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O-Zone: Fault line

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jason from North Pole, AK

Of our three offensive tackles, Cam Robinson, Walker Little and Anton Harrison, which do you think is most likely to finish the year starting at left guard?

My first guess would be Harrison – the No. 27 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft – because he's a rookie. My guess is Little will start the season at left tackle with Harrison starting at right tackle. With Cam Robinson, the starting left tackle since 2017 reportedly suspended to start the season, my guess is he will return to left tackle upon his return with Harrison possible moving inside to guard to finish the season. That's a quick-trigger guess and remember: A lot can happen in terms of injuries, cohesion, development once the regular season begins. This is without question a major storyline, one which will play out next season. Stay tuned.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Hey, Zone. What's up? Since Cam is being suspended, does the suspended money get added to the Jags salary thanks.

Robinson reportedly will begin the 2023 season under NFL suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. The Jaguars won't pay his salary during the suspension and will therefore get cap relief equaling the amount not paid.

P Funk from Murray Hill

Besides the skill position players like punters, kickers and returnees, what do teams look for in special teams players?

Physicality, speed, athleticism, desire.

Nate from Tampa, FL

Best-case scenario regarding the tackles next year? Cam's suspended three-to-four games after appeal, but while he's missing out, Harrison is playing above expectations and the staff feels confident with him going forward. A two-to-three week awkward standoff ensues, leading up to the trade deadline, where in which they trade Robinson to a desperate team on the cusp of the playoffs for a first, maybe second round pick. This seems especially enticing due to his contract situation next year and the ability to save money on the cap, which I think a lot of teams would find appealing. What do you think?

I doubt you will see a standoff and a first- or second-round selection is really early for a player who doesn't play quarterback. I suppose such a trade is possible. But many scenarios are possible, and I'm never in a hurry to trade or release good players until it's absolutely necessary. You never know when you need them to, you know … play.

Randall from Jacksonville

I remember a game in 2020 when our top four cornerbacks were Quenton Meeks, Tre Herndon, Chris Claybrooks and Luq Barcoo,, both starting safeties are current free agents and our two backups at linebacker were Dakota Allen and Shaq Quarterman. We've come a long way in two years. I think it's fair to say if this was our 2020 draft, the first 7 picks are penciled in as starters or backups, the first 10 picks make the 53, and all make the team.

Yeah, pretty much.

Randall from Jacksonville

It seems the same people that wanted us to address OT/WR early last year wanted a CB/DE early this year.

Yeah, pretty much.

Regan from Melbourne, FL

For the record, 25 percent of the Pride of the Jaguars players are former UF players. All schools have busts.

Yeah, pretty much.

Lawrence from Blair, NE

O-Man, I'd like to preface this by the fact that I have no problems with the draft. I am not a GM, I am not a skilled talent evaluator, so how can I complain? That being said... Do you truly think if the Jags traded back and didn't get their targeted player, that they would admit that publicly and potentially isolate the pick they got instead? I have a very hard time believing they would be honest in that scenario. I know I wouldn't.

They certainly wouldn't advertise this. Sometimes in this job, I know things. When I don't know, which is often, I say "I don't know." The Jaguars wanted offensive tackle Anton Harrison at No. 24 and No. 25 and selected him at No. 27.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Any chance our new fullback gets a look at end, too?

The Jaguars selected Derek Parish from the University of Houston in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. He played fullback and edge at Houston. The Jaguars selected him as a fullback, and I expect they will let him develop there – or at least practice once or twice – before trying him on defense.

Brad from The Avenues

I'm kindof on the fence here over bringing Yannick back. I haven't really been following him, but it seems that since he's been bouncing around the league quite a bit, that he's still not particularly good at defending the run. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see him rushing in Teal again (the real teal, but that's another argument). I suppose the question is whether or not he's gained a better sense of his actual value.

I don't know if the Jaguars will sign edge defender Yannick Ngakoue. If they do, it will be because he can pressure the passer in passing situations. I imagine Ngakoue will sign with whoever offers him the best deal, which will give him an idea of his value at that time.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

John: I remember multiple times last year where we had third- or fourth-and-short and failed to convert. We were 10 of 31 on fourth down. I get a feeling that the Bigsby pick and fullback in the seventh round was an effort to improve that.

The Jaguars were 14 of 27 on fourth down this past season. I do believe selecting running back Tank Bigsby in Round 3 and Parish in Round 7 was done with an eye on improving in short-yardage situations.

Brad from The Avenues

Okay, now I'm a little worried. So, what do you think the o-line is going to look like come September?

My expectation for Week 1: Little at left tackle, Ben Bartch at left guard, Luke Fortner at center, Brandon Scherff at right guard and Harrison at right tackle. That's a projection. We'll see.

Michael from Jacksonville

What type of energy do you think wide receiver Calvin Ridley is bringing to the locker room?


Chris from London, UK

Koaf, you keep saying that the Jags didn't take any risks and selected the players they were targeting anyway before and trade backs. For those of us still not quite sold on Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke can you ask him to show us the Jags board to prove this is correct as right now it's only words.

I will not ask Baalke this. If I were to do so, it would solely be to hear uproarious laugher. NFL general managers don't make boards public because why should they? The Jaguars were targeting the players they chose. Believe it or don't.

Brian from Round Rock, TX

It seems like the first three picks can be difference makers, even in year 1. This is all you could really ask for in a relatively weak draft. My only concern with the roster at this point is the apparent hole at cornerback. Can we get one in free agency?

I believe this remains a possibility. Stay tuned.

Don from Marshall, NC

Every one of the draft picks except one has a very common theme. All the players have the size, speed, and strength to play in the NFL. Baalke does not cheat himself when it comes to that. Only the corner drafted late did not meet the standard. He did not have the height. You do not see any round pegs in a square hole. Very Impressed with Trent Baalke. A lot of work went into that draft you can tell. That's a lot of players I am sure the current players are squeaking a little bit. Let the games begin and Go Jaguars!

Baalke is of the "Bill Parcells" school of roster construction. One of the foundation posts of that school is you select players with the physical traits ideal for the position, particularly along the lines – but at other positions, too. You rarely draft exceptions because once you start doing that you have a team full of exceptions. This draft certainly fits that approach, as does much of the Jaguars' roster.

Mike from Azores

Hey John, for weeks and weeks before the draft you publish an article of so-called NFL experts, writers, etc. and their projected first-round picks for the Jags. Many of these picks were for a cornerback (Deonte Banks), an offensive guard (O'Cyrus Torrance) and a tight end (Darnell Washington). Had the Jags just kept their picks at #'s 24, 56 and 88 we could have had all three of those players! Maybe this weekly publishing of so-called expert picks is giving us fans unreasonable expectations! Or did we really blow it?

It's absolutely my fault. That's fine. I will have been married 31 years in July. I can own the blame.