Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Wade from Jacksonville:
Will the Jaguars have a draft-day party as they had in 2003? I believe it was season ticket holders only.
Vic: It wasn't season ticket holders only. It was open to all fans last season and it'll be open to all fans this year. The draft-day party will be conducted in the Alltel Stadium Bud Zone. The party will be a scaled-down version of the past events, and the on-field press conferences won't be included in this year's event. We've been doing our draft-day radio broadcasts from among the party-goers and I've come to enjoy the event. It has a lot of energy.
Glenn from Savannah, GA:
It is my opinion that the AFC South will be the strongest division in 2004, when analyzing the improvement of the Texans and Jaguars. We all know what the Titans and Colts can do with their MVP QBs. Do you share this opinion? If not, what division do you consider the strongest?
Vic: I don't see the AFC South getting stronger this year. Yeah, the Jaguars and Texans should be stronger, but I see the Colts and Titans taking steps back. In my opinion, the strongest division in the NFL is and will continue to be the AFC East.
Joe from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Who do you think the Falcons will draft or who do they have their eyes on as the player they hope falls to them?
Vic: I have no inside information on the Falcons, but I know they could sure use a dominant defensive tackle and Miami's Vince Wilfork fits about where the Falcons are scheduled to pick (eighth).
Scot from Jacksonville:
Could you provide a similar analysis for other positions as you did in the March 16 "Ask Vic" in response to Malosi from California? The results are very telling.
Vic: OK, let's take a look at offensive tackle over the same period, 1995-2003. In '95, Tony Boselli was the only OT drafted in the top 15; in '96, Jonathan Ogden and Willie Anderson were the picks; in '97, it was Orlando Pace and Walter Jones; in '98, Kyle Turley and Tra Thomas; in '99, John Tait; in 2000, Chris Samuels; in '01, Leonard Davis and Kenyatta Walker; in '02, Mike Williams, Bryant McKinnie and Levi Jones; in '03, Jordan Gross. Big difference, huh? Every one of those players is currently a starter. Ogden is a sure Hall of Famer; Boselli would be headed there if his career hadn't been shortened by injury; Pace, Walter Jones and Turley have been dominant players; Anderson and Thomas have been models of consistency; Levi Jones was a surprise pick who has developed into a quality player; Gross and McKinnie are building-block players, etc. I chose to do this draft review of offensive tackle because I knew the results would be stunning. There's a much greater success ratio for teams drafting "big guys" early than there is for teams drafting the "skill-position guys." That's why I say you gotta get the "big guys" early. If you don't get 'em early, they'll be gone and the rate of success drops dramatically for teams taking "big guys" in the second half of round one. So, if your decision on who to draft in the top 15 picks comes down to a wide receiver or an offensive tackle, you should ask yourself, in your best Clint Eastwood imitation: Do I feel lucky?
Paul from Jacksonville:
I just read with some amusement, your article: "Not a good indicator of success." How could you leave out Randy Moss, drafted number one in 1998, whose has had the greatest impact of any wide receiver to date? Or, was that a trick to see if we're paying attention? Anyway, I agree with your assessment. Two impact receivers from all those draft picks. Wait until the second round.
Vic: Randy Moss was drafted with the 21st pick of the 1998 draft.
Jim from Ridgecrest, CA:
If a player designated as a DB has the franchise tag placed on him, what position do they use to calculate his salary?
Vic: He must be designated as either a cornerback or a safety. There is no "franchise" designation for defensive back. He will be paid as a cornerback or a safety, and which will be determined by his playing time at those two positions.
Schlomo from Jacksonville:
I just wanted to know what determines a good linebacker. I play linebacker for my high school and I want to improve.
Vic: Ultimately, all players are graded according to their production. I consider linebacker to be the true playmaker position: tackle you, sack you, strip you, intercept you. Do all of that and you're not a good linebacker, you're a great linebacker. Now, if you're asking what specific abilities will allow you to perform to that level, then the answer is you have to have the athletic talent to take on and defeat blocks, flow to the ball, run sideline to sideline, and run with receivers and adjust to the ball. You also have to have a nose for the ball, the desire to be involved in every play, and the toughness that goes with playing at the line of scrimmage against offensive linemen who are bigger and stronger than you. Go get 'em, killer.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
It has always puzzled me the lack of good placekickers available for the NFL. For a measuring stick, who was considered the best kicker last season and how do they measure the ranking?
Vic: There's no one ranking that determines a kicking champion, but there are specific statistical categories agents use to plead their client's case in contract negotiations. Mike Vanderjagt was perfect (37 of 37) in field goal attempts and in PATs (46 of 46) last year, but Vanderjagt was way down the list in touchbacks with only four. Olindo Mare was far and away the league-leader in touchbacks with 24, but Mare had an off year in field-goal accuracy (22 of 29) and missed an extra-point attempt. But I think those are the top candidates because they clearly represent the best in the two major categories.
Shaun from Melbourne, FL:
If the Ravens and Vikings had got their deal done in time at the draft last year, and Baltimore had taken Leftwich, who do you think Jacksonville would've picked?
Vic: Terrell Suggs, Jordan Gross and Marcus Trufant would've been the top candidates.