JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jason from North Pole, AK
If the Jaguars negotiate a long-term deal this summer with Cam Robinson, is it possible that it lowers his cap hit for this season? Does his franchise tag salary get replaced with the signing bonus of his new contract? Just wondering if that might free up space to fill any remaining needs after the draft.
The Jaguars currently have the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson, and he has signed the tender related to the tag. If nothing changes on that front, he will play the 2022 season for the Jaguars on a one-year contract for $16.662 million. The team wants to reach a long-term deal with Robinson. If that happens, it would indeed lower Robinson's salary-cap figure for the 2022 season significantly. How significant? Miami Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead signed a five-year contract with a guaranteed $44 million earlier this offseason, and his cap number for 2022 is about $3.9 million. So yes … a new, long-term contract for Robinson will free cap space.
George from Harrisburg, PA
I know the Jaguars have been on the clock since the end of last season with the first overall pick. My question is this: I know there is gamesmanship involved in the draft, but has a team with the first overall pick ever come out months ahead of the draft and announced who they were taking with the first overall selection?
Yes, teams holding the No. 1 overall selection at times have announced the selection ahead of the NFL Draft. This was once comparatively common because teams holding the No. 1 selection sometimes wanted to negotiate with the selection to be sure to avoid a holdout. With the implementation of the rookie wage scale and slotted contracts for draft selections, it is now rarer to announce the No. 1 selection before the draft because there's little advantage to negotiating early.
Marc from Oceanway
John, I wish Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor was willing to move inside to guard. Whereas he has struggled as a tackle, he seems to have the size and skills and potential to be an All Pro at guard. Our O-line would be formidable. Thoughts?
I think if the Jaguars want Taylor to play guard he will play guard. And think there's a decent chance he would be good at it.
Josh from Fernandina Beach (via Fort Lauderdale)
Zone: I am humbled and saddened to report that my streak is no more (of consecutive days reading the O-Zone). My day job got the best of me and I missed the last couple weeks of posts. I mention this primarily as a preemptive apology in case my following questions have already been posed in Zone. That said, my questions are: 1. Do you believe that the Jaguars' brass has already conclusively determined who they will select with the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft; and 2. Will fan access to camp be affected by the team's use of the alternative facility this year given the ongoing construction around the Bank? I'm looking forward to starting a new streak and to the upcoming draft and season. Thanks and Go Jags!!!
Josh: I am saddened to hear the news of your streak, though I am pleased to inform you old O-Zones are available on this free website. I mention this primarily to be a smartass and not at all expecting you to catch up on your reading. That said, my answers are: 1. I do not believe the Jaguars' decision-makers have decided the identity of the No. 1 overall selection, though my guess is it will be Michigan edge defender Aidan Hutchinson; and 2. Training camp practices are expected to be held across the St. Johns River at Episcopal High School. I'm looking forward to your starting a new streak as well.
Pedal Bin (Institute of Professional Reckoners) from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
_Oh Mighty "O"/King of All Funk, as the draft is next week, I just thought I would write in now and complain about who the Jaguars selected with the No. 1 Pick. Quite obviously [players name] was the wrong selection! What Trent Baalke sees in him is beyond me. Clearly [player's name] was by far the best player in this draft but did they select him? Oh no! The Jags clearly should have traded down with a team who did not want to trade for another player and a load more draft picks which the team who did not want to trade, would not have given them anyway. I reckon I could have done a much better job. _
I reckon you have a good eye.
Genuinejag13 from Duval
A. Hutchinson was handled by a college offensive line and you believe he will be better against an NFL line?
Hutchinson had five sackless games in his final season at Michigan, with one of those games against Georgia. J.J. Watt had seven sackless games in his final season at Wisconsin, with one of those games against Austin Peay. T.J. Watt had five sackless games in his final season at Wisconsin, with one of those games against Northwestern. Joey Bosa had six sackless games in his final season at Ohio State, with one of those games against Western Michigan. I don't know if Hutchinson will be a great NFL player or not. I do know that his performance in one game – a postseason game against Georgia – doesn't mean he won't be successful in the NFL.
Jake from Hawthorne, NJ
Put yourself in Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke's shoes ... who is the more secure pick, Hutchinson: success, or Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker: physical traits?
I don't go to casinos because I don't like losing. I like safe. I would pick Hutchinson.
Justin from Jax
Hey, Zone. I know you've written that our 33rd pick is a bit of a sweet spot for wide receiver, but it seems with the recent elevation of the position among the league that as many as five, six or even seven wide receivers could go before we select at the top of Round 2, if we stay put. Do you genuinely believe this group is so deep in this draft that even if that many were to come off the board before we picked again, that we could still get a premium guy there at the position?
I indeed have written often that I believe the Jaguars will select wide receiver at No. 33 – and I think they still could use a young wide receiver to develop. But I don't believe they are so determined to use the selection on the position that they will take a wide receiver there if the player doesn't merit the selection. If there indeed is the run on the position expected in Round 1, that absolutely could take receiver out of the equation for the Jaguars at No. 33. And it indeed appears possible that scenario could happen.
James from Jacksonville
Many fans and observers believe the Jaguars' offensive line is weak. They have believed this for a while now. The team continues to not believe it is as weak as observers believe – and not necessarily weak at all. Yet the observers who believe that the line is weak have watched 4 wins in two seasons with the same OL, PFF ranked 24th 2021 and 22nd 2020. So by this logic who is right John? Is it the observers or the losing team?
Fans are always right. If you don't believe this, just ask them.
Tom from Charlotte, NC
I recently read an NFL draft article that stated Baalke loves Travon Walker because of his freakish physical traits and that he wants to take him with the first pick, but he most likely won't take the risk because the perception of the Jaguars around the NFL is at an all-time low. Do you believe there is a possibility that the Jags pass on Walker and take Hutchinson because he is the more secure/easy selection?
I believe there is ample speculation around the NFL every April leading to every NFL Draft, and I believe NFL types – just like all types in all fields – love to gossip. I don't doubt that this kind of chatter is going on around the league, and I don't doubt good reporters hear such things. I do know the general consensus around the NFL is that Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker is a freakish enough athlete that many teams would be tempted to select him No. 1 overall if they held the selection. I know, too, that Hutchinson generally is considered the safest selection in this draft. I think there's a possibility the Jaguars select Hutchinson for that reason. I have no reason to believe "the perception of the Jaguars around the NFL" will factor into that decision.
Richard from Jacksonville
Zone, I think I finally get it. Thank you.
You think you know, but you don't know. And you never will.