JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marc from Southside of Jacksonville:
The Jags' free-agency moves have given them insurance at a number of positions, giving them greater flexibility early in the upcoming draft. Of the various positions seemingly in play for the Jags at No. 29, can you name two you see as the more likely to be chosen? (Assuming players of similar grades are available at several positions, even though it doesn't often work that way.)
John: This is the pressing question for many Jaguars fans right now, and it will be asked often – and in various ways – in the next two and a half weeks until the 2018 NFL Draft. The Jaguars indeed did enough in free agency last month that they seemingly have no overwhelming needs entering the draft – and it's theoretically possible the No. 29 overall selection won't start next season. Still, there are areas where the Jaguars could greatly increase competition and select a player capable of improving the spot. The most likely two such areas: offensive line and tight end. I could still see a first-round selection starting on the offensive line – possibly at right guard – or playing a key role at tight end opposite newly-signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL:
Call it a hunch, but I have a feeling the Jags will get one of these tight ends tied to them at No. 29 … in Round 2, at No. 61. I get the sense one or more will be there. I have no idea who will be selected at No. 29 (offensive line, I would presume), but I'm predicting a tight end as the second pick that some would have liked as the first pick. You heard it here first. You're welcome.
John: Good eye, Bill.
Ricky from Fairport, NY:
OK, O: It's late Thursday night April 26. Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and General Manager David Caldwell are exhausted and can't make up their mind who they select with the No. 29 pick. Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert and Southern Methodist wide receiver Courtland Sutton are still on the board. They come to you to make the pick. Do you take the linebacker to fill the void on what was a superb defense last season; the tight end many call "Baby Gronk"; or the 6-feet-3 wide receiver who could be a red-zone nightmare? Hurry. Clock's ticking...
John: First, Coughlin and Caldwell never would be that exhausted. But the first thing I would do is find out if there are any offensive linemen available I like; that still makes the most sense. Barring that, I take Sutton because Vander Esch will play about 30-to-35 percent of the plays next season – and because for the purposes of your scenario I agree with Bill that tight end in the second round could be a viable option.
Renee from Jacksonville:
JOHN! I haven't said hi in a while. Isn't it great right now being a Jaguars fan? I bet your cup runneth over. I'm having a blast sitting back watching everything unfold. Have a GREAT DAY and "Hi." GO JAGS. P.S. It probably will be a quarterback at No. 29. BB5 I hope he's our quarterback for a long time. I just think the best available player will have a low number. GO JAGS!
John: The only time my cup ranneth over was when I spilledeth it – and I wouldn't counteth on the Jaguars takingeth a quarterback at No. 29.
Richard from Orange Park:
Oh'Man, would draft capital ever dictate the following as viable: trade down a few spots into the second round – knowing we would still get our man – to obtain an additional second-round pick simply to allow the other team to move up to the first round to get the extra year of control over a player they covet? Say if it was a late-round quarterback we had no interest in? Which would have more value? The extra year on a skill position player or the pick, considering that team had quite a few extra in the draft?
John: Yes, that's very possible.
Will from Jacksonville:
I don't understand why there isn't more excitement over Keelan Cole. He led the Jaguars in the regular season in receiving yards last year despite only starting six games. Not only was he a rookie last year, but he was also coming from a small school. He feels like the type of player that could potentially be a very good player for the Jaguars.
John: The Jaguars believe strongly in Cole's potential – and with good reason. It's easy to look at a player after his rookie season and believe that you've seen all there is to see from that player. The reality is players typically make a bigger jump between Years 1 and 2 than at any other point in their careers. If you project any sort of a jump for Cole, then you're projecting that he has a chance to turn into a very good player.
Mandy from Section 414 and Tallahassee, FL:
Mr. O, the draft is almost here and this Jags girl is ready. I've been watching my Jags for over 12 years now sitting in my section – and last year was indeed a magical season. I can't help the feeling that it was an abnormality, though. I know it's from the many loses that I have witnessed watching my team at the 'Bank, so I wanted to ask you this: What would you consider a successful 2018 campaign? Ten-plus victories? Division title? Another trip to AFC Championship game? AFC champs? Trip to the Super Bowl? Just convince me that it would be another heartbreaking season for this loyal teal girl ...
John: I have a different perspective on success than many fans, but that's because I get the sense many fans think the only way this team can succeed now is to go to – and perhaps win – the Super Bowl. That's indeed the ultimate goal for this team and there's no reason it shouldn't enter the season with Super Bowl aspirations. At the same, to say that only the Super Bowl is a successful season for any NFL team is to ignore the fact that in professional football the difference between winning and losing often is razor thin. I consider any division title/double-digit-victory season successful. If a team achieves that, then it gives itself a chance in the postseason. Success there often comes down to health, matchups and good fortune.
Will from Wilson, NC:
We always saw the argument from fans before that the reason we weren't winning was Blake Bortles. Using that logic, when we started winning it was because of him. But those people will then suddenly remember it is a team game and that the defense helped a lot. I understand that the quarterback will always get blamed when things aren't going well AND their play is lacking, but to base your argument on us losing because he was bad and then him perform better and we start winning only for you to credit the defense and say that you "have nothing against Blake" is kind of silly, don't you think? Fans gonna fan?
John: It might behoove you to repeat the question, but yes … fans gonna fan.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Do you think the Jaguars will take a tight end and receiver with the first two picks?
John: I think there's a good chance they take one of the two positions early in the 2018 NFL Draft. I would be surprised if they take both early.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
You have mistaken happiness for momentary gratification. There is no happiness, only the emptiness and lonesomeness of the abyss. You, O-man, are truly wiser than anyone I have ever known. Your sadness has brought me new purpose and direction in life. To model my life's aimless existence after your teachings. What is thy bidding my teacher?
John: Go forth. Spread the word.
Andrew from Mandarin, FL:
With Paul Posluszny and Marcedes Lewis gone who do you see taking their places as team captains this year?
John: There are a lot of options. My guess is Blake Bortles will be an offensive captain and I imagine Telvin Smith will be a captain on defense. I also could see a player such as Lerentee McCray being a special teams captain.
Mark from High Springs:
I get that the Combine is overhyped, and that the "Big Men" go early. However, could Orlando Brown's abysmal performance get him to slip as far as 61, or would that be as unlikely as Myles Jack going in the second round?
John: I suppose there's a chance Brown could slip to the end of the second round, but if the Jaguars want to be certain of getting Brown – and I don't know that that's the case – they'll probably need to select him at No. 29 overall.
Jerry from Jagstown:
Zone, why all the haters? You good, bro?
John: I'm just awesome.
O-Zone: All good
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marc from Southside of Jacksonville: