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O-Zone: Chihuahuas... or whatever

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … John from Savannah, GA:
So what is the functional difference between Derrick Harvey and Dante Fowler Jr., besides not having to trade up to get Fowler?
John: I suppose I'm not smart enough to know what "functional difference" means when comparing Derrick Harvey to Dante Fowler Jr. But more significantly … why do you ask? Why compare? Are they brothers? Or worse … clones separated only by time and a degree of the space-time continuum? Is there some rule that because a player who played at a school one year didn't succeed a player who played at the same school essentially seven years later must fail, too? What's the "functional difference" between Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning? Each played quarterback at Tennessee in the 1990s. Each was successful in college. Each was drafted in the Top 10. Should the Colts not have selected Manning because Shuler had a sub-par career with the Redskins? I'm truly not trying to be snide here, but the question isn't pertinent. Not only that, it doesn't have anything to do with the topic.
Brian from Jacksonville:
Why would the Jags take a pass rusher when they were fourth in the league in sacks? Do you believe a running back such as Todd Gurley could be in play at Pick No. 3?
John: The Jaguars would take a pass rusher because they want to keep being a good pass-rushing team, and because they don't have a true dominant, disruptive pass rusher. Besides, you don't take a player in the Top 10 for the following season; you take him for the next five-to-seven years – at least. And no … I do not believe the Jaguars will take Todd Gurley or any running back No. 3 overall.
John from Canton, GA:
Don't you think the Giants would have been better off with Philip Rivers or Big Ben in the 2004 draft? At best Eli has been nothing more than a slightly above-average quarterback.
John: Manning has been better than above slightly above average. He has quarterbacked two Super Bowl-winning teams and had he not played well during those runs, the Giants wouldn't have won the Super Bowls. Maybe the Giants would have won with Rivers and/or Roethlisberger and maybe they wouldn't have won. I don't think the Giants have spent much time regretting their choice.
Payne from Chapin:
Who are the jaguars top draft picks in the 2015 draft pick?
John: What?
Guy from San Antonio, TX:
O-man, with all this draft talk going on, if we were to put all the current NFL players into a draft pool, who would be your No. 1 pick to lead your franchise?
John: Aaron Rodgers.
Jay from Montreal, Quebec:
Can you explain why folks think No. 89 (Marcedes Lewis) should be cut ... or traded for peanuts? Let's look at the facts: (1) He's still a good player. (2) The Jags don't have a surplus of good players. (3) He's not a bad locker-room influence, from what I know. (4) We still have oodles of cap space and won't be maxing it out this year. (5) He and Julius Thomas play completely different positions; ignore the shared label "TE" before their names. (5) Who else on our roster who can do what Lewis does better than Lewis?
John: We're on the same page, even though you did use two (5)s and could have used a (6) instead. I'm one who believes it's a good idea to bring Lewis back. The only reason not to do so is if you don't want to pay him his salary/cap number – and that's a legitimate reason. Aside from that, there's not much reason not to have Lewis on the Jaguars, but we'll see.
Brad from Section 115:
I have problems with the NFL Hall of Fame. The biggest one is that offensive players outnumber defensive 10 to 1. Also, there is very low representation of special teams players. They may as well rename it "Hall of Popular NFL Players." This situation would be understandable if there was fan voting like the Pro Bowl but the Selection Committee are supposed to be media specialists that cover the game. What say you O-man?
John: I say the ratio of offensive players to defensive players actually is a little less than 2-1. That's still probably too skewed toward offense, though hardly to the degree that seems to bother you. I don't have a problem with a low representation of special teams players. The Hall is supposed to honor the greatest players of all time, and it's hard to put kickers and punters in that category. It's also hard to put coverage players/returners there because usually they aren't starting over other players. Overall, I believe it's a good system. Is the Hall a bit of a popularity contest? Sure, I don't know of a system that wouldn't include that element.
Will from Jacksonville:
If the Jaguars got Leonard Williams with their 3rd overall pick, would they seriously consider a LEO with their second-round pick or would it likely be a position that isn't filled until a future year?
John: I'm sure they would consider a Leo later in the draft in your scenario, but I doubt they would force it in the second round. Chris Clemons can play it another year, so you're not looking for a short-term fix or a reach. You're looking for a player you hope can be a dominant presence on the defensive front for the long-term.
Vitaly from Asheville, FL:
Holger asked a question and you started whining. When did you become a crybaby?
John: I think it was 1992. No, wait. It was '93.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
Do you know of any current or former players who will sometimes submit O-Zone questions either with their actual names or pseudonyms?
John: I'm pretty sure "Vitaly from Asheville" is actually Sen'Derrick Marks, but I have no proof.
Joel from Jacksonville:
Is it too much wishful thinking to hold out hope that Doug Marrone can coach up the present offensive linemen on the Jags' roster to have them play at an average-to-above-average NFL level of performance in the coming season? It's hard to imagine the players improving that much, but coaching does matter and the O-Line in particular is a unit that can improve the most with time spent together as a unit. Your thoughts?
John: Coaching indeed can help, but it's really not hard to imagine the line improving. They added Jermey Parnell, a player they like a lot, and three other projected starters – Luke Bowanko, Brandon Linder and Luke Joeckel – essentially will be entering their second full seasons as starters. Those latter three players absolutely should improve. That's what's expected of players at that stage of their careers.
Rizzy from Raccoon City:
John … why you doing Brian Sexton like that in the "This-or-That" segment? … Winners mentally, maybe?
John: #truewinner
Bo from Dresden, NC:
John, do you sit around and pretend you know all about the draft prospects and picks the Jags would make from Rounds 1 thru 7? If so, who you got?
John: I do not remotely pretend to know who the Jaguars will select in Rounds 2-7. With 31 other teams selecting multiple times, and with teams of scouts employed to project players – and with teams doing whatever possible to not share draft strategy – I choose not to insult the readers' intelligence by projecting who the Jaguars might take with 250th selection of a particular draft.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, I'm pretty sure Tony Boselli was motioning to Bruce Smith, not Jason Taylor. I think it was that game on a huge stage that solidified Tony Boselli's image as a dominating left tackle. I searched YouTube, but couldn't find the footage. Could you please verify, to help me keep my memories in order?
John: I'm pretty sure it was Jason Taylor. I'm pretty sure it was Taylor because I remember sitting in the press box and watching it.
Richard from Starke, FL:
All of the different scenarios for the Jaguars picking at No. 3 are fascinating, but going over all of that in my mind leaves me with one thought. I would not want to be David Caldwell and have to make that decision.
John: A reader wrote recently wrote that it perhaps will be David Caldwell's toughest decision as the Jaguars' general manager. The more I think about it, the more I think that's the case.
Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
Most NFL fans I've met either watch college football or they just don't care about it either way. But, many college football fans I've met seem to be harboring some resentment toward the NFL. I guess I can understand, it's sort of like a chihuahua resenting ... well anything bigger than them, and nervously barking constantly because of it. The thing to do with chihuahuas is recognize that while they certainly are annoying they are harmless.
John: I was going to check to make sure you were spelling chihuahua right, but I remember that I don't care enough about chihuahuas to make the effort.

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