JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Jacksonville:
With all of your draft coverage over the past few weeks, and your insight to the Jaguars, I believe they will take Leonard Williams if he is there when they pick. No matter his position he is by far Best Player Available, and according to several people he is the only one in the draft that is a sure thing. With that being said, if the quarterbacks go with the first two picks would YOU select Williams?
John: Bearing in mind that my knowledge of and time spent watching Williams or any of these players in no way compares to that of Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell or any member of the Jaguars' scouting department … yeah, I'd take Williams. There's no such thing as a sure thing in the draft. There's no such thing as a can't-miss player. That's true in just about every NFL Draft and it's certainly true this offseason. But if Williams is the best available player at No. 3, and all indications are that would be the case, then I'd take him. To hear Caldwell tell it on multiple occasions, Williams skill set can be well-utilized in the Jaguars' scheme. It also can be utilized immediately. That's a tough combination to bypass.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
If Leonard Williams and Dante Fowler were drafted No. 1 and No. 2 overall, and no team was offering up a trade that was worthwhile, who would you take at number 3?
John: Amari Cooper.
Chad from Jacksonville:
What's with all the concern over the London game? We're in year three of a four-year contract, which may get extended. Regardless how the fans feel, it's happening. The benefit of being the person in charge with the big checkbook is you get to make decisions on the direction of the organization. There is a bigger picture with the London initiative that involves way more than just football. Instead of worrying about what we don't have, a single home game omitted from our stadium, not schedule, let's relish in what we do have. The Jags have given the fans a special "road trip" destination. I've never been to London, so what better reason to go than to see our beloved home team?
John: That is indeed the reality and the core of the situation. While I get that the London initiative is unusual and therefore still perhaps unsettling, it is indeed reality – and it's critical for the franchise and Jacksonville. It significantly has helped the health/stability of the franchise, so while some may bemoan its presence, it's nothing if not good for the Jaguars and Jacksonville.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I know they have to pay taxes in states where they have an income tax. Do players have to pay income taxes in the UK for the London game?
George from Longview, TX:
With Shane Ray's foot injury, do you think there is any chance he makes it to our second-round pick? Williams in Round 1 and Ray in Round 2 would be spectacular.
John: If reports are correct that teams are very concerned about Ray's toe injury, then, yes, it could mean he is around when the Jaguars pick at No. 36. Because this is a medical issue, every team involved will have to make its own determination about what that means. Would the Jaguars take him at No. 36? If there weren't an injury issue, I would think it would be likely. Because there is an injury issue, it's tougher to answer because so much depends on that.
Joe from Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom:
I just put ten of my finest Bank of England Pounds on Amari Cooper being the first wide receiver selected in the draft. How safe is my money, John?
John: I wouldn't call it safe. I also wouldn't say it's absurd to think you're going to see a return on your "investment."
Tyler from Jacksonville:
I have been hounding you about this all draft season O-man and now here we are, one week to go.....what are the odds that Dave Caldwell will make future HOF-er Famous Jameis Winston a Jaguar? If he does I'll meet you at Famous Amos to celebrate, Patty melt and a beer for you, my treat...
John: Odds: 1,000,000,000,000,000 to 1. Or so.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
When, in your opinion, is the last time Jacksonville "hit" on a first-round draft pick? I say John Henderson in 2003? Leftwich is iffy at best. I didn't realize how shaky are first round picks have really been.
John: Marcedes Lewis was selected in Round 1 of the 2006 NFL Draft and made a Pro Bowl in 2011. He also started for the better part of a decade. Tyson Alualu started for four seasons and has never missed a game. They're not Hall of Famers, but they weren't misses. I also don't know that it's fair to call Justin Blackmon a miss. He has been good when he has been on the field. But overall, the Jaguars' first-round selections have been shaky. No doubt.
Mark from Charlotte, NC:
MJD … thoughts on potentially making the "Ring of Honor? Last draft pick in some time to have the type of impact he has had on the team, community -- and he became the face of our franchise after Brunell. #Drewval
John: I don't think there's any question Maurice Jones-Drew will be in the Pride of the Jaguars.
Eric from Orlando, FL:
Was Aaron Colvin drafted with nickel corner in mind? Or is he just a good fit there? Do you think he will eventually transition to the outside?
John: Colvin was drafted to play cornerback, although a specific position – nickel or outside corner – wasn't really specified. More concerning at the time was having him recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained at the Senior Bowl the previous January. Here's the thing with Colvin: he is indeed a very good fit at nickel. He has exceptional skills there. I imagine somewhere deep, deep down – and maybe not so deep – he wants to play on the outside. That's typically where the big contracts are, and I imagine he wants to battle for a spot at one of those two positions. At the same time, the Jaguars are of the belief that you need a really good, starting-level player at the nickel and in their view there's no insult in starting at nickel corner; it is, in fact, pretty much a starting role. So, yes, I imagine Colvin will very much try to compete and figure out a way to start outside, but the Jaguars don't want to move a strong player away from a needed position, either.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
John, on this national-media thing, I was talking to my doctor about the national media not showing the Jaguars any respect. And, he said…I should cry about it.
John: Crying's cool. It's cathartic. I do it a lot. I like it.
Tym from Southside:
Many have said that this safety class is notably weak. One name from that class that keeps coming up is Damarious Randall from Arizona State University. Prisco even had him going in the first round in his latest mock. I don't know much about Randall. But would he make sense for the Jaguars in Round 2? Or do we have greater needs than safety at that point in the draft?
John: Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com went to Arizona State, so he might be a ta-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d biased … but not in this case. A lot of people do consider Randall the best free safety available, and his skill set does fit what the Jaguars would need. Is he a Round 2 guy? Probably, but that could be a tough sell. If he's there at the start of Round 3, then it's really hard to pass on him.
Tim from St. Petersburg, FL:
John: If I ask you the same question a bunch of different ways, will I get a different answer?
George from Drummonds, TN:
Mr. O, Would you please name running backs who came back from an ACL injury and returned to form? I'm thinking of Gurley's chances of being a star as many Draftniks think he will be. Thank you.
John: Curtis Martin did it and made the Hall of Fame. Frank Gore did it and became an elite running back. While a torn anterior cruciate ligament is far from ideal, particularly for a running back, it's far more common for a player to return to form than used to be the case. Caldwell actually discussed this at the recent NFL Annual Meeting, and said it's very common for runners under the age of 26 to return from torn ACLs. Gurley certainly falls into that under-26 category – and he's also really good.
Steven from Lakeland, FL:
My pick for the Jags in Round 2 is Jay Ajayi. He is a legitimate, every-down-between-the-tackles-running back that can wear down defenses. Dave, Gus, and Co. say they want a run-first offense ... Pick Jay Ajayi and put your money where your mouth is.
John: OK, I get it. But as far as this Jay Ajayi guy … any thoughts?
O-Zone: For clarification's sake
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Jacksonville: