JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Would you be surprised if the Jaguars drafted an offensive tackle with Pick No. 25 or 33?
The Jaguars' recent free-agent moves filled many immediate needs, which was by design; they wanted to enter the draft able to select value over need as much as possible. For the most part, they accomplished that objective. As such, few things would surprise me when it comes to the Jaguars and the 2021 NFL Draft. It would be surprising if they don't select Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall. It would be surprising if they don't select a tight end with one of their five selections in Rounds 1-3. It would be a bit surprising if they don't select running back somewhere in the draft, though not necessarily early. It would surprise me if safety isn't addressed somewhere early, I suppose. Beyond that …
Sam from Winter Park, FL
Did David Caldwell find himself a job yet? Surely someone given as many chances to succeed that the Jaguars gave him found a job very quickly.
My uncle Otto once said, "One mark of a fool is his confidence often outweighs his knowledge." While Otto didn't say as much, I wonder is the same might be said about snideness. Former Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell to my knowledge has not "found himself a job" in the NFL yet. I also don't know that he has actively tried to find himself a job in the NFL. It's quite common for former NFL general managers not to work in the league the season after they leave/are dismissed from jobs. As for whether Caldwell could work in the NFL should he choose to do so … absolutely. Without question.
Alon from Malibu, CA
So ... are the Jags gonna go 3-4 or 4-3? Based on their free-agent signings can you guess?
I would expect the Jaguars' base defense to essentially be a 3-4 in 2021, but versatility and flexibility are the watchwords when it comes to the Jaguars' defensive scheme with Joe Cullen as the coordinator.
John from Jacksonville
How can anyone put a grade how the Jaguars did in free agency? By how exciting it is? Shouldn't we watch them play a game first? Perhaps waiting until the end of the season before passing judgment would be a good idea. Sort of like your grade on a final exam.
Lenny from London, UK
There's talk of the Jags switching over to a base 3-4 defense this year. As the Jags have never really done this before, I'm a little unsure of who our starters are and what positions they will play at the moment. Can you help clarify who you see as the starting front seven at the moment?
On the occasions the Jaguars are close to a traditional 3-4 look, I would expect the front seven to look as follows: Taven Bryan/Dawuane Smoot at one big end, Malcom Brown/DaVon Hamilton at nose, Tyson Alualu/Roy Robertson-Harris at another big end – with Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson at outside linebacker, and Myles Jack and Joe Schobert at inside linebacker. But remember: The Jaguars signed many of those players because of position versatility and flexibility. Easy depth-chart fits may prove somewhat elusive.
Ryan from Pontiac, IL
Given the need for tight end, what do you think of the idea of the Jaguars trading up in the first round for Kyle Pitts? I know they would have to give up an arm and leg to do so, but he may be the most highly-touted tight end ever coming out of college. Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts together could be a dynamic duo for years to come. They have plenty of draft picks to make it happen. What do you think O-Man?
I don't expect the Jaguars to give up the equity needed to trade up for Pitts. It's historically a high-risk position in the first round, and I expect the Jaguars will determine the value of their selections at the end or Round 1 and at the top of Round 2 to be such that they won't want to trade up for Pitts. We'll see.
Biff from Jacksonville
True story. Every time I see the name C.J. Beathard I think of Bloom County. And yes, I know that guy is Berkeley Breathed. Any chance the Jags sign Bill the Cat to the roster?
As much as it disturbs me to share this commonality … I, too, at times have thought of Bloom County when I see the name, "C.J. Beathard." #Opuslives #Ack #Pouritforward
Reuben from Pikesville
As of March 17, Pro Football Focus ranked the Jaguars fourth in improving their team based on offseason roster moves. As for Josh Oliver: Ravens have always kept a number of good tight ends on the roster. Todd Heap, for instance, was Joe Flacco's top target. They drafted Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews in the same draft and Andrews' emergence allowed the team to trade Hurst to the Falcons. Ravens front office has been one of the very best ever since they moved to Baltimore, so I think they see a role for a healthy Josh Oliver.
The Jaguars last season had a role for a healthy Josh Oliver.
Ken from Jacksonville
While the emphasis was on the defensive side of the ball during free agency, what about the offense? We tagged the "swinging gate" at left tackle; signed running back Carlos Hyde, who showed what he could do last time he was here; and signed wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who can't stay on the field. Really? That's it? Are we expecting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence to be that much of an improvement to the offense while on his back and have Mr. Ole' help him back to his feet? Say it ain't so. How much money is left from the $75 million that we started free agency with?
One of your premises seems to be that left tackle Cam Robinson is so awful that the Jaguars' offensive line will be awful and won't be able to protect the quarterback. Another of your premises seems to be that the Jaguars' offense is bereft of talent. Neither of those premises is correct. But within your question is one premise that is correct: Yes, improvement at quarterback can improve everything else on an offense. Decision-making, pocket presence, ability/willingness to throw the ball away at the right time all can improve everything – and everyone – around the quarterback. As for how much cap room the Jaguars have left: It's reportedly about $41 million, but I don't expect the Jaguars to spend significant portion of that to "upgrade" the offense.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Sure seems Jason La Canfora isn't an Urban fan. Sheesh. What a terribly written article about Urban and his first foray into free agency. Why not try to hide a little bias in your reporting?
What's a Jason La Canfora?
Jeff from Orange, CA
I get the Malcom Brown trade from the Saints perspective if they are having cap issues but if Brown is such a valuable player, why were there not other teams offering something better than a seventh-round pick?
I don't know that anyone painted the Jaguars obtaining Brown as if they were obtaining a Hall-of-Fame player – but it is accurate to say he is a capable, proven experienced player at a nose-tackle position where the Jaguars absolutely need such a player. And capable starters get traded for low-round draft selections in the NFL all the time; it's more unusual to get early-round draft selections in a trade than it is to get late-round selections. Remember, too: Teams this offseason had to make moves keeping a tighter salary cap in mind than previous offseasons. Cap constraints were the reason the Saints traded Brown – and perhaps they were also a reason more teams didn't pursue Brown and possibly offer the Saints more than the Jaguars offered.
Jim from Jagsonville
I'm tryin', O, tryin' real hard to get excited. These new guys are saying all the right things, making the kind of offseason moves that can build for the future. Seems like they are doing things right. Why can't I shake this feeling of gloom? We have the winningest coach, the No. 1 pick, but here I am stuck in melancholy. You know my blood runs Teal, I am Duval through and through, so what is it Johnny? What is this feeling I am having about my beloved Jaguars this year?
You have been beaten down by a loooong stretch of offseasons with high expectations followed by an equally loooong stretch – with a notable exception – of disappointing seasons. There are plenty of reasons to be cautious in your optimism. My suggestion? Get out in the sun. Take a walk. Breathe deep from the glorious river we call life. Take in the beautiful world. I wouldn't do this, mind you, because I am comfortable in the miserable muck of personal mediocrity. I'm just saying it might work for you.