JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF - Could you see the Jaguars pursuing Jameson Williams now that the Lions have released him for betting just to add more juice to the lineup?
Williams, a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, was among five players suspended by the NFL Friday for violating the league's gambling policy. The players: Williams, Lions wide receiver Stanley Berryhill, Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, Lions safety C.J. Moore and Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney. Williams and Berryhill were suspended for six games while the others were suspended indefinitely, with the Lions releasing Cephus and Moore the same day the suspensions were announced. The Lions did not release Williams, so the Jaguars won't pursue him. Friday's news – as well as the season-long gambling-related suspension served by Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley in 2022 – does show the NFL is still taking gambling violations very seriously these days. It also shows what appears to be becoming obvious – that with gambling apps becoming more prominent, with more states legalizing gambling and with the league now openly embracing gambling advertising, these violations are more understandable and harder to avoid than was the case a decade ago. It does lead one to wonder if the current rules are realistic. Stay tuned.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Are we in a unique time in the recent history of the AFC with a clear and dynamic franchise quarterback leading a member team from each division (Trevor Lawrence/Jaguars, Patrick Mahomes/Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Burrow/Cincinnati Bengals, Josh Allen/Buffalo Bills) that arguably provides a four-team gauntlet that will be hard to get through for other members of the Conference's path to the Super Bowl?
I can't say this never happened before; it's sometimes hard to define "franchise quarterback" and "clear favorite" across broad eras. The late 2000s come to mind as perhaps a similar era with Peyton Manning/Indianapolis Colts, Tom Brady/New England Patriots, Ben Roethlisberger/Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers/Philip Rivers making it very difficult for other teams to win the AFC's divisions. What's striking about this group is the youth – and therefore the potential for a long run of dominance by their teams. All four quarterbacks you mention are 27 or younger. One thing to remember here is Mahimes, Burrow and Allen all have had their teams in the playoffs multiple times. All therefore have earned a status as perennial contenders. The Jaguars have won one AFC South title with Lawrence and needed a remarkable late-season run to win it. Don't misunderstand. I think the Jaguars are heading that direction. I think Lawrence is on his way to being elite. But they still have to earn the right to be mentioned with the other three AFC powers.
P Funk from Murray Hill
In regards to a veteran pass rusher, is waiting until after the draft to sign one a way to drive the price down upon signing?
It indeed seems possible that the Jaguars would seek a veteran pass rusher after the 2023 NFL Draft. They also could take this route with cornerback or perhaps tight end. Whatever the position, this route likely would be a little less expensive than signing such a player a few weeks after the beginning of free agency. But this market at this point is more dictated by timing than money. The weeks leading to the draft are often slow for "next-wave" free agents because teams are focused on the draft. Once the draft passes and teams know their post-draft needs, the veteran pass rushers – and the veterans at other positions – should start signing.
Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld
I've seen recently on another media outlet that Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke's draft board is about 130 players deep. What do you think Baalke will do with picks after that 130ish position? Given that any year there are over 220 picks, what do GMs do when draft classes are that shallow? Are we going to spend fifth, sixth and seventh round picks on camp bodies that won't even make the practice squad?
As reported on jaguars.com Thursday, Baalke said the draft board at that time had 127 players. What he meant is that was how many absolute fits were on the board, and he added that more selections were "baked in" to the mix. That doesn't mean this is a shallow class and it doesn't mean that players selected in Rounds 5-7 won't make the team. It's quite likely that the Jaguars have players slotted for every round that they believe are good fits. Remember, too: Other teams will select players throughout the draft that aren't on the Jaguars' draft board for various reasons – fit, character, a certain measurable not being what the Jaguars want from a position. I don't expect a lack of draftable players to be a problem for the Jaguars next week.
Matthew from Jacksonville
No questions and don't really care about features. This team will have discipline, keep the quarterback clean, and play with organized chaos. AFC South champions is the standard and culture.
Matthew is "all in."
John from The land of Indian River
Ozone, I don't understand the thought process that not attending voluntary workouts is leverage for Even Engram? If working out at Jaguars facilities and gets hurt, he's covered and medical staff on hand. If hurt working out on his own that's on him. Respect earned showing up is leverage in negotiations. Loyalty and respect are two-way streets.
Jaguars tight end Evan Engram earned plenty of respect in the locker room and around the organization last season. He carried himself with class, worked hard and was a model teammate and player. Staying away from offseason workouts won't change that. And it's worth issuing a yearly reminder here: Offseason work in the NFL except for a three-day June minicamp is voluntary. Even if Engram was signed to a long-term contract, there would be nothing wrong with him not being here.
Jimsure from DBS
Big O, how stupid must a player or players be to bet on any NFL team these days? One would think they would be smart enough having seen other players get caught and suspended for anywhere from six games to a season which includes not getting paid or even allowed near the team's facilities.
Most NFL players are between 22 and 28 or 29 years old. My experience is most people this age lack consistency when doing smart things.
J. Hooks from Orange Park
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn, world serves its own needs. Don't mis-serve your own needs. If you were drafting, do you take that O lineman on your board or D line / pass rusher based on our current roster?
I would select the better player.
JT from Palm Coast
John, after speaking to the Jags' brass, do you think we will go O-line with our first? I know cornerback is another need, but I'm curious to know where you mind is at with that first pick?
I'm expecting the Jaguars to select offensive line or cornerback with their first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Rob from The duuuu
How do you like the potential comparison of Travon Walker to Khalil Mack? I feel like Mack had a ton of success as a pass rusher who relied more on power and was able to be a force in the run game as well. Never seemed too quick or like a polished pass rusher but was considered one of the best defensive players in the league in his prime. Maybe Walker could have similar style and success without being a pure polished pass rusher with lots of finesse and moves? Just a thought…
This is a good thought. I'm not as big on comparing players to others as many observers because success or failure in the NFL relies so much on individual traits and the circumstances in which a player plays. But I do think it's possible that Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker – the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft – doesn't become a "pure edge rusher." I think it's equally possible he still becomes a dominant player worthy of his draft status. Both things can be true.
I don't get it.
You're right. You don't.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-manstradamus, when you are asked questions that equate to predicting the future, have you ever thought about, just maybe, answering their question with confidence, and with a "perfect" prediction along with some stock recommendations that you are ready to sell when the obvious subsequent rise occurs?
While I am "perfect" in many ways, predicting the future isn't the purpose of this column. There are plenty of other places on the interweb and Twittle where people who believe their own hot air will breathlessly provide hot takes and predictions. I try to explain why the Jaguars do things and what I believe could happen in situations. It's not sexy. Then again, neither am I.