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O-Zone: Dating game

JACKSONVILLE – Don't look for a joke here.

Mama didn't raise no fool, and there are no April Fool's jokes in the O-Zone. Seriously.

Let's get to it … Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, with the draft a month away shouldn't the NFL be coming up with some statement regarding Blackmon's reinstatement to allow the Jags to plan accordingly? Or do you think that decision does not affect the team's draft plans one way or the other?
John: Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said shortly following last season he hoped to hear something from the NFL regarding suspended wide receiver Justin Blackmon's status before the April 30 NFL Draft. He did not say he absolutely expected that to happen, and the league certainly never issued a date. As has been the case for a year and a half now, Blackmon's status does not affect the Jaguars' plans – draft or otherwise.
Paul from North Dakota:
Hey, John, why do you guys have a "square" table when you do the segment, "Jags of the Round Table?" It's a little misleading, so you obviously can't be the one in charge of the set design.
John: We started Jags of the Round Table last offseason. At the time, those in charge of the budget had to make a choice: "Round Table" or "video boards/pools." I lobbied for "Round Table." Lamping lobbied for "video boards/pools. I was told that, "If it was a democracy around here, O-Zone, maybe you'd have your little round table thing." It's not a democracy around here. Evidently.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Hey, John: I read an article talking about how we are going to put Toby Gerhart as a fullback? Is there any truth to this? If so, what are your thoughts?
John: My thoughts are that I asked Caldwell about this at the NFL Annual Meeting. To paraphrase, he said Gerhart indeed could play a fullback role in certain situations – i.e., when the Jaguars were running some West Coast-based schemes where the fullback moved and caught the ball out of the backfield as an H-back, etc. While the Jaguars don't currently have a fullback on the roster with the release Tuesday of Bradie Ewing, it's probably a stretch to think that Gerhart would be turned into a true slam-the-line-of-scrimmage blocking fullback.
TJ from Loretto, KY:
John, would you say that Gerhart is sorta a hybrid fullback and having him and D-Rob in the backfield together could worry defenses and get results on the field?
John: It's possible. And it appears we may find out.
Frank from St. Augustine, FL:
Zone, I believe Todd Gurley is a very talented player. I do have a concern, though. When he was suspended and then injured for the rest of 2014 Nick Chubb came in and rushed for the fourth-most rushing yards in Georgia history. Do teams take that into consideration?
John: Teams take everything into consideration when drafting – the smart ones do, anyway. What teams mainly take into consideration when considering Gurley, though, is that he's a really good player with a skill set that should translate to the NFL.
Shane from Atlanta, GA:
The only mock draft that matters is the reader's mock draft. When does it begin!?
John: Soon, Shane … very, very soon.
Stanton from Jacksonville:
I know this is "ridiculous" that the Jaguars take a quarterback at Pick No. 3 and would never happen. However, when we drafted Byron Leftwich, it would have been "ridiculous" to take Ben Roethlisberger the following year. So, if Mariota or Winston falls to 3, and we see that person as a potentially better than Bortles, would it make sense to snag him?
John: It would make sense if you truly thought the player was better than Blake Bortles. I don't believe the Jaguars believe Winston or Mariota are better than Bortles. One reason the Jaguars selected Bortles last year was because they believed he was the best prospect in that draft and this draft. I have written before that I could see an argument for taking Winston if he slipped because he has tools that seem to directly translate to the NFL and I think he's going to be really, really good. He's not going to slip, though. Mariota could slip, but there's a lot more projection involved there.
Kevin from Beacon, NY:
John, I've asked you before and didn't get an answer... this time I want an answer. What do you think the possibilities of swapping ones with the Vikings in return for getting Peterson who clearly doesn't want to play for them and maybe throw in a fifth-rounder or Bernard Pierce?
John: I've written before that I don't have an interest in answering EVERY trade scenario or draft scenario about every player …and if I haven't written it, I should have written it. To answer every draft/trade scenario would be boring reading because it would essentially be saying, "Sure! Maybe! If Caldwell wants to do that!" over and over again about many of the same players. But because I am weak and don't feel like resisting, I'll succumb to your demands for a Peterson answer (again). I don't think the Jaguars are going to give up draft positioning to get Adrian Peterson. One reason is because while Peterson is good he also hasn't played in a year. Another reason is you're trading for his contract and he may want to redo that contract. Another reason is he's 30 years old and if you add all of those reasons together it's enough to make acquiring Peterson not as perfect a scenario as it might initially seem.
Maduceone from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
After the multiple 4.2 40-yard-dash performances by Breshad Perriman at UCF Pro Day, would the Jags consider drafting him in a lower round if Blake Bortles approved him? Seems to me Jags need a receiver who can "stretch the field," since Bortles threw to him, he should have a handle on Perriman's ability as a WR.
John: I doubt Perriman will be available in a later round, but sure… why not?
Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
We all know that the likelihood of Shane Ray, Vic Beasley, Dante Fowler and Randy Gregory all being game changing pass-rushers is unlikely. History shows it would be surprising if even just ONE of them ends up being Pro Bowl or HOF caliber. It makes me uneasy not knowing who's going to be a success at the pro level. I don't envy the guys in charge of this decision one bit.
John: History shows it's surprising if any player you draft ends up being Pro Bowl/Hall of Fame caliber. It's why I never really envy general managers come draft day. You do your research and play your percentages, then you hope like heck this human being you chose has a lot of things go right and develops into the sort of player you hope he can become.
Cliff from Jagsonville:
Is it a forgone conclusion that Caldwell won't pull a fast one and pick up Mariota at No.3?
John: I rarely if ever say never, but this time I'll say never.
George from Jacksonville:
Are the Jaguars considering Amari Cooper at No. 3? No smoke, I guess. Haven't heard much said about him, other than being the second-rated WR. Using the eye test would suggest otherwise.
John: The Jaguars are considering Cooper enough to attend his Pro Day and bring him in for a pre-draft visit, so yeah, I think it's safe to say he's in the discussion. As far as the eye test goes, a lot of scouts and general managers are studying Cooper and West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White with pretty experienced eyes and the consensus is pretty split about who's No. 1 and who's No. 2.
Josh from Wales, UK:
Paul from Jacksonville talked about your wife potentially being jealous with you working in close quarters with the ROAR ladies. I on the other hand think maybe you should be the anxious one. Think about it: whenever she tunes in to the Jaguars website to see you at work she will typically also get an eyeful of J.P. Shadrick and Brian Sexton, are you concerned John? Will she have wandering eyes over the square table?
John: My wife rarely looks at the Jaguars' website. She sees more than enough of me at home. She has met Shadrick and Sexton, though. I'm not worried. She doesn't seem to like them anymore than she likes me.
Nathan from Fort Belvoir, VA:
O, if somehow Fowler comes off the board before Jameis Winston and Winston slides to No. 3, do you see the Jaguars taking him? Wouldn't he be a great backup option in the event Blake is unable to go?
John: I'm not worried about this, either.
Jay from Charleston, SC:
Oh, mighty Johnny-O … if I were to invite the entire Jags organization to my wedding, what are the chances of everyone showing up? It would be the dream wedding for me and of course have the reception at EverBank.
John: I don't know about everyone in the organization, but if you let him bring a date and promise him a seat at the "cool table," there's a good chance Shadrick would show. You actually probably wouldn't need to promise the cool table.

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