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O-Zone: Childish things

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

What position is the biggest need in Round 1?

The Jaguars have addressed enough needs this offseason via free agency/trade they probably don't have to reach for a particular position in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft. That's the goal of most general managers, and Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke appears at least close to reaching that goal. The Jaguars' '24 offseason acquisitions thus far: Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (San Francisco 49ers), wide receiver Gabe Davis (Buffalo Bills), center Mitch Morse (Bills), wide receiver/returner Devin Duvernay (Baltimore Ravens), cornerback Ronald Darby (Ravens), safety Darnell Savage (Green Bay Packers) and quarterback Mac Jones (New England Patriots, trade). I still see cornerback as a real possibility early in the draft – perhaps at No. 17 overall and almost certainly on Day 1 or 2. The Jaguars have Tyson Campbell on one corner and now Darby on the other. But you need at least three front-line corners in this era. The Jaguars like 2023 seventh-round selection Christian Braswell and 2022 seventh-rounder Montaric Brown at the position, but it seems reasonable they would like at least one more early-drafted player there. Defensive and offensive line still make a lot of sense early because selecting those positions early always make a lot of sense if the player is good. Receiver is another possibility. It will be much-discussed for the Jaguars at No. 17. I'm not seeing it. I'm wrong a lot.

Zach from Jacksonville

Who is in worst shape after the falling out of wide receiver Calvin Ridley to the Tennessee Titans? Baalke or the Jaguars team? If you look back to last offseason, the team lost right tackle Jawaan Taylor and gained Ridley only to perform worse on offense the following season. This year they bolster the offensive line and get Gabe Davis. The coaches defended Ridley's drops and routes turned interceptions, I don't think the offense will be worse without him. Meanwhile Trent Baalke is viewed not getting into negotiations with outside linebacker Josh Allen quick enough to secure a long-term deal so he could franchise Ridley. Just my two cents.

Make no mistake: The Jaguars were disappointed Wednesday when Ridley received and agreed to a surprise offer from the Tennessee Titans worth $50 million guaranteed. But remember: The Jaguars' offense in 2023 actually performed strikingly similarly to 2022 until the last five games of the season when quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Christian Kirk were injured. That's nitpicking, and though I'm a nitpicking kind of guy, you point is a logical one – and a case can indeed be made that the offense won't suffer significantly with Ridley's loss. The Jaguars in essence were much the same offense with Marvin Jones/Zay Jones/Kirk/tight end Evan Engram in 2022 as the receiving core as they were last season with Ridley. The Jaguars very well could draft or sign a receiver in the coming weeks or months? But is it really so hard to see the offense functioning with Davis/Zay Jones/Kirk/Engram? That group must stay as healthy as it did in 2022. That from this view is the major question.

Don from Marshall NC

You just knew there were more teams looking at Ridley. You called it and that is the way it goes usually. Turning around and using that money on defense will make the team better. The Kansas City Chiefs won the last two Super Bowls because of their defense. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to continuing to build the defense, Don remains "all in."

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O. I hear you when you say the team had some modicum of success with Marvin Jones, Jones, Kirk and Engram. But c'mon, they never truly felt great there. They always seemed to be missing something. And it might have been easy to blame it on Trevor's youth. But, unless your name is Patrick Mahomes, you need a WR1 in the modern NFL. And even Mahomes has Travis Kelce. Engram is nice, but he's not Kelce, and Trevor isn't Mahomes. Can this team really expect big things from Kirk, Jones, Davis, Engram?

The group of Zay Jones, Kirk, Engram and Davis is perfectly capable of producing 3,500 yards receiving and 30 touchdowns as a group. Will any go to the Hall of Fame? Are any "clear No. 1, go-to receivers? No and no, but in this offense these receivers are good enough for the team to be good.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, I didn't count, but it seems you used the term "if healthy" about a thousand times recently. It seems to me that older players with past injuries often do not end up helping their teams. Injuries are unpredictable so here's hoping. Also, losing Ridley hurts. Again, hopefully Davis can help. If healthy, hopefully the Jags will be better. If healthy.

The age of a few of the Jaguars' free agents and other key players is a risk. It's a concern. That's not saying the signings are bad. It's saying it's a concern.

GungaDan from Sand Dune

Hi O, A comment and a question. It turns out that all of Calvin's talk of being grateful for a chance was just a play. He did us dirty by going to a division rival and is now on par with Jalen Ramsey. Very disheartening. My question is: Do you think that our division rivals are improving faster than we are? Thanks.

Ridley signed with the Titans this week for $50 million guaranteed. I don't doubt for a minute that Ridley was grateful to the Jaguars for trading for him and giving him a chance this past season. I also don't doubt that very few people are going to turn down $50 million guaranteed.

Kevin from Alone in the cold

Do you think Trent will at least look into what it will take to bring Higgins here? Related sidenote I'm disappointed that he left, but I'm livid he went to Tennessee.

General managers typically "look" at everything. For a team to acquire wide receiver Tee Higgins from the Cincinnati Bengals it will probably cost draft equity and a long-term contract. I doubt the Jaguars will do this.

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Uh oh, doesn't Jags history shows that "winning" the offseason accompanies losing the real season?

I have been pretty clear about this the entire time I've written the O-Zone and I have been clear about this regarding the recent signings. Free-agency isn't the ideal way to build a championship team. You're bringing in players other teams didn't re-sign for one reason or the other. Still: The Jaguars had good success in 2022 improving dramatically with free agents. A lot of the signings this week made sense given the Jaguars' current situation. Stay tuned.

Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

Would the Morse and Armstead signings figure into the compensatory formula? Both of them were released by their teams. One was signed before free agency. For further clarification when does a free agent signing count toward the formula?

Morse and Armstead were released by their respective former teams. That means they were free agents when they signed with the Jaguars as opposed to unrestricted free agents. Players released by their teams do not figure into the compensatory formula – only players whose contracts expire.

Zach from Jacksonville

What are the odds they get a No. 3 pass rusher on the edge? They showed interest in Chase Young at the trade deadline and they could develop him like they did Travon Walker.

At some point, enough has to be enough.

Steve from Yulee

I contacted you yesterday told u what a bad job Balke is doing and today after further signings and non signings I believe we now have signings of old players and washed up players do again can Jacksonville get a holiday when Balke gets fired and name it Walky Balke day.

I saw your email the other day I may have responded and I may not have punctuation and not sure what else you saying OK thank you for writing and reading though.

Adam from Round Here

Johnny Zone, so for weeks I thought it would be cool if we were able to keep Calvin . Then as we got even closer to Wednesday, it was, "Wow he really wants to be here… this is great. Then Wednesday night when he signed with (of all the 31 other teams) the Titans, I was instantly… "@$&% that wrong route running @?!#$&. Funny how that works! But I guess he at least did the Jags a favor by waiting until after the deadline to go. Good Bye, Calvin.

Fans fan. It's what they do. Even ones from "Round Here."

*Art from Glassboro, NJ              *

There is no one who reads this website who would pass on an opportunity to make an extra $12M. Only a child would expect someone to do that so they can play for your favorite team.