JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Jacksonville
For this year at least the Jags could add players they could evaluate and wanted in the draft. However, if college football decides to suspend the 2020 season, the 2021 NFL draft will be – at the least – even more unique than this year; ranking players that haven't played since 2019 will be a challenge. If the 2020 college season is derailed by the virus, players would likely retain a year of eligibility. Some will want to use it.The Jaguars are flush with picks and cap space in 2021. So, what's the plan if things go haywire with the college game this year?
I sense there will a 16-game NFL regular season in 2020. Though I don't have the same feel for college football as the NFL, my guess is college football will find a way to play this fall because the desire and financial incentive to do so is overwhelmingly strong. But I don't know that having a draft in 2021 in your scenario would be quite the challenge you think – and a team's plan wouldn't change drastically. Teams already began scouting the 2021 NFL Draft class, and already have a clear idea of who they may target in that draft. I would guess even if there's no college season, the league would find a way to have an NFL Scouting Combine next February; in your scenario, it quite likely would be an expanded version. And while some players might gain a year of eligibility if there were no college season, those players would simply go into the next year's draft pool; teams would scout and draft them the following year. Another obvious issue would be that many players improve their draft status in their final college season; players wouldn't have a change to that in your scenario. Would having no college season mean a lot of projecting and guesswork? Sure. But there's a lot of projection and guesswork in every draft. Most players who would have gotten opportunities in one scenario would still get opportunities in the other. They just might not be drafted exactly where they otherwise would have been selected.
Michael from Jacksonville
John, I very much appreciate your insight and knowledge of the Jaguars. What I don't appreciate is the national media and their negativity towards our team. The losses of defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye suck, but I feel like the team will be considerably better than last year for several reasons. The upgrades at linebacker and on the defensive line, the incoming rookies, the new offensive scheme and most importantly, quarterback Gardner Minshew II and the other young guys from last year have NFL experience under their belts. I guess my question is: Why are we the only ones who can see this? Last year's team went 6-10 and there are upgrades across the board, so thinking we'll be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick is insanity! Thanks KOAGF and GO JAGUARS!
People who analyze and project the NFL typically focus on quarterback, the previous year's record and a few high-profile comings and goings to predict the following year's record. The Jaguars went 6-10 last season and their quarterback – Minshew – is an unconventional player who most observers haven't studied enough to take as seriously as it should. And while the losses of Campbell and Bouye are relatively minor considering their level of play last season, the players still have name value – so national types assume they are big losses. All that adds up to people nationally projecting this to be a bad team. The reality is there are some good young players on this team and the team appears to have upgraded its major weakness – run defense – from a year ago. I still don't think that means making a serious postseason push. But I'm with you in that I don't see this team falling apart enough to have the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
unhipcat from carslbad, ca
John, just wanted you to know studies have shown that when people cite statistics, they're wrong 47 percent of the time.
You're wrong … statistically speaking. Or maybe you're right. Who knows?
Al from Orange Park, FL
How many Hall of Fame voters are there? How are they selected? How are they replaced when one dies or retires? Do you have any aspirations to be one?
There are forty-eight Hall voters – one media representative for every team/city, and 16 at-large voters. When a Hall voter no longer votes, the Hall aspires – with input from a team if the voter is a representative of a team/city – to select the most prominent/representative voter. Jacksonville is well-represented with Sam Kouvaris and Vito Stellino on the voting committee. As for my aspirations regarding this … I honestly never have given the idea much thought. I don't particularly aspire to it and I don't not aspire to it. There would be an underlying issue of a team writer being suspected of being biased, but the reality is voters typically vote and support candidates from the cities and teams they represent, so that's a minor issue – if it is indeed an issue at all.
Robert from Fernandina Beach, FL
Should Minshew throw for 42 touchdowns with four interceptions and the Jaguars make the playoffs, and should Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence be caught in a cake and tea café drunkenly exclaiming on camera, "We want the finest wines available to humanity! We want them here! And we want them now!" what are the chances the Jaguars have Lawrence fall into their lap – and if so, what should they do percentage wise?
Why? I mean, seriously … why?
Steve from Nashville, TN
All things considered, how would you grade Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell on his trade with the Chicago Bears for Nick Foles and getting out of his $88 million dollar contract just a year into it?
Simply for getting out of it? An A, I suppose. But getting into it counts, too. So the entire Foles signing and what it cost – and how it played out – has to get an F. He played four regular-season games. The Jaguars lost all four. It never worked. Whatever the reasons, whatever the motivations, it was a fail.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL
"Kevin from Bakersfield?" Nice try, Blake. I remember the Bills playoff game even if John forgets about it. Jags D dominated and got you out of sooo many self-created holes by denying other teams points after your turnovers that year. You played well against Baltimore, Pittsburgh and New England you otherwise stunk up the place as usual. Your re-signing remains the dumbest move in franchise history. Worse than drafting Justin Blackmon or Derrick Harvey or Blaine Gabbert.
Whatever you do, don't let it go. #Neverforget
John from Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Due to our shared love of Jason Isbell, I have decided to download some of the albums you put in your Top 10. It's all about the lyrics and songwriting for me, so which albums should I start with? Also, thoughts on the new Isbell album? I love it, possibly just under Southeastern in my favorite albums of his, and I love them all. I sometimes wish he would strip it back to just him and his guitar more often though...
I like the new Isbell. The opener is too long, in my opinion, but many people – including Isbell – don't share that opinion, so go figure. All 10 of the albums I listed recently are lyrically strong, but if you're looking for three elite lyricists on the list go John Prine, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello. From the underrated category … Paul Heaton of the Housemartins went on to form Beautiful South and release a lot of solo work. It's not everybody's taste, but he's lyrically brilliant.
Justin from NYC
CBS's Chris Trapasso put out a 2019 NFL redraft (Feb 6, 2020) where he had Minshew going sixth and Josh Allen going fourth overall. Do you think he is too high on Minshew?
A little, yes.
Josh from Yulee, FL
I have recently moved back to the area and plan on attending every home game this season so the Jags should see more wins this year. My question is, do you think that this unusual offseason is an advantage for a young team like the Jags?
No. The offseason wouldn't be an advantage for a young team, and it's sure not an advantage for a team with a new offensive coordinator. I don't think the difficulties created will be too much for the Jaguars to overcome. I also think teams with new head coaches and new quarterbacks will face more of a disadvantage than other teams. But I can't in good conscience call it an advantage.
Sean from Jacksonville
My 84-year-old mother (just had a birthday) could out-write you any day of the week.
I've known a lot of people of a lot of ages who could outwrite me. Why your mother wouldn't be among them I have no idea.