O-Zone: Close call

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Joe from San Antonio, TX

The likely options when we are on the board at No. 7: playmakers at defensive tackle and defensive end with the possibilities of elite prospects at both, playmakers at tight end with at least one elite prospect in the group, playmakers at wide receiver and possibly even one of the top two quarterback prospects still available. I get the importance of having a strong offensive line, but if we select a right tackle at No. 7 overall that is the epitome of reaching for a need and ironically wouldn't even be our biggest need. Why do you think this will be the pick?

I believe the Jaguars will select offensive line at No. 7 because there’s a good chance the elite defensive linemen will be gone by then, and because I don’t believe the Jaguars will take a quarterback there after signing quarterback Nick Foles as an unrestricted free agent. I also don’t believe the Jaguars consider wide receiver as big of a need as many fans and observers do – and even if they did, it doesn’t appear there is a wide receiver worthy of the No. 7 selection in this draft. I absolutely agree the Jaguars must address tight end and wouldn’t rule it out at No. 7. But tight end is unusually deep in this draft, and I got the impression from listening to Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell during the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine that he believes you can get quality at the position in the ’19 draft deep into the second and third round. After that, I look at the roster and don’t think the Jaguars will go into the season relying on either second-year veteran Will Richardson or recently-signed Cedric Ogbuehi to start at right tackle. That last part could be wrong, but I would be surprised if a potential starting offensive lineman isn’t selected in the draft’s first two days. And my thought now – less than a month from the draft – is it will happen in the first round. Perhaps I’m wrong. Odder things have happened.

Ray from Jacksonville

John: I saw that new Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury will have breaks every 20-30 minutes during meetings for the players to use their cell phones for their “social media fix.” Could you please step down the hall and suggest that policy to Mr. Coughlin? Can we watch when you do it?

No problem. Wait, I meant “no.”

Joe from Colonia, NJ

If you were in charge, would you consider trying to restructure Marqise Lee's deal – or if that did not work out, would you consider cutting him? Who knows what he will play like post-injury? Plus, we have guys like Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark and Chris Conley, who are all full of upside and deserve snaps. Thanks!

I wouldn’t consider restructuring or releasing Lee this offseason. One reason is he has no reason to agree to a restructuring and his contract is such that releasing him doesn’t help the Jaguars’ against the salary cap. Another reason is Lee’s a very good third-down receiver, a very good blocker and better than any Jaguars receiver except possibly Westbrook – and very possibly including Westbrook.

Rob and Jacksonville

You've mentioned a few times that Lee is pretty good at run blocking. Just curious as to what stands out about his ability to do so. He isn't a big guy, so is it just a matter of effort? Or is there more technique there than a casual fan would notice? Thanks.

Lee’s among the Jaguars’ toughest players, and he run-blocks with enthusiasm. The Jaguars missed both traits last season.

Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, I understand that the captains of the team are chosen by the players. It seems to me it can be a popularity contest as in the Leonard Fournette selection last year. He was anything but a team leader. I would hope the coaching staff will have some input into the selections this year. Do you know how many teams select their captains as we have done recently? Go Jags!

I would be surprised if Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone changes his approach on this. Marrone likes having players take ownership in the team, and it’s difficult for players to have ownership if the coach is deciding who can be their leaders. I’m not saying Fournette was a good selection as captain last season. I’m saying Marrone controlling the decision could be a case of fixing a problem with a worse solution.

Paul from Jacksonville

Thanks to the Jags’ history I avoid all the mock drafts, and only pay attention to the BAG … Best Available Gator. Since our scouting department hasn't left Florida since Tom was scouting Boselli, it’s understandable why we miss on so many first-round picks. The Jags can select their BAG at No. 7 while the other teams draft play makers and game changers in the first round. But hey we got OUR BAG right?

The Jaguars obviously scout all over the country. Their approach is not to take the “Best Available Gator.” I’m going to continue to assume people know this.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Could the Jags take somebody like Montez Sweat with the seventh pick? He’s as close to a sure thing to help keep that defensive line elite should Taven Bryan (probably) not work out.

No, because Sweat didn’t go to Florida.

Sean from Jacksonville

Why do multiple people in sports media remark that we were the only team after Nick Foles? They suggest that we overpaid because we had no competition in bringing him here. Do they really think no one wanted an upgrade to their current quarterback situation or are they just being lazy by not doing a little investigating?

I’ll assume the “people in sports media” to which you refer are national reporters/analysts, many of whom are very tied in with strong sources in many NFL front offices. The reality is that the Jaguars when free agency opened last month were indeed the only team actively pursuing Foles. The Jaguars paid him what they did in part because it was a pretty reasonable price for a veteran NFL starting quarterback and in part because lowballing him with a bad offer could have prompted he and his management team to seek other offers.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Do we see the Jags taking a chance on an early-round wide receiver instead of solely focusing on blatantly obvious team needs like offensive line and tight end? I'd like to see them pick up someone like Deebo Samuel or AJ Brown in the second/third round. It seems like wide receivers make much more of an impact in their first years than most tight ends.

That would surprise me. I expect the Jaguars to go with offensive line, tight end, offensive line and running back early in the draft. And my experience is that tight ends and wide receivers historically both tend to struggle in their first seasons. The complexity of NFL offenses compared to college often makes the transition difficult at the position.

Neil from Cheltenham, UK

Dear Mr. Oehser: I am telling you now the Jags will pick best player available and with Marqise Lee’s injury situation, I would not be the least be surprised if D.K. Metcalf is the choice. A wide receiver in stature we do not have with tight end size! Job done. Could it happen? Thank you.

That would surprise me a great deal.

Scott from Jacksonville

Former Jaguars right tackle Leon Searcy thinks we should take a left tackle and move Cam Robinson to the right side. He believes Cam would be better served having the previously repaired knee on the inside rather than as his outside leverage plant foot. Personally, I would prefer they draft left tackle if they are drafting a lineman that high.

That’s fair and Searcy could be right about that. But remember: There’s not as much of a premium on left tackle compared to right tackle as was the case a couple of decades – or even a decade – ago. As my former Florida Times-Union colleague Pete Prisco – now of CBS Sports – noted on jagaurs.com live with us Monday, elite pass rushers work from both ends of the line of scrimmage now, which makes right tackle nearly as important as left tackle.

Jim St. Augustine, FL

When did the Jaguars last have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback on their roster?

Hold, please.

Trevor from Cape Girardeau, MO

Do you think drafting a tight end in the first round is still in play? We have lacked a threat at the tight end position for a few years, especially in the passing game.

Yes, I always have thought drafting a tight end is in play for the Jaguars in 2019. I’m not thinking that will be the direction, but it must be in play.

Geoffrey from Orlando, FL

John ... ... jooooohnnyyy. JOHN! *sigh* ... never mind ...

Whew.

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