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O-Zone: At last

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Josh from Fernandina Beach via Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL

Zone: There are certainly no guarantees in life; that said, it is difficult to not be optimistic about what the future could hold for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville as seen through the lens of a tenured Jaguars fan. Head Coach Urban Meyer, quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Owner Shad Khan could be the formula the organization, its fans and the City have been pursuing for years. I have always appreciated the partnership of the Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville as one that could produce significant growth for an entire market, enabling the blossoming of a downtown metropolitan area that has great potential, much of which seems untapped or at least not used to its fullest potential. I am hopeful that this endeavor is fruitful. The city and the fans deserve it. At the risk of engaging in naivety, I think there is a very good chance we look back in 10 years and attribute the Bold New City of the South having regained some of its former glory to what is developing at this very moment. Thanks and GO JAGS!!!

The Jaguars' selection Thursday of Lawrence No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft indeed has the potential to be remembered – along with the January hiring of Meyer – as a flashpoint, turning-point moment in franchise history. And yes … it has the same potential for the city, the fans and downtown Jacksonville. That's the hope. That's the plan. The major piece of the NFL equation is quarterback, and a potentially generational quarterback is in place for this franchise for the first time. The Jaguars couldn't be in better position moving forward. You're right that there are no guarantees, but this is the closest thing to it. Stay tuned and hold on. This could be fun. And historical.

Logan from Wichita, KS

Very torn on the Etienne pick. Great player but kind of a luxury pick more than a need pick. It kind of worked out because Texas Christian safety Trevor Moehrig, Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Oklahoma State offensive lineman Tevin Jenkins and Georgia edge defender Azeez Ojulari are all still there at 33. But with James Robinson and Carlos Hyde, does a 1-15 team really have the luxury of picking best available over need in Round 1?

Many people felt similarly about the Jaguars' selecting Clemson running back Travis Etienne at No. 25 overall in Round 1 Thursday. I didn't find the selection surprising at all. Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke both had talked extensively throughout the offseason about needing to get more explosive on offense. Baalke specifically talked about that need at running back. Meyer had talked last week about the lack of big plays offensively last season, and he mentioned it again Thursday night after the Etienne selection. And while the Jaguars indeed already had James Robinson and Carlos Hyde at running back, Etienne brings a different element. The way Meyer discussed it Thursday, you can almost think of Etienne as a hybrid receiver/running back as much as a pure runner in this offense. Here's the thing: You call Etienne a luxury selection that trumped need. Meyer clearly believed speed and explosiveness was a need, and the Etienne selection addressed it.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

From the moment we locked in the No. 1 spot, was there ever a moment you didn't believe it was Trevor no matter what?


Houdini from Hungary

Would we have Trevor Lawrence if Myles Jack wasn't ruled down?

Yes, probably.

Paul from Jacksonville

John, please tell me this rumor about the Jaguars considering Tim Tebow at tight end is a hoax.

There were multiple reports Thursday that the Jaguars worked out former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow as a tight end recently. Baalke confirmed the workout late Thursday. The Jaguars have not as of this writing signed Tebow, but the report is not a hoax.

Kian from Le Mars, IA

Report Tim Tebow is trying out as tight end for the Jags! What is the realistic chance that happens? Also, if that does all we need is Blake Bortles to come back as our other tight end! Once that happens the other 31 NFL teams can just give up.


Frank from London, UK

Why does it feel like we have wasted the first-round picks we received for Jalen Ramsey?

I suppose it feels that way for you because defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson struggled as a rookie last season and because you didn't like the Etienne selection – and those were the two first-round selections acquired for former cornerback Jalen Ramsey. That doesn't make you correct on either count, but that's probably why it feels that way for you. At least one would think.

Tony from Perryville, Arkansas

I'm sure I'm not the only one who suggested this way back when, but I was right. I thought we might go after Etienne. Instant chemistry. Go Jags!

Don't gloat, Tony. It's a bad look.

Biff from Jacksonville

Did Round 1 tell us how serious Meyer is about being an explosive offense? I'm sure the Etienne pick will set some folks off, but that running-back rotation just got nasty. Should this pick surprise us? Meyer said he would go best available above need. And we can still get our safety in Round 2.

Yes, Round 1 Thursday absolutely showed how serious Meyer is about being explosive on offense. He was very up front in recent weeks about the need to increase big-play ability and he acted accordingly with the Etienne selection. And no … the Etienne selection shouldn't surprise you.

Steve from Woodbine, GA

Just curious, have you been tasked with following Trevor around with a box of Sharpies yet?

It takes a village.

Pradeep from Bangalore, India

Hi John, seriously a running back at No. 25? Isn't James Robinson an above-average running back? I would have preferred a tight end.

Etienne wasn't selected to replace Robinson. He was selected as a complement. And while I expect the Jaguars to address tight end in the draft, few believed there was a first-round talent available in this draft outside Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. He went No. 4 overall to the Atlanta Falcons and there was no way the Jaguars could trade up from No. 25 to get him.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, how long until we can get our Trevor Jerseys?

Information here.

Jeff from Orange, CA

I get wanting an explosive complement to Robinson, but did we need to use such a high draft pick for a complementary player who maybe plays third downs and change of pace?

Meyer and Baalke believed so – and to hear them discuss Etienne, they think him as more than a complementary player. Meyer wanted speed and explosiveness and he doesn't consider a player who can give the offense such an element a luxury. He considers it a must.

Will from Jacksonville

Earlier this year, I asked you which position was the Jaguars least likely to draft in Round 1. You said a tie between running back and center. Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

I spent much of the last month writing and saying that a skill position player – running back or wide receiver – was a real possibility because of Meyer's desire for speed and explosiveness, but OK.

Bryan from Tampa, FL

I don't know that I've gone from happy to sad so quickly in an NFL draft. No amount of analysis will convince me that a running back is ever worth a first round pick, especially for a 1-15 team who already has a solid player at the position.

Meyer doesn't want "solid" skill players. He wants explosive ones who can make big plays. That has been made very clear this offseason.      

Radley from Orange Park, FL

Maybe they will be and maybe they won't be all they're cracked up to be (T Law & Meyer) but what a moment for Jacksonville and its Jaguars fans. Hope has never sprung quite as eternally - for a kicked-in-the-mouth, downtrodden but still-remaining-fiercely-loyal-to-their-team-Jaguars' fan - as it does right now. And believe me, I would know. Good for Jacksonville. #DUVAL.

You go, girl.

Bruce from St. Simon's Island, GA

O, Last year I was not very optimistic about the Jags. This year I am -- against any team. Agree?

If you're asking if the Jaguars will be favored and/or match up well against any team … no, I don't know that they will be there yet next season. If you're asking if they should be much more competitive and look by the end of the season as if the future will be very bright very soon … yeah, absolutely.

Paul from Jacksonville

So, how would you grade our draft so far?


Andrew from Halifax

*Exhales for the first time in five months*

You have waited a long time for a quarterback with this potential. So have all Jaguars fans. Enjoy.