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O-Zone: Bigger, stronger, faster

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

KC from Orlando, FL

KOAF - I think we did well at this draft. However, are you surprised we didn't add much offense this draft? Do you get the feeling that they are content where they are with our WR?

I was a little surprised the Jaguars didn't select a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft – and I was a little surprised, too, that the draft was so heavy on offense. It's clear in retrospect that the offseason plan was to get veteran offensive help in free agency – with the idea of surrounding second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence with experience. I thought they might select a wide receiver at No. 33, or I thought they might trade up from there into Round 1 for the position. I wasn't surprised they didn't address wide receiver in the later rounds, because I figured once the draft moved past potential No. 1 receivers the Jaguars probably would look at other positions. And yes … they're content at wide receiver. As content as possible, anyway.

Jason from Jacksonville

Not a question, but wanted to share some information I just read considering why we always pick from the Southeastern Conference. Numbers don't lie. 2022 draftees by conference. AAC: 19. ACC: 21. Big 12: 25. Big Ten: 48. Conference USA: 6, Independents: 5. MAC: 6. Mountain West: 11. Pac-12: 25. SEC: 53. Sun Belt: 6 FCS. Division II or Division III: 37.

I'm old enough to remember when the Jaguars had a general manager criticized for not drafting enough players from big schools.

William from Savannah, GA

O-Man, the question of Georgia outside linebacker Travon Walker versus Michigan edge defender Travon Hutchinson has bee on my mind for a few days. As I try to interpret the thinking of W over H, I come to the conclusion that the Jags believe that Walker might have had a lower floor but a higher ceiling than Hutchinson – the safer pick – and the Jags were willing to risk it. If this is so, I'm on board. I think Einstein said that ships are safest in harbor, but that not what ships are meant for. Mediocrity and safety share a common bed.

My head is starting to hurt.

Garrett from Jesup, GA

You know, the Cam deal is what it is. I figured that's the way the Jaguars were going (not saying I agree). But why do it when they did it? Shouldn't the focus and effort of everyone have been on the draft?

The Jaguars have been discussing a long-term deal with left tackle Cam Robinson for months. It came together in the last few days before the draft and the sides agreed. There's time to prepare for the draft and negotiate with veterans. That's why teams employ more than one person in a front office.

PDub from Panama City, FL

Another inept draft. All selections after the third round were poor. Why a bad running back over a wide receiver? A No. 1 overall pick with absolutely no credentials from college play? Nothing has changed, poor decisions from the top once again.

So you say.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Can you walk us through the value prop for the trade with Tampa for Jaguars' pick No. 157 in the fifth and 235 in the seventh in exchange for Tampa's 2023 fourth round selection. With Tampa projected to win the NFC South this year (and perhaps easily), their slot in next year's draft will be late in each round possibly deep into the 20s. So, the differential between this year's fifth-round pick at 157 and next year's Tampa pick around 135 does not seem that significant, or is it? If for whatever reason the Buccaneers have a miserable 2022 season (not counting NFC South division games they do have a tough 2022 schedule) and draft early in each round next year, then this trade falls in favor of the Jaguars?

The Jaguars didn't like much of what was left in the 2022 NFL Draft when they made the trade. The speculation around the league is the 2023 NFL Draft will be deeper than the '22 draft. Getting a fourth-round selection in that draft has a chance to be a lot better than having a couple of later-round selections in this one. We shall see.

Richard from Jacksonville

O'man, I continue to see a solid structure at work within the organization and a plan in place that was actualized through the draft. Is it the plan most of us thought? No. Is it more structured than most of us thought? Yes. Has it been 20 years since we have seen releases, signings and drafting fit together along with a sound front office? Yes. It's time to give this front office, organization and team a legit shot at a rebuild that will work. It's not what I thought I would see but after objective thought, I like what I see. Here is one for hope for the future. A legitimate guard/center pick with high accolades in the third really made me start believing...

One fer the new direction …

Sean from Jacksonville

Here's hoping that Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson doesn't bring in Tim Tebow to try out for anything. I say this because I see Nick Foles is looking for a new team, but I don't think we need him either. No matter who we have, I support them. Everything else is above my paygrade.

… and one fer something, even if it's hard to know just what that something is.

Howard from Homestead, FL

With no wide receivers selected, can there be any doubt that this draft was about the best available player?

There's a little bit of that – and a little bit of the Jaguars' liking their receivers and tight ends.

Nick from Southside

I'm beginning to better understand the Walker pick. Hear me out. Todd Bowles' defense, which Mike Caldwell will borrow from, heavily relies on multiple formations and creative blitz packages. Having a player as versatile as Walker enables the team to design packages where teams don't necessarily know if he is playing nose, defensive end of outside linebacker. This creativity can confuse the opposing offense's ability to set protection at the line of scrimmage.

There's that – and more than a little bit of the Jaguars thinking Walker was pretty clearly the best player out of the players at the top of the draft.

Gary from Jax

John, maybe a silly question, but I noticed on Day 2 of the draft, when a player is selected and is remote, he magically has that team's hat ready to go. Assuming no pick is 100 percent certain, how could that happen?

Players expected to be selected comparatively early have all the hats.

Stephen from Belfast, United Kingdom

John, I'm sure your inbox is an angry place today, but I for one am hyped for next season. Really can't wait to see our all new 3-6 defensive front, not to mention how defenses will be in disarray when we line up in our innovative five-slot receivers set. Trent Baalke is clearly much smarter than all us dumb fans, and knows the best way to help a young QB is to *checks notes*, draft linebackers. Another vintage Jaguars draft class.

The best way to help a young quarterback is to get good players around him. Remember, too: The Jaguars signed two wide receivers, a tight end and a Pro Bowl offensive guard in unrestricted free agency. They signed veterans who they believe could help immediately offensively.

Bob from Sumter, SC

Seems to me that using three of the first four picks on defensive players is also a way to "help Trevor" by not starting games down seven points with half the first quarter gone, creating shorter fields with more turnovers, getting off the field on third downs to give him more opportunities.


Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, I honestly didn't think it could be possible to go into a draft with 12 picks including the first overall, and come away uncertain you've improved your team. We got a D-End with more questions than answers, off-ball linebackers that will get swallowed up because we don't have adequate beef up front, a center that can't get to the second level, a running back that will have to come out of the game on third down, and defensive backs that will have an uphill battle to make the team. Please explain how you think the Jags improved?

I think the Jaguars drafted players who can be very good at linebacker and along the defensive front. I don't know if that will mean immediate impact because I'm not a big believer that you get immediate impact from many rookies very often. I do believe players such as Walker and linebackers Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma will make this a significantly better and more athletic defense as they develop and adapt to the NFL.