JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
_Eric from Columbus, IN _
I like the picks. But the problem is we are just picking players to fill the voids of players we drafted three-to-five years ago. It's hard to get ahead when you're treading water. Did you view these as best-player-available or need picks?
This is a variation of an annual NFL Draft discussion, but the reality is there's rarely a pure best-available-player draft, just as there's rarely a pure need-based draft. Teams almost always weigh each factor with every selection, then select the best player based on need at the position. Anyone who says differently operates in a world of idealistic, unrealistic theory rather than NFL reality. As far as your question … yes, the Jaguars drafted Thursday and Friday to fill some voids of players drafted three-to-five years ago. No question. And while the salary cap forces all NFL teams to do that to a certain extent, the Jaguars have had to replace past mistakes a bit too often lately. This Jaguars draft unquestionably had a lot to do with need. The Jaguars very much need all four selections thus far – Florida cornerback CJ Henderson, Louisiana State defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. and Ohio State defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton – to contribute immediately. They may need Henderson and Chaisson to start immediately. That's a relatively significant amount of need, though it doesn't at all mean they're bad selections.
Ray from Jacksonville
John: A high third-round pick spent on a guy who started only three games his redshirt junior year. Great job, Dave. You haven't lost your touch. Maybe Taven Bryan can show him how to be a good defensive lineman. Oops. I guess that won't work.
Yes, Alex … I'll take premeditated and unoriginal sarcasm for 200 please.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
I know most Jags fans stay salty most of the time and – dammit – I'm normally one of them because we have burned over and over, but … this Jags draft is looking like a very good one. Salty Jags fan in me says, "you've said that every year for a decade dumbass."
This draft makes a lot of logical sense in a lot of ways. The Jaguars addressed cornerback, pass rusher, defensive tackle and wide receiver – all areas in which they obviously could use help. They also drafted two players in the first round – Henderson and Chaisson – who appear to be improving prospects. All of the players appear to be high-character players. Shenault probably would have been a Round 1 selection if not for injuries. Hamilton fills a clear need on the interior. If the players are as good as the Jaguars believe, it's a good draft. If they're not …
John from Jagsonville
Doesn't the defense keeping the other team from scoring and proving decent field position help quarterback Gardner Minshew II? Many have said the first round is "No Help" to Gardner, but doesn't the entire team need to function together? At least I started hearing that quite a while ago.
I, too, was bemused at the outcry over the Jaguars not selecting offensive players early in the draft. I realize the importance of playmakers. I realize this team needs to score. I also realize if the Jaguars can't play better defense than they did a year ago they're not going to compete very often, and that it may not matter how Minshew plays.
Glenn from Hope Mills, NC
O-Man, why do the networks insist on cutting to commercial as soon as every one of the Jags picks are in? We need to win. Winning is fun, and winning makes people pay attention.
It's truly a tradition like no other.
Alan from Maine
John, if the season is canceled how would the draft order be determined?
This is very much to be determined – and we're a long way from this. I don't think it would be fair to simply repeat this year's order because would it be fair to have the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 1 overall selection in two drafts based on the results of one season? I don't know a better solution, but I don't like that one.
Marc from Oceanway
Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell mentioned using some 3-4 looks now that we have Chaisson. Say Chaisson and Josh Allen play outside linebacker in that scheme, who would you play in the front three positions using our current roster?
Taven Bryan, Dawuane Smoot and Al Woods with a lot of other players – including Abry Jones and Hamilton – in the mix. (I would imagine).
Zac from Austin, TX
Jags fans seem to be like feral dogs - they don't know what to do when good things happen. Henderson shouldn't have to defend his excitement from the jump, basically having to defend his literal face. These are good things that happened Thursday, and it seems to be that fans are going to be shellshocked from a rough year until we win. So let's go win.
Fans gonna fan. It's what they do. And is it fair for Jaguars fans to be skeptical until they see on-field results? Yeah, I think that's fair. It hasn't been a rough year. It has been a rough decade with one exception. Skepticism makes sense.
Kevin from Jacksonville
Given your sarcastic, dismissive response to "Eddie from Section 204," let's examine the last seven years of our first- and seconc-round picks from 2013 to 2017: 2013 (left tackle Luke Joeckel, safety Jonathan Cyprien both gone), 2014 (quarterback Blake Bortles, wide receiver Marqise Lee, wide receiver Allen Robinson, all gone), 2015 (defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., running back T.J. Yeldon, both gone), 2016 (cornerback Jalen Ramsey gone), 2017 (running back Leonard Fournette on trade block). These are just first two rounds. What part of his question deserved your foolish mockery given the facts?? Just do your job and cut out the rubbish, sir. Please.
Boy, I really got in your kitchen, huh?
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
Please clarify, if Jaguars Owner Shad Khan says winning is the expectation and then you say six wins is a reasonable bar for this season, those two messages are in conflict. So, what you are saying is fans need to lower their expectations this season prepare themselves for hard times? If so, how do they retain Doug/Dave again? This is what it seems we are being set up for. I really wish they would give Gardner some tools to work with, because it appears they are hanging him out to dry. Defense wins nothing these days. Points and offense does, and seeing how we averaged seven points a game last year minus the Colts, that doesn't win games, ever.
I never said six victories was a "reasonable bar" for the 2020 season. I said I thought the Jaguars might be about a six-victory team next season. I don't know what Khan's reasonable expectation level is for the 2020 season. I expect we'll find that out as the season plays out.
Michael from Jacksonville
I'm surprised the obvious 3-4 possibilities haven't been addressed. If and only if we went 3-4 how do you see our starting linebackers?
Josh Allen and Chaisson on the outside, Joe Schobert and Myles Jack inside. But I don't see the Jaguars going full-on 3-4 defense.
Bill from Jacksonville
Mike Silver of the NFL Network reports that the Jaguars' plan is to retool their roster while supplementing via the draft ... like the Seattle Seahawks did in 2012. So the Jaguars are betting on Minshew being a Hall of Fame quarterback? Because that's what the Seahawks have in Russell Wilson. Do they think they have a future Hall of Famer at quarterback, John?
They don't know yet. They're currently hoping Minshew is good. When the Seahawks began their approach in 2012, they didn't know about Wilson yet, either.
Geoffrey from Orlando, FL
Wow ... fanning at an all-time high in the zone. Don't take a cornerback 'cause Jalen Ramsey was one and he's a jerk! Don't draft from the Gators because 12 years ago Derrick Harvey was a bust! David Caldwell works tirelessly because he HATES the Jaguars and is a secret operative planted by the Falcons to destabilize football operations in Jacksonville! I DONT LIKE APOSTROPHES IN FIRST NAMES!!!!!
I don't know if I'd call it an "all-time" high, but yes. Yes. Yeah. Pretty much.
Ryan from Detroit, MI
John, I'm sure it's just coincidence, but what are the odds that the Jaguars first draft pick has been from a school in Florida five of the past seven years??
Curtis from La Grange, TX
Considering that Marrone and Caldwell are on a "win or else" directive, why would anyone think they have the leeway to "tank" for anyone?
I don't know.
John from Jacksonville
So, an entire front office staff, 15 coaches and 90/53 players are all going to tank and ruin their careers so the Jags can draft one guy .... c'mon people!
Yeah, but … but, BUT…