JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Robert from Reno, NV
Hello, Mr. O: So, we have Tanner Lee (sixth round 2018), Alex McGough (seventh round 2018/Seattle) and Gardner Minshew (sixth round 2019. Should anyone expect anything from these players based on the position they were selected? Not to mention they have little-to-no experience in the NFL. Doesn't it take a few years for them to adjust? Are Lee and McGough that bad that they selected another quarterback in the same position to battle for backup? I don't even understand why Cody Kessler is still on the roster. Or, perhaps if we had a decent offensive line, all these quarterbacks would shine. I'm so confused.
I’m sorry you’re confused. Confusion can be … confusing. My advice: Don’t think so hard. It will ease your burden, but … no: People generally shouldn’t “expect” much from a sixth-round quarterback. While there are outliers – read: Tom Brady – most quarterbacks taken so late don’t become stars or even starters because they lack the skill set and/or measurables that usually produce NFL success. The Jaguars’ approach with Lee, McGough and Minshew lately has been to bring players in at relatively low risk/cost and see if they work out – and that’s OK. As for how the Jaguars feel about what’s behind starter Nick Foles … they clearly don’t love McGough, Lee or Kessler enough to see any of them as the definite backup next season – and they like Minshew enough to believe he can play that role as a rookie. He still must earn the position, but that’s the hope.
Tim from Jacksonville
All the hand-wringing over missing workouts in the weight room … how did they manage to play the games before the advent of million-dollar contracts enabling the free time to do year-round workouts?
They showed up at training camp and got by fine. It was a different era then, and the complexities of the modern game do make it a bit more of a year-round sport. Still, to think that a few players missing time in the offseason program is an earth-shaking issue … nah.
Frankie from Mean Streets of Ponte Vedra, FL
Why did the Jags reach for Williams? Were they trying to send a message to Telvin?
Who says they reached for Quincy Williams? You? @Louddraftguy434? Mel Kiper Jr.? The Jaguars selected the Murray State linebacker late in Round 3 – and while many analysts were surprised, many personnel people around the league were not. As far as what that selection means for linebacker Telvin Smith, it’s apparent with the signings of multiple veteran linebackers in recent days that the Jaguars want to be prepared for whatever may happen at that position. Whatever that may be.
Josh from Pensacola, FL
Isn’t drafting a quarterback based on height, weight, and how far they can throw the ball just as absurd and risky as drafting based solely on passion for the game, leadership, and football IQ? I mean just look at Byron Leftwich, Blaine Gabbert and Blake Bortles. All were the right height and weight but, wow, what busts. And that is just the ones that the Jaguars drafted. My point about finding it hard to believe that Minshew was drafted so late is that what makes drafting for measurables different than drafting for character and intelligence and love for the game?
Teams don’t draft quarterbacks solely based on measurables, but they do play heavily into the formula – and there are certain minimums that players must reach for some teams to consider them. Is that absurd? Maybe, but the draft is a percentage game and history shows that it’s hard to make it at the quarterback position if you physically fall outside of a certain prototype.
Tyler from Jacksonville
Can we pump the brakes on expecting Josh Oliver to contribute much in his first year? As a third-round rookie tight end, 500 yards and three touchdowns would be a monster year. Only a few have had over five touchdowns in their rookie year...
That’s about right.
Brian from Jacksonville
The Jaguars’ biggest position of concern? How about both safeties? This is a green room. The incumbent’s potential aside, a veteran safety is a priority, right? Stay tuned on August? Please?
If the combination of Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson give reason for the Jaguars to be concerned during training camp, there will be time for the Jaguars to address it. Safety is a position at which you can acquire a veteran after teams trim rosters to 53 players. But the Jaguars don’t see veteran safety as a priority now. If they did, they would have signed a … you know … veteran safety.
Brad from Orange Park, FL
Anyone ever take notice of and/or mention how hot and heavy the love affair is between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and players when he's there for them being drafted? Kind of ironic that goes on, considering if at any point after that specific moment any player was to indicate ANYTHING positive about or to do with Goodell, they would effectively be making themselves social pariahs within their peer group as players in the league.
Well, social pariahs is a little strong, but yeah …
David from Orlando, FL
O - I don't know if this theory has been floated out there, but I think the Jags asked Telvin Smith to take a pay cut and he refused...leading to this stand-off. Not bad, right?
Smith’s contract is such that if he was asked to take a pay cut he could just say, “No.” But the way it’s structured, the topic likely wouldn’t be brought up to begin with.
Will from Jacksonville
If Quincy Williams is so good, why wasn't he one of the 338 invited to participate in the NFL combine?
NFL personnel officials vote on players to be selected for the combine. Williams received votes to go, but not enough. Like all things scouting, it’s an inexact science. A bunch of players invited to the combine didn’t get drafted and a bunch of guys who didn’t get invited got drafted. It happens every offseason.
Keith from Jacksonville
What do you think would be more fun to discuss, all Telvin all the time, or all upcoming CBA negotiations all the time?
How ‘bout if we just debate whether or not Myles Jack was or wasn’t down?
Steve by the Pool from Montreal, Quebec
John, is it fair to say that in this era of "modern" football there are more starters than the 22 who line up on the first snaps of the game? Depending on the package, you could really designate, say, 15 or so players as possible starters? I ask because I've picked up on some commentary regarding a draft pick’s value as a starter and how that reflects on selection. Tight end especially comes to mind. He may not even be on the field for the first snap of the game. Doesn't mean he's not a starter.
In the NFL these days it’s probably fair to say you have 14 or 15 starters on defense and offense, and tight end absolutely may be the best example of that. Many teams have a pass-catching tight end and a run-blocking tight end, and their snaps might vary depending on specific packages.
Herbert from Midstate Office Supply
Why do the Jags always double down on their mistakes by trading up for damaged goods?
Like Myles Jack?
Alex from Orlando, FL
I know there is no such thing as a "sure thing" in the draft, but when compared to Dante Fowler Jr. it sure seems like Josh Allen's upside is greater. Do you agree?
They’re different players with different skill sets and styles. Fowler wasn’t necessarily a “pure edge rusher” as much a phenomenal athlete who played with suddenness and violence. Allen is a more prototypical pass rush specialist, so if your focus is sacks and pressure on the quarterbacks … yes, Allen’s upside probably is greater.
Tom from Shanghai, China
2019 Training Camp battles: Lee, McGough, Kessler and Minshew for backup quarterback. RyQuell Armstead, Thomas Rawls, Alfred Blue, Dave Williams and Benny Cunningham for backup running back RB. Marqise Lee, DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley, Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook for wide-receiver pecking order. Geoff Swaim and Josh Oliver for starting TE. Will Richardson, Cedric Ogbuehi and Jawaan Taylor for starting RT. Jake Ryan, Leon Jacobs and Quincy Williams for strong-side linebacker. Anything I've missed?
There will be some competition at the spots you mention, though I would expect Taylor to start at right tackle – and Oliver and Swaim won’t so much be competing for one starting tight-end position as they likely will be playing complementary tight-end roles. And while I do believe there will be a quarterback competition behind Nick Foles, I doubt it will be a four-way competition. I would expect one of those quarterbacks to be released before training camp.
Thomas from Fernandina Beach, FL
"Bartleby, the Scrivener" - I'm impressed Professor O-Zone.
I read good.