JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
KC from Cincy
Some stats for you O: When we've been Top 10 (based on points) in the league in offense, we've made the playoffs five out of seven times; Top 10 in defense, we've made the playoffs four out of nine times; and top 10 in both, we've made the playoffs three out of four times. Based on those stats and looking at recent playoff teams being more successful from an offensive standpoint, wouldn't it make more sense to focus on the offensive side of the ball? I feel like every draft is focused on defense, defense and more defense. Gotta be able to score to win!
Questions like these imply the Jaguars haven't focused on offense in recent seasons and/or offseasons. This isn't the case. The Jaguars in the last three drafts have selected four offensive players (right tackle Jawaan Taylor, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., running back Leonard Fournette and left tackle Cam Robinson) in the first and second round and two defensive players (edge rusher Josh Allen and defensive tackle Taven Bryan) in the first and second round. The major free agent signings in 2018 and 2019 were left guard Andrew Norwell and quarterback Nick Foles, respectively. The Jaguars have focused on offense. They haven't gotten the results they have wanted offensively, but that's largely because they haven't had great play at quarterback. Perhaps Gardner Minshew II will change that moving forward. We'll see.
Raymond from Jacksonville
John: Please stop with the Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell is "savvy" in getting picks for established players. If he were "savvy," the team would be a contender and would have paid cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive end Calais Campbell and quarterback Nick Foles for the coming year. It is only because the team is awful that Caldwell is getting picks for players who may help better teams. Maybe Jaguars Owner Shad Khan will pull a USC move and fire Caldwell on the tarmac in his beloved London.
What I'll probably do is answer questions as I choose based on what's going on at the current time and based on my experience doing this. This being, you know … my column.
Robert from Orange Park, FL
How is what defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is doing a benefit to Ngakoue? He is under contract to the Jags, who are dealing with him in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (tagging, etc?) Does he think that badmouthing the Jaguars will convince them to trade him at all costs? Assuming he plays for the Jags this year, he is certainly not endearing himself to the fans, coaches, teammates, etc. I wish he would man up and take care of these business issues in private with his agent and the team like a true professional. Again, what good is he doing himself?
Your question implies that everyone behaves reasonably all the time, particularly during critical and stressful times in life. Ask yourself, "Have I always acted reasonably?"
Mitch from Jacksonville
If your options are Yan sits out the 2020 season or you trade him for a third-round pick, what do you do? If "Let him sit" is the answer, what is the minimum you take? Final question: if he is not traded, what are your odds that he pulls a Le'Veon Bell and sits? I have those odds at 75 percent.
Sit out the season. First-round selection. If he's not traded, what are the odds he sits out the whole season? Twenty percent.
Scott from Medford, NJ
The Jags already weathered Hurricane Jalen last year and currently they are feeling the wrath of Tropical Storm Yannick. Do you anticipate Hurricane Leonard hitting Northeast Florida next year?
It's hard to predict whether the Jaguars will try to re-sign running back Leonard Fournette next offseason. I imagine the next nine months or so will determine that. I would be surprised if they pick up the fifth-year option on him for the 2021 season – a decision they must make in the coming month. Either way, I don't know that Fournette's future with the team will be as critical a decision as that involving Ngakoue or Ramsey. That's nothing against Fournette. It's just the reality of the position he plays.
Mike from Rochester, NY
I read an article about a Denver Broncos defensive tackle who signed a one-year, $3 million deal. He made the point of saying that with so many Americans being out of work he is thankful for just having a job. It's clear to me that this individual is able to feel for others besides himself. I think more needs to made about the quality of player the Jaguars are drafting. As a fan of this team for the last 25 years I can take losing, but what I can't take is these me-first players taking over the narrative of this franchise.
It's understandable you feel that way, though I wouldn't expect the great majority of 20-to-25-year-old athletes to have the perspective to think on a global scale when it comes to their own careers and contracts. This doesn't make them bad people. It makes them young people.
Johnny from Syracuse, NY
In these past few years, it has been known defensive end Calais Campbell was a force to be reckoned with. Do you believe in his last year here in Jacksonville his numbers weren't that of before because all the attention was on him, allowing Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen to get more pressure? I don't think Calais was any better or worse, but opponent reaction to his abilities were more planned out. How do you see it? Also, I wish we kept him for his veteran presence to help a young group along their journey. He will be missed.
Campbell is entering his 13th season in the NFL and was in his 12th season last season. He wasn't the player in 2019 that he was in 2017 or 2018. That doesn't mean he wasn't still good, but he wasn't as good. Age is undefeated. As for keeping him for veteran presence, I would have liked to have seen that, too. But he was due to make $15 million. Also: once a player loses effectiveness on the field, the influence of his veteran presence tends to wane quickly. Campbell will be missed, though. No doubt about that.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington
I have a feeling the Jags are collecting late draft picks to move and snag good players who may slide into the second and third rounds. Is this good thinking?
Jim from St. Augustine, FL
I am looking forward to the draft. A sense of normalcy in a trying time. Do you agree with the decision to not postpone it?
Keeping the 2020 NFL Draft on its current date of April 23-25 didn't bother me. I also don't live in a COVID-19 hotspot, nor am I closely involved with the medical community or other professions dealing with this pandemic on a day-to-day basis. If I were, I imagine I might feel differently.
Brian from Jacksonville
I like Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton as the Jaguars' first pick in the 2020 NFL draft, and would offer a fourth-round pick to move up from No. 9 to get him. This move could also upgrade two positions much like acquiring middle linebacker Joe Schobert should. For the future, right tackle Jawaan Taylor and Becton would provide a decade of All-Pro tackle play. Cam Robinson transitioning from left tackle to guard could be a great fit also. I think the Jags wait until 2021 to draft a quarterback, so building a foundation this year is good, yes? Becton sure looks like a generational player to me. Besides, the Jags could then use another of their fourths to move up from No. 20 and nab a very good defensive lineman or a cornerback. Perfect, right? Hello? Hello?
I would be surprised if the Jaguars move up from No. 9 for a player other than a quarterback.
Elly from Jacksonville
Hi O - it seems when discussing the Jags' receivers we don't often hear Keelan Cole's name in that mix. Is he not expected to be on the roster next season? Seems to me he had a nice year, taking advantage of the (admittedly few) opportunities that came his way and coming in clutch when it mattered most. Plus, I'll always love him for that one-handed catch against the New England Patriots. One fer Cole!
Cole will be on the Jaguars next season. He is a restricted free agent. As such, the Jaguars extended to him a one-year, second-round tender. That means another team would have to give the Jaguars a second-round draft selection to sign Cole, which isn't likely. I expect Cole to be one of the Jaguars' four or five top receivers next season.
Tyler from Jacksonville
Thanks for keeping up the streak! This normalcy is appreciated in such a weird time. You da man KOAF!
You're right. I am da man.