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O-Zone: Awesome

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tyler from Jacksonville:
These draft grades are hilarious. I saw one that said they expected all three of our first picks to be taken sooner; grade: C-minus. All I see is bigger, stronger, faster. Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan is 6-feet-5, 295 pounds with the fastest first step in the draft. Louisiana State wide receiver DJ Chark is bigger and faster than all our receivers. Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison is a big, thumping safety. North Carolina State tackle Will Richardson is 6-feet-6 and a mauler. Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee is big and has a strong, inaccurate arm. Wisconsin linebacker Leon Jacobs is an absolute Greg Jones-esque physical specimen, and to top it off they grabbed a 6-feet-5, 230-pound punter! They gonna need a bigger plane!!!
John: It's cool that you like the Jaguars' 2018 draft – and these young guys they selected this past weekend are indeed big. On paper, it looks like a good draft. As far as draft grades, I treat them with mild curiosity but little seriousness. The reality is very few team's drafts are 100 percent hits, and pretty much the same number are 100 percent misses. How uncertain is the draft process? Simply look at the first 10 or 15 overall selections in most drafts: While many become good players, many also are marginal players and out of the league within four or five seasons. If it were remotely possible to judge a draft immediately after the fact, all first-round selections would succeed because it would be easy to know if a player was going to be good. If a team drafts seven players, the team hopes a few become good enough to become core players – and it hopes one or two reach a Pro Bowl level. Teams know the reality is that a few draft selections each year probably aren't going to work out – and that's probably true of the Jaguars' class this season. There's much to like about the Jaguars' '18 draft, particularly the first four selections. The Jaguars drafted the right way, meaning they selected based on talent and potential rather than need. They did everything to give themselves a high-percentage chance that the players will succeed. The guess here is a few will – and that at least one won't. So, yeah … it looks like it could legitimately be a good class. Check back in a year or two and maybe we'll know for sure.
Tom from Virginia Beach, FL:
The tax structure in England is much worse than here, especially in Florida! My question: Do players have to pay the tax rate in England for the game?
John: Yes.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Is DJ Chark a deep-threat specialist or do they think he is more than that? Will he return punts this season?
John: Chark's speed should allow him to figure in the rotation immediately, though the Jaguars' first-round grade on him shows they believe he will develop into a well-rounded receiver. As far as returning punts, he has the skill set to do it. That will play out in the offseason and training camp.
Alon from Malibu, CA:
The Jags have Donte Moncrief, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, DJ Chark, Allen Lazard and Jaydon Mickens now as wide outs. What is your opinion now on the one-year, mostly guaranteed Moncrief contract? I feel the Jaguars with a lot of good young receivers paid a high price for a one-year guy who will likely not play for Jags beyond this year.
John: The draft changed nothing about my opinion on Moncrief's contract and I doubt it changes how the Jaguars felt about the contract, either. They signed Moncrief to a one-year, prove-it deal fully knowing it could – and probably would – be a one-year deal. When you sign a player to a deal like that, you know it could be for one year. I expect him to start and to be a key member of the receiving corps, allowing players such as Cole and Chark to develop and probably play a lot more in 2019. That was their plan for Moncrief before and after the draft.
Abe from Catonville, MD:
Hello! I understand the Jags wanting to acquire a tight end in the draft, but the talent never lined up with a pick. That happens. But what I am surprised by is that the Jaggernaut didn't even pick up an undrafted tight end or two. Why not?
John: They like the guys they got.
Red from the O-Zone Comments Section:
John, were you surprised that Nortman was released? Looks like there is accountability in the organization. Those poor punts at Foxborough apparently cost him his job.
John: I was not surprised when the Jaguars released punter Brad Nortman. I had written and said multiple times in the offseason that replacing Nortman was a possibility. It's a bit extreme to say the punts in the AFC Championship Game cost him his job, because there were issues before that. But those punts certainly didn't help.
SadSack from Booville:
Why did they abort the Nortman? For an unproven rookie punter, no less. That was D-U-M-B. Don't count your … uh … Oehsers before they hatch.
John: Sometimes teams acquire players because they like their potential and want to see if they can beat out a player on the roster. Other times teams decide they're ready to move on from a player because they really, really want to move on. The timing of Nortman's release strongly suggests this was a case of the latter.
Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
John, the free-agent class is incredible. This front office is wonderful.
John: One fer …
Paul from Jacksonville:
On Wembley: is it possible that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan wants to purchase Wembley not to move the Jaguars there, but because he thinks he can profit from owning Wembley Stadium?
John: I think you can make money from owning a major stadium that hosts high-profile sporting and music events in one of the world's largest cities. I'll google this to make sure.
Chris from Roseville, CA:
I think Allen Lazard was our steal in this draft. Many had him as a second-to-third-round talent. Do you have any idea why he went undrafted and your thoughts on his signing?
John: Lazard was super productive at Iowa State, but he's not superfast. He's also a bit of an unusual player because of his size (6-feet-5, 227 pounds), with some teams reportedly unsure if he would be a tight end or receiver. All of that certainly contributed to him not being drafted. As far as thoughts on his signing, it could be a good one. What you want in an undrafted free agent is at least one trait that you think can help the player develop and make it in the NFL. Lazard's size could help him do that. Free agents make this team and contribute in this regime. Lazard will have a chance to do the same.
Joe from Fleming Island, FL:
O-man. I understand player acquisition is not over, but if the running back room stays as is, any chance the fullback gets more carries to help take some of the pounding load off No. 7?
John: Doubtful. Not that Jaguars fullback Tommy Bohanon couldn't get a carry or two more per game, but it won't be a significant enough increase to take any of the load off of the other running backs.
Roger from Houston, TX:
If Mr. Khan is successful in purchasing Wembley Stadium, how long do you think it will be until he gets a Super Bowl in London?
John: I think we're a long way from that. At least a decade. Probably more.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
With all the talk of fans being surprised by the Jaguars taking a defensive lineman in the first round, I would like to point out that Mike from Atlanta said on April 17, "I wouldn't be super-surprised if the Jaguars took a defensive lineman with the first-round pick." I think that fella was paying attention. I think with hindsight it seems like that should have been a more obvious possibility, like you said John. They have decision to make regarding the line and salary cap in the near future. That and Coughlin has been known to build deep and dominant lines.
John: You are "awesome." I know this because I, too, am "awesome." Congratulations on being "awesome." Good luck moving forward.
Paul from Jupiter, FL:
Why do so many in the media refer to the draft being made by the head coach - "Sean Payton went up and got his guy with that trade, etc." - when it's really the general manager that is doing that? Why don't they say Dave Caldwell got his receiver in Chark, rather than Doug Marrone?
John: There are some cases when a head coach does have a lot of influence in the draft room. There are also other cases when the media is just sort of being lazy and saying what sounds good. Media, believe it or not, is not infallible. Present company excluded, of course. Because I, like Mike, am awesome.

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