JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Chris from Houston, TX
Obviously hindsight is always 20/20. Still, if you were to change any first-round pick the Jaguars selected, which would it be? Would it be selecting Khalil Mack or Aaron Donald over Blake Bortles in 2014, Patrick Mahomes over Leonard Fournette in 2017, Terrell Suggs or Big Ben [Roethlisberger] over Byron Leftwich? Maybe not making the big trades back in 2008? It's funny how most of those have to do with a quarterback.
Though this is a fascinating – and frustrating – game that fans and observers love, I rarely partake. This is not because of frustration, or because there aren't cases when having selected a certain player would have been a superior selection to the player chosen. Rather, it's because every NFL team and every general manager have misses of some degree in pretty much every draft. The draft at its heart is a percentage game; misses are part of that game. All general managers know this, which is why fortunes are spent on scouting trying to improve those percentages by even a few points – because those few percentage points can mean the difference between one or two victories here or there, and therefore the difference between success and failure. But you're right: the big "regrets" in Jaguars history involve missing on quarterbacks – both choosing the wrong ones and passing on players who have gone on to great success. That stands to reason when you've been as deficient at the position as the Jaguars. Passing on current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 indeed comes to mind, as does passing on current Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But, remember: quarterbacks are rarely can't-miss at the time of the draft. I read a column this past weekend written in 2017 by a respected writer referring to that year's weak quarterback class. It was, of course, a class that included not only Mahomes but Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Either way, Mahomes would have to be the answer to your question. Passing on him will be a regret for a long time. A very long time.
Tom from Charlottesville, VA
Given the present circumstances, will NFL teams be able to rent homes for their draftees? This would eliminate the need for those individuals to spend time looking. This could be a team expense and not count against the cap.
Teams can provide lodging for players participating in the offseason program. This includes drafted and undrafted rookies and is covered in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Ryan from Reality
I imagine most fans don't think Andrew Norwell is a bad left guard. It's just that we made him the highest-paid player at his position and then received merely average production. Do you think Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell learned his lesson and that's why he doesn't want to make good/average Yannick the highest-paid player at his position?
I don't know that he would phrase it quite that way, and I don't know that he's actively thinking about Norwell in relation to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue … but the Jaguars very much don't want to set the market on a player if they don't feel the player merits it.
Chris from Section 437
I still don't understand why the Jags are so confident in the current offensive line. From my eyes they looked like they got pushed around last season and defenders were much too quick into the backfield.
Shon from San Antonio, TX
O, I saw a post by Tony Khan a few days ago regarding the draft. He had pictures of binders labeled offense and defense, and mentioned how he's preparing for the draft. He mentioned preparing for undrafted free agents and how he found some in the past. How long has Tony Khan been active in recruiting free agents? Does he have a football background or is his scouting based off pure analytic data? Why is he involved? Possible future general manger or just preparing to take a Jerry Jones-type role in the organization? This post just took me by surprise. Any insight on this?
Tony Khan has had a role in the draft and all football operations since shortly into Khan's ownership, with one significant facet of that role utilizing analytics to target undrafted players. These in the past have included players such as current starting safety Jarrod Wilson and former running back Corey Grant – just to name two who have contributed significantly. As for the extent of his role moving forward … that remains to be seen. I anticipate him remaining heavily involved, as well he should.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL
Hi, John: I'm thinking when the Jags draft an offensive lineman, it's a player that needs a little time to develop. Possibly a guard to replace Andrew Norwell or A.J. Cann in 2021. Your thoughts?
I expect the Jaguars to draft an interior offensive lineman in the 2020 NFL Draft, though perhaps not in the first or second rounds.
Dakota from Dupree, SD
Zone, why isn't anyone talking edge rusher early in the draft? Is Smoot good enough if that Yuan guy decides not to play?
Dawuane Smoot is entering his fourth NFL season and had six sacks last season. He's good enough to start and remember: The Jaguars have Josh Allen on the other edge – and he's going to be very good. He was good as a rookie last season, and I expect him to be much better in Year 2. Smoot/Allen is not as good a situation as having Yannick Ngakoue and Allen on the edge, but Allen's presence makes the Jaguars good there.
Dave from North Kingston, RI
John, I'm starting to get this feeling the Jags are going all offense the first two days. I even feel like Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone's statement about liking the offensive line was a smoke screen to cover the fact they are not looking there. Give quarterback Gardner Minshew II tools and see what he has. And if doesn't have it, then you know all in next year on a quarterback!!!
I'll be surprised if the Jaguars don't address cornerback and defensive tackle early in the draft. That doesn't mean they won't take a wide receiver on Day 1 or 2, but it might not be your definition of "all offense."
Gero from Wenden, Germany
So, John: Trying to sign Cam Newton would be a big mistake. He would be a player again with his own airs and graces. Why not Gardner?
Who says it won't be Gardner?
Tom from Section 106
Would you explain what exactly is, and is not included in "local revenue"? Jaguars President Mark Lamping says the Jags get 11 percent of "local revenue" from one game in London. Shouldn't each game average 12.5 percent? You know, 100 percent divided by eight home games? I know that's caveman math … but without knowing what they're talking about, it's very frustrating.
Local NFL revenue is all revenue not shared by teams, so it's essentially all revenue that is not from the league's television contracts, merchandising deals and licensing deals. Local revenue essentially is money made from ticket sales, concessions and corporate sponsorships – so no, each game does not average 12.5 percent. Corporate sponsorship also is critical. The reason London is critical is because Wembley is larger, sells out and the ticket prices are higher – and because the Jaguars get revenue from sponsorship deals there. They're not making things up. They make more money there. It's key to the operating costs. It's key to staying relatively competitive in relation to the league. It matters. A lot.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ
Zone, "The Jaguars believe they are trying to win now, and that they are closer to doing so than they were a few weeks ago." Does that mean you disagree with the NFL.com post-free-agency power rankings which lists the Jags at 32? If they are right, and the guy that has only one contributor left on the team from his first two drafts conducted with complete autonomy is wrong; drafting to win now as opposed to greater focus on the future will be a mistake that will make this rebuild/whatever you want to call it -- take longer to correct than would otherwise be necessary.
I don't think the Jaguars will be the 32nd-best team in the NFL next season because I don't think they will be worse than last season and they weren't the worst team in the NFL last season. And there's nothing to indicate that Caldwell will draft to "win now" as opposed to drafting for the future. All his actions so far this offseason indicate that he is operating with his eye on the future.
Bill from Orange Park, FL
Yannick is going about this all wrong. He needs to just say something like, "I am in the bottom third of pass rushers when it comes to local revenue. In order for me to have financial viability I need to increase my revenue stream. This is the only way for me to be sustainable." Certainly, Shad would bend over backwards if it was explained that way.
I don't think he would, because … oh, you were being clever. Right?