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Leave it to the scouts

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

Jess from Visalia, CA:
Are you going to post any dissenting opinions? The Jags could have traded up two or three spots to get DeAngelo Williams, taken a better linebacker with the second-round pick and gotten a similar tight end with the third pick. Drew might be the only player that makes it. This draft is a phenomenal failure.

Vic: Tell me how you were going to trade up in the first round and not lose either your second-round or third-round pick.

Alex from Crozet, VA:
Do you feel as though Mercedes Lewis can become an Antonio Gates type of player with his size and pass-catching ability? Does Maurice Drew remind you of Darren Sproles?

Vic: Marcedes Lewis has to become an Antonio Gates-type of player for the pick to have been successful. Lewis was not drafted for his blocking ability. He was drafted to become a star pass-catching tight end, in the mold of Gates, Tony Gonzalez, etc. Maurice Drew reminds me of Mike Garrett, who was a little taller but had the same thick, squat, muscular body and ran with the same kind of lean with which Drew runs. That's the thing I like the most about Drew, his lean. I mentioned the Garrett comparison to Jack Del Rio and he nodded. Garrett, of course, was a Heisman Trophy winner at USC. He went on to be one of the stars of Kansas City's win in Super Bowl IV and Del Rio commented that the Jaguars are taking on the look of that Kansas City team, inasmuch as the Jags have tall receivers and, now, a short running back. Del Rio is absolutely correct. I'm impressed by Del Rio's command of pro football history. He was clearly a fan as a kid. I like that. He's a good football conversationalist.

Charlie from Neptune Beach, FL:
All of your strongest grades include a young offensive lineman. I think the Jaguars made a huge mistake not creating more competition for their offensive line. That being said, how many running backs will it take before they decide to rebuild the offensive line that made us so successful in the late 1990's?

Vic: Charlie, you know me well enough to know I don't believe in drafting by position. In my opinion, that's a formula for failure. Sometimes the cards don't fall evenly, but they will even out over the years. That's why it's so important for owners, fans and media to be patient. You can't force talent. You can't manufacture it. I'm big on drafting offensive linemen and the Jaguars had chances to draft top line prospects in each of the first two rounds. Winston Justice is a killer tackle, but character issues and a medical concern knocked him down. The Jaguars' second-round decision came down to Drew or Charles Spencer and the Jaguars went deep into the clock to make the pick so it would seem Spencer was a serious consideration. All you can do is pick the player you think is best. I don't share your opinion that the offensive line needs rebuilding.

Jack from Vancouver, BC:
I guess you were right when you said we draft offense and get defense in free agency.

Vic: You'll go broke if you do it the other way.

Paul from Jacksonville:
If this draft is evidence of best available player, then there are a lot of scouts and GMs who need to be fired. I understand targeting certain guys, but you can't honestly tell me McNeill wasn't better than all those tackles that went before him or that Pope wasn't better than all those tight ends that went before him.

Vic: You need to calm down. Can you honestly say you visited every campus in America and scouted every player personally? Can you honestly say you watched tape of every prospect in the country for hours upon hours? Did you check into the background of those prospects and rate their character? Did you sit down and interview those prospects, and talk to their college position coaches? Did you examine each one of those prospects medically? If you had you would've noticed that Marcus McNeill has stenosis in his low back, which is the reason his draft stock fell. So what did you do to scout the 2006 draft? I know, you watched the SEC on TV last fall, right? Well, that's not good enough. The scouts you wanna fire are professionals. Their work is thorough and objective and their evaluations are right far more often than they are wrong.

Aaron from Milroy, PA:
Do you think Marcedes Lewis was the best player available when the Jaguars were on the clock?

Vic: He was on the Jaguars' board.

Blake from Tamarac, FL:
Is Ingram planning to start at outside linebacker? Who will he battle for the spot?

Vic: You'll have to ask Clint that question but I can tell you that it's the Jaguars' expectation that Ingram will earn a starting spot. He wasn't drafted to play weakside linebacker. He was drafted, I believe, with the idea he'll play strongside. If it works out that way, Daryl Smith will move to weakside.

Marcos from San Antonio, TX:
You have to be stupid to think the Titans had a bad draft. You said there was too much risk. Don't get me wrong, I'm the biggest Jag fan but what you said was dumb.

Vic: The thing I dislike most about the internet is the careless and constant use of the words idiot, stupid, dumb and moron. It's as though the people who use them don't have enough vocabulary to explain themselves in a dignified manner, so they just call everybody and everything they don't like stupid or dumb or an idiot or a moron. So, am I to assume you don't think Vince Young is a risk? You should've said that and then explained why you believe he isn't a risk.

Greg from Rochester, NY:
I love it! Titans got Vince Young, who's a huge risk and one of the main reasons he is such a risk is because of his form and how he throws balls too low and are batted easily. Well, "Big John" Henderson and Marcus Stroud should be licking their chops when they play against Vince. Your thoughts?

Vic: I think you know what Marcos would say.

Peter from Toronto, Ontario:
Would you say Addai was a reach for the Colts?

Vic: There's no way of knowing how far he would've fallen had the Colts not drafted him. The one thing we knew about the Colts going into the draft was that they were going to take a running back in the first round, and they did. My question is to what degree did they manufacture a running back? Drafting by position is a formula for failure. Having said that, however, I'll also say that Joseph Addai is a strong, hard-nosed runner. The only knock on him is that he runs high.

Preston from Atlanta, GA:
I'm a little confused by your attitude towards the Texans passing on Reggie Bush. You voiced questions on his play many times. What gives?

Vic: The only concern I voiced about Bush is the need to be creative in how you use him because I don't see him as an inside runner. I don't think you can use him as just another back so don't even think about drafting him if you don't have a specific strategy in mind for him. Maybe that was the Texans' concern. Maybe Gary Kubiak didn't want to change his offensive system dramatically.

Joshua from Jacksonville:
What kind of drugs is Packers GM Ted Thompson taking? He could have gotten Chad Jackson, who many people believe would be a first-rounder. Instead, the Packers traded down and got some guy who played Division I-AA football that's 50-50 to do good in the pros.

Vic: SEC fans sure are smug about their little football conference. Is that the same SEC that lost to the lowly Big East in the Sugar Bowl? That 50-50 guy you're talking about, I think, is Western Michigan's Greg Jennings, a super-accomplished wide receiver who jaguars.com draft analyst Tony Pauline told me should've been a Heisman Trophy finalist. Western Michigan is in the Mid-American Conference. You might know the MAC by the quarterbacks it's produced. Byron Leftwich is from the MAC. So is Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Frye and Chad Pennington. So is Randy Moss, for that matter. Tampa Bay drafted a MAC quarterback on Sunday. So did the Steelers. Did you know that three of the Steelers' quarterbacks are from the MAC? Somebody's gotta be catchin' all of those balls, right? By the way, the MAC is in Division I-A.

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