JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Although the Jaguars have the available cap space, is it sensible to think they could sign two high-profile free agents this offseason – such as Bruce Irvin and Olivier Vernon? It seems rare that any one particular team is able to win over multiple highly-regarded free agents in the same class. Do you think the Jaguars can realistically sign both the aforementioned players this offseason?
John: First, we obviously don't know who the Jaguars covet in free agency, and we don't know where the Jaguars rank certain players. Players that fans and media consider "high profile" might not be of interest. While some questioned the signing of Jermey Parnell last offseason, the Jaguars considered him their top right-tackle target in free agency. Still, it's without question possible to sign two free agents as highly regarded as Irvin and Vernon; in fact, the Jaguars did it just last year when they signed Julius Thomas and Jared Odrick. Any free-agent list is subjective, but there were those who considered Thomas one of the top 10 free agents in that class and Odrick was in the Top 20. Signing Irvin and Vernon would compare favorably.
Dave from Baltimore, MD:
Eric Berry, Eric Berry, Eric Berry … Did I say Eric Berry?
John: The Kansas City Chiefs presumably have a way to contact Eric Berry. I imagine that phone call or text will lead to Berry re-signing with the Chiefs. We'll see.
David from Toms River:
What do you think the chances are that Von Miller will leave Denver to come to the Jacksonville Jaguars?
John: The closest thing to zero without actually being zero.
Brandon from Atlanta, GA:
Which talking head do you believe has the best eye for evaluating college talent and projecting their fit to the NFL level? It is difficult knowing who knows their stuff and who is an impostor.
John: Mike Mayock of the NFL Network is as good as any draft analyst and better than most. That doesn't make other draft analysts imposters, but he's very, very good.
Ted from Ponte Vedra, FL:
This is going to sound a bit selfish and I know teams don't "intentionally" throw games or entire seasons; but with all of our young potential superstars coming within a year of contract negotiations, I'm hoping for a good season next year and not a great one. If the Jags make it deep into the playoffs, agents will demand top dollar for their clients (and they'll most likely get it). Maybe I'm overthinking this, but wouldn't you want your best seasons after your players sign long-term contracts?
John: Take good seasons when you can get them. They can be rare.
Austin from Athens:
Could Myles Jack play Otto?
John: Jack doesn't appear to be a natural fit for the Otto because his skill set translates more as a weak-side linebacker – and possibly a middle linebacker in passing situations. At the same time, there are players whose skill set transcends what is normal for a position; while Jack may not be the prototypical Otto he appears to be good enough to make an impact at the spot.
Dalton from UCF:
What would you say T.J. Yeldon needs to work on in the offseason? It seems like the biggest thing holding him back is his speed. But can a player get much faster after just one offseason?
John: Yeldon will improve with experience and better run-blocking. He's not going to get faster, but he doesn't need to get faster to be productive.
Scott from Section 217:
Even if we fix the pass rush, don't we still need a strong secondary to have a good defense? One of the reasons Tom Brady and New England got beat by Denver was that even with his quick release and dump passes, no receivers could get open. So, fixing the pass rush is only half of our problem. The other half is we need a good secondary and except for House it seems we are pretty weak back there right now. Would you agree with that assessment?
John: I absolutely agree the secondary must improve, but an improved pass rush will also improve the coverage. That's because it's a whole lot easier to cover for three and a half seconds than five and a half seconds.
Samwise from Shire:
How does Dante Fowler Jr.'s contract work since he was hurt and didn't play in any games last year? Do we get him for an extra year? I know Josh Gordon didn't play in enough games before his suspension, so the Browns get him for an additional year than previously anticipated. Are injuries treated the same way or only suspensions?
John: No. A player who spends the season on injured reserve is treated the same as if he had played. That means he accrues a season toward free agency, so he will become a free agent at the same time as he would have had he played the entire season.
Marc Awaiting New Club Seat Assignment:
The majority of early mocks have had me excited thinking we will get Jalen Ramsey at No. 5. More recent mocks are suggesting he may go earlier than No. 5. I'm trying to cheer myself up by thinking of the Top 5 defensive difference-makers in the draft and considering a worst-case scenario for who we could get. I think I've convinced myself that any of the following five would be great additions: Ramsey, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack, Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence. I might even move Spence up the list if I were convinced he would stay dedicated. Do you see all five as being worthy of a No. 5 pick and fitting into our scheme?
John: I wouldn't stress too much about mock drafts right now. Remember: a month ago a ton of mocks had Bosa No. 1 overall and now a lot of them have him No. 5. This feels like a year when the mocks will shift and sway quite a bit in the next few weeks. Either way, the Jaguars aren't worried about getting a good, impact player from this draft.
MrPadre from Kingsland, GA:
I like the idea of taking Ramsey at No. 5 but as you say … improving the pass rush improves the entire defense. Look at the Broncos: their defense is dominant more so because of their front seven than because of their defensive backfield. Another way to look at it is your pass defense can still be good with just "good" cornerbacks and safeties if the pass rush is dominant, but not the other way around. Agree?
Gary from Wesley Chapel, FL:
Mr. O, as the evaluations of players continues, what are the chances of moving Poz to the Otto position if they are able to upgrade speed and youth at Mike linebacker. Is he a potential fit at that position in the future?
John: No. Posluszny is a middle linebacker and very good at it on first and second downs.
Nigel from Toronto, CA:
Hey John, I am wondering if you see a role for Jonas Gray next season? From what I could tell from the few snaps he got with the Jags, he was playing with a lot of fire and physicality. Could you see him getting used maybe on third downs next year? Thanks!
John: I could see Gray having a role as the Jaguars' backup running back. I don't see him being the Jaguars' third-down back.
JT from Columbus, MS:
If the Browns are not able to release Manziel until March 9, how are other teams cutting and releasing players? Also, Go Jags!
John: The Browns are keeping Manziel until March 9 because that's the start of the new league year and they want the cap hit from his release to count against the cap in 2016 as opposed to 2015. If they had ample cap space, they could release Manziel now.
Chris from Niagara Falls, CA:
Hey, Zone. With all the hype over Jalen Ramsey I was wondering if you could explain when and why the safety position became much more important? Thanks.
John: Quality safeties indeed have become more important and more difficult to find, particularly free safeties. That's because with teams passing and spreading the field more, free safeties must be able to cover receivers and tight ends similar to a cornerback while being able to make impact plays against the run. It's hard to find because being able to do both of those things is really hard to do.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
I renewed my tickets. Also, is it bad I really pretty much hate ALL of the other teams? Sure, I picked a team each playoff game, but it was always "which one do I hate less?" And the Super Bowl? That was WAY more "Against Manning" than "Yay Cam," although there was a LITTLE bit of that. Am I an odd fan? I don't like any of them and if they aren't Jaguars … I hate 'em. I have a lot of anger.
O-Zone: A little pent up
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Stephen from Jacksonville: