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O-Zone: Dream come true

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Brandon from Atlanta, GA:
Any predictions for Day 2 of the draft? Two years ago, Dave Caldwell traded up twice – once for Allen Robinson and the other for Brandon Linder. Last year, Dave waited for talent to fall to him. I see us letting a high-value defensive lineman fall to us in the third round.
John: I absolutely could make predictions for Day 2 of the draft – and I absolutely would be wrong. That's because it's so absolutely impossible to predict what will happen when 32 teams get on the clock that even Round 1 pre-draft predictions are forgotten pretty much the nanosecond ESPN and the NFL Network go on the air on draft night. Day 2 predictions? Pure folly. Still, as far as a general thought on how Day 2 might look for the Jaguars … I think you might, might, might see an interior offensive linemen selected either in Round 2 or 3. That might be center Ryan Kelly of Alabama if available in the second round; the Jaguars like the idea of Brandon Linder at center, but may not be married to the move if a big-time player is available in the draft. Beyond that, it's not out of the question Caldwell would move up in either Round 2 or 3 if there's a player he really likes. He has shown a lot more willingness in his first three drafts to move around in that range than to do so early in Round 1. Overall, I expect the Jaguars to draft as many fast, athletic defensive players as they possibly can, and I expect Day 2 to be a big part of that approach.
Mark from Jacksonville:
If Robert Nkemdiche falls to the second round and the Jags are on the clock, do you think they'd take him?
John: You know what? Yeah … I kind of do.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
Myles Jack, Jaylon Smith, Telvin Smith ... the Jacksmiths!! Hammering away at offenses for the next decade ... make it happen, O-man!
John: There's a lot to like to about that trio, and if Jaylon Smith is healthy such a trio indeed could be very good for a very long time. Jaylon Smith's health is the X-factor – one of the biggest of entire draft.
Nate from Fogartyville:
I'm thinking Bortles needs to work on his accuracy with short-to-medium passes. Would you please let him know for me? Thanks.
John: He knows. Everyone knows.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Hi John, curious as to Marqise Lee's health status. Is he 100 percent or nursing something? With his speed, if he's healthy and on the field, defenses have one more thing to consider. An offense w/ Bortles, ARob, Hurns, Lee, J.T. and either T.J. or Ivory is pretty powerful if the offensive line comes around.
John: Marqise Lee was healthy at the end of last season, and there has been nothing to suggest that's not still the case. And yes … getting Lee's athleticism and speed more involved in the offense absolutely should be an offseason priority.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, it seems to me a lot of folks (not you) are already demoting/cutting Paul Posluszny. Not so fast, my friend. On first and second downs, he's an incredible tackler – and in general, the quarterback of the defense. Remember when he was injured the incredible letdown on middle linebacker play? OK, so sub on passing downs, but my gosh we need him as a player and a leader on a young, hopefully upcoming defense.
John: The play – and indeed, the mere presence on the defense – of Posluszny bothers a certain faction of Jaguars fans. And I get it: he's not the fastest linebacker, and he's not an elite coverage linebacker. He's also not nearly as much of a liability in coverage as some people believe. But I do believe the Jaguars overall would like to be faster across the linebacker corps. At the same time, the team values Posluszny for exactly the reasons you cite. I do believe you might see Posluszny off the field in some pass-defense packages this season. I also think he's good enough, experienced and veteran enough to continue to be a key member of the defense.
Rob from Section 122:
Not saying we should get him, but don't you think a team in need of a tight end could use Anquan Boldin? He's a big guy, already one of the better blocking receivers in the league, and never was a burner but can get by linebackers and safeties. Thoughts?
John: I think if Boldin wants to keep playing some team – probably a contender – will sign him and play him at wide receiver and maybe line him up in some tight-end looking spots. He's a savvy veteran who can produce.
David from Oviedo, FL:
In 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers were terrible. They drafted first that year, selecting Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount. In 1971, they drafted Jack Ham, Dwight White and a few less notable players. In '72, it was Franco Harris – and in '73, Pro-Bowler J.T. Thomas. Of course, that leads us to the legendary 1974 draft: four Hall of Famers in Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. Most of their other drafted players made little impact. Maybe, the draft is like Babe Ruth: success should be measured by the home runs, not the strikeouts?
John: Well, yeah.
KC from Miami, FL:
Any word on how Sen'Derrick Marks is coming along from his arm and knee injuries?
John: Marks returned five games into last season from the torn anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in the 2014 regular-season finale, and after three or four games was beginning to flash the same explosion he had shown before the injury. There's no reason to believe the knee shouldn't be even better this season. As for the triceps tear that forced him to miss the last seven games of last season, I expect the Jaguars to be cautious with his return in organized team activities next month, but I also expect him to be fully healthy when training camp begins in late July.
Jared from O-Town:
I understand how some of the fan base expects more from Luke Joeckel being that he was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. However, it's no secret how weak the 2013 draft was. In your opinion, and only going by his college resume, where would he be rated in this year's draft?
John: Probably just outside the Top 10.
Greg from Section122 and Jacksonville:
So, did you always want to be sports writer when you were a kid? Did you have anything else you ever dreamed of being? And exactly what is your dream position if you could choose now? What team, any era, would you cover if given the chance?
John: The job I have is the one I want, and I mean that. As for the first part of your question, I didn't dream of being a sports writer; those aspirations began in 1988 when – having mindlessly majored in business and beer at the University of Florida – I found myself much to my chagrin and more against my nature working … at a job. This was at Suddath Van Lines in Orlando. They were good people at Suddath, and my father, with people such as Dick Suddath, Quinn Bell and Barry Vaughn, had helped build the company toward what it has become now. But I soon realized that being responsible, respectable, tucked and timely mattered in the real world, and I learned from the girl I was dating – still toiling at the Alligator in Gainesville – that these things were not sports-writing prerequisites. In a move received less-than "warmly" in my father's house, I moved back to Jacksonville into said house and began answering the Florida Times-Union's sports department telephones for five dollars an hour on high school football Friday nights. A tube television with a cable into a drop ceiling stayed tuned to ESPN. Preps night editor Larry Dennis yelled at me and the other "googans" if deadlines were missed – and if they weren't. The desk guys griped about the writers, the writers griped about the desk guys – and Ray McNulty griped better than the rest. David Lamm was a few years removed; Greg Larson was Greg Larson – and all that implied. Prisco laughed at his own jokes; Frangie talked Gators at lunch, then left for his radio show. Frenette looked … well, like he does now. I got to cover a game one Friday night, which meant a byline and seeing "John Oehser, sports writer" the next morning. The sports department walls seemed like they hadn't been painted in a decade, there were no windows, and my boss – a short, semi-psychotic, passionate Dutchman named Nico Van Thyn who taught me more writing in two years than I learned in 25 since – once kicked a trash can at me for reasons only he knew. None of my fellow googans lasted the year, on to better-paying jobs with reasonable hours, normal futures. Me, I couldn't imagine ever wanting to leave.

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