AFC South counterparts. I thought they drafted poorly.

Don from Savannah, GA:
We have heard time and again, draft the best player available and Matt Jones fits that description. Why wasn't he drafted sooner? His athletic ability and college stats would say his is a risk worth taking?

Vic: In the salary cap era, teams are reluctant to take risks. R.J. Soward was a risk. There was bad information on him. Five years later, the Jaguars are still being criticized for that pick, which was eight spots lower than the Matt Jones pick.

Jack from Jacksonville:
There seems to be a lot of mixed opinions from fans over the selection of Matt Jones in the first round. Do you think there would be this much of an uproar had they selected Barnes in the first round and Jones in the second?

Vic: That's a great perspective. The answer is, no, I don't think there would be any criticism if the two players had been drafted in reverse order. Khalif Barnes was thought to be a late-first round prospect, and the risk associated with Matt Jones would've been perceived as much more palatable in the second round.

John from Tampa, FL:
The Jaguars could have had Ciatrick Fason in round three but passed. Was Starks graded that much higher?

Vic: Obviously, the Jaguars had a higher grade on him. Why? Because Scott Starks ran in the 4.4's at the scouting combine. Ciatrick Fason declined to work out at the combine, then turned in slow times at his pro day. This is a speed game. Don't ever think otherwise. Players rise and fall on their 40 times. Fast is good, slow is bad. If Matt Jones had run a 4.6, do you think the Jaguars would've drafted him?

Kaarel from Tallinn, Estonia:
Which player do you think was higher on the Jaguars' value board, Alex Barron or Matt Jones?

Vic: I don't know who was higher, but I can tell you they were very close and had Alex Barron been available when it was the Jaguars' turn to pick, there would've been a decision to make.

Aaron from Washington, DC:
What is involved in the typical learning curve for a WR? Why is it that it takes one-plus years for most wide receivers to develop their potential? And, finally, do you feel there's any benefit in developing Matt Jones from a clean slate rather than picking up bad habits that now have to be corrected?

Vic: The big thing for Matt Jones to learn will be route trees. It's not enough just to know what route you're supposed to run; you have to know how that fits within the whole tree. Corner, seam, go, post, flat, fan, wheel, option, angle, flair, loop, circle, cross, over, delay and trail is all terminology used in route-tree designs. Even numbers are used for inside routes and odd numbers are used for outside routes. On top of all of that you add something called "sight adjustments." Now it really gets difficult. Jack Del Rio talked Saturday of not bogging Jones down with learning all of the route-tree stuff right away. Del Rio said they will build on that learning as time progresses. What Jones will get right away is a specific role tailored just for him and his limited experience as a wide receiver. What I like about quarterbacks making the move to wide receiver is that they do so with a unique perspective. They know what quarterbacks want from their wide receivers. They see the big picture.

Danton from Altamonte Springs, FL:
As of today, if we don't make any other moves, who's starting at cornerback opposite Rashean Mathis?

Vic: If the Jaguars played a game today, Kenny Wright would probably be the starting right cornerback.

Florian from Jacksonville:
Why didn't the Jags go after a safety like Shazor in the late rounds, since he was available? Most mock drafts had him as a late first-round or early second-round guy but he didn't even get drafted. What happened there?

Vic: There were concerns about his speed and his ability to turn his hips in coverage. He'll probably be moved to weakside linebacker. Ernest Shazor chose not to workout at the combine. That's usually the first tip that a kid is trying to hide something.

Curt from Jacksonville:
My knowledge of an H-back is lacking. Can you define that position and its role?

Vic: An H-back is a tight end his team is attempting to feature in its pass-offense by lining him up in various off-the-line ways. For example, he would be lined up as a fullback and motioned out. He's not a true, in-line tight end, but he's not a wide receiver or fullback, either, so somebody put a fancy name on it so they could say they invented it.

Zach from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Do you think the Jags will enter the Ty Law sweepstakes?

Vic: No.

Kris from Billings, MT:
I did not see Jason White's name in the draft. What went wrong for him? I thought he was a Heisman winner.

Vic: The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the best football player in America, right? So how could a guy who won the award two years ago and was a finalist for it last year not even be drafted? Because the Heisman Trophy is another example of a flawed college football system. Bowls and ballots. What a disgrace.

Asley from Jacksonville:
You said our first look at Matt Jones will be next week in mini-camp. What days will our mini-camp be open and what times are practice?

Vic: Mini-camp will be open to the public on Saturday. Practices will begin at 10:15 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Ryan from Vancouver, BC:
Out of Scott Starks, Alvin Pearman, Gerald Sensabaugh, Chad Owens, Pat Thomas and Chris Roberson, who do you think will have the best NFL career?

Vic: I couldn't possibly give a responsible answer to that question, but I will tell you that Pat Thomas is my sleeper of the Jaguars draft crop. I believe he'll have a chance to win a starting job.

Ryan from Norton, KS:
Did the Jags sign Neal Philpot? If so, what position would he most likely play for them?

Vic: Matt Jones isn't the only "Slash" in the Jaguars' rookie class. Neal Philpot is a poor man's Matt Jones. Philpot is a big guy, 6-4, 245, who played quarterback at Pittsburg State. I saw him in a playoff game last December and, frankly, I thought he had a strong arm and I'm surprised he didn't sign with someone as a quarterback prospect. The Jaguars are listing him as a tight end.

Jonathan from King George, VA:
Cris Carter was quoted before the draft as saying that if Matt Jones were a darker color, he would be a top 10 pick. Your thoughts?

Vic: I don't think I like that comment at all. In fact, I take offense to it. I thought we had moved past that kind of stuff.

Harley from Ormond Beach, FL:
What a disaster! Ten thousand seats covered and we go for an athlete rather than Washington or Clayton, either of which could help right away. Do you think Wayne Weaver believes we improved to a playoff team with this draft?

Vic: Yes, I do. Jack Del Rio said it himself in addressing the media on Sunday. Del Rio said it's time to make the playoffs.

Derek from Rio Rancho, NM:
I'm really excited about the Chad Owens selection. What are your thoughts about him?

Vic: I never saw him play. All I know is what I've read and what I've been told. I can tell you Gene Smith, the Jaguars' director of college scouting, has talked to me more about Chad Owens than Smith has about any other Jaguars draft pick. It's easy to sense great excitement in Smith's voice about Owens.

Tanner from Jacksonville:
You keep saying the Jaguars don't need another safety but drafted Gerald Sensabaugh out of value. Am I missing something? Was the Donovin Darius issue somehow resolved beyond this year? I think we desperately need another safety to groom behind Darius. Surely the front office does not have plans to franchise him again next year.

Vic: You're right, Gerald Sensabaugh will immediately become a "jar on the shelf." He will be groomed to step in at safety when Donovin Darius leaves.

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