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O-Zone: Free stuff

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

During the four years David Caldwell had final say over the draft, he had eight selections in Rounds 1 and 2 and only one of these selections is still on the team. Based on Caldwell's performance – and I suspect I speak for many of the fans – I have no confidence in his ability to build a roster. How are the current decision makers a "new regime" when it is the same people in charge except for former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin – and why should we expect any better results than past history?

Few teams have many players from drafts that took place six and seven years ago – although your point is correct that there should be more core, long-term players on this team from past Jaguars drafts. Either way, I can't control your confidence and I can't control what you expect. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell has been on the job long enough, and the Jaguars have struggled often enough in his time here, that words – even my decidedly eloquent ones – won't change minds if people aren't fans. How does that change? How does Caldwell gain the confidence of fans? By drafting well in the coming days. And by the Jaguars winning. That's it. There's nothing else.

Scott from Medford, NJ

I hope the Jags have learned from past mistakes. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a generational talent.


Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, trade rumors about safety Jamal Adams of the Jets. What do you think about giving up a first-round pick to acquire him?

This would be surprising. The Jaguars' approach this offseason has been about skewing younger and acquiring draft capital for veteran players. Not vice-versa.

Hanesboro from Little Elm, TX

Washington calls and offers the No. 2 pick for Yann and both first rounders, allowing Jags to take Ohio State edge defender Chase Young. They say yes to this??

Goodness gracious, no.

Spazman from Jacksonville

John - Don't you think that maybe you took the comments of Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL a little too personally? Maybe it was a bit unfair for him to suggest that you were "shilling the company line;" but certainly it was reasonable for him to criticize your take on what the Jaguars had in Nick Foles-Taven Bryan in terms of benefit to the team versus what Lamar Jackson brings to the Ravens?

Nah. I liked my answer.

Jim from Neptune Beach, FL

Mr. O, I understand that draft trades are highly dependent on the situation. Nevertheless, is there any way of valuing picks? Are two fourth-round picks worth a third – or are a fifth- and a third-round selection worth a second? We have three fourths and maybe that could put us in a position to move up into a better spot to get that "one last great pick," whatever that is.

Teams operate off a trade value chart, with the No. 1 overall selection having the highest "points value" and the final selection having the lowest. A lot of these are available if you google "draft value chart." The exact points often vary from team to team, but the concept is similar for all teams. The Jaguars' fourth-round selections could be packaged to move up a few spots in Round 1 from, say, No. 9 overall to No. 6 or 7 overall. I don't know that the Jaguars have the equity to move up from, say, No. 9 overall, to No. 2 unless they want to start giving up first- or second-round selections this year and next year.

Ray from Jacksonville

John: if every unit (other than kicker and punter) on a team needs upgrading, doesn't a general manager responsible for the mess have to say he's satisfied with at least one unit such as offensive line? I guess that is being "savvy."

No. General managers don't have to say that. They can say whatever they want and often do.

Andrew from San Diego, CA

How many first-round picks have been wasted by this team? My question: With the pressure to win "now" what's the mindset of Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone as it relates to our next first-rounders? Boom or bust; high-ceiling guys or blue-chip high floor guys? I'll take two solid high floor guys. We can't afford to waste anymore draft picks.

The Jaguars have the No. 9 and 20 selections in the 2020 NFL Draft. This is a relatively deep draft and most analysts believe you can get elite players through the top 20 or so. With that in mind, the Jaguars will want to get players who can contribute – start – right away and have Pro Bowl potential early in their careers. Like they have done for the most part early in the past couple of drafts.

Roger from St. Augustine, FL

O: It only makes sense that a team have a backup or competing quarterback to have similar skills as the starter. The offense is built to be consistent for whomever is playing. If you agree with this assumption, which quarterback fits this description in the upcoming draft?

I agree to a point, but you mostly want a backup quarterback to be as capable as possible.

Jesse from Orange Park, FL

Zone, you've responded to nay-sayers by stating you believe the Jags weren't the worst team last year and won't be the worst team this year. We obviously won't be better than the six-win team from 2019 without Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and A.J. Bouye. The Albert Breers of the world are calling us "Team Trevor Lawrence," and the Vegas oddsmakers have our over/under at 4.5 wins; with everything I've read recommending the under as the better bet. You've been citing a second year quarterback with more questions than answers, one mid-level number-one receiver, a right tackle that led the league in holding penalties last year, and a part-time defensive end in 2019 as your reasons for optimism ... while in the midst of dumpster-fire like PR nightmare surrounding our front office. I gotta ask... what are you seeing that we are not? Will 2020 be the every-hundred-year anomaly in which rookies make a huge impact? What is the KOAF seeing that we don't?

I'm not sure I've said I'm optimistic, and the reason I believe the Jaguars weren't the NFL's worst team last season is because they weren't the worst team last season. If they had been, they would be selecting in the top two or three spots as opposed to No. 9. I don't think they will be worse than last season because aside from perhaps Campbell I don't believe the players they have lost will make them worse than they were last season. And I don't know that the loss of Campbell will make a dramatic difference; he wasn't close to the same player last season as he had been in 2017 and 2018. If the Jaguars are without Ngakoue, that indeed will make a difference. Either way: I don't see the Jaguars as a playoff team next season. Can they be a six-victory team, which they were last season? Yeah, I could see that. But remember: It's not as if that's a high bar.

Jim from St. Augustine, FL

Is there a Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson or even a Julio Jones in this draft? If not, it would behoove us to wait until at least the second round to draft a wide receiver. What say you?

This is considered perhaps the deepest wide receiver class the history of the NFL draft, with CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma, Jerry Jeudy of Alabama, Henry Ruggs III of Alabama and Justin Jefferson of Louisiana State all considered first-round selections. It's generally not considered a class with a receiver on the level of the players you mentioned. I think the Jaguars will select a wide receiver at either No. 20 or No. 42.

Chris from Over Rainbow

Clemson safety/linebacker Isaiah Simmons is worth trading up for. He can cover tight ends, stop the run, play both inside and out, cover WR 1, 2, 3 – whatever. He is a difference maker and the Jags should value him as one. Trade up for Simmons!

I don't expect the Jaguars to trade up from No. 9. I could be wrong. It has happened.

Ed from Danvers, MA

Hi, John. What will you be doing during the draft this weekend? Will you be at the office or a home? I assume you'll be putting content on the website about each pick. Will you also be doing any type of live blog with your O-Zone fan (he knows who he is)?

I will be working the draft from home – like pretty much the entire staff. I will write stories on each selection, and I will also write stories each day talking to Jaguars personnel about those selections. I will be appearing on Jaguars videos on the site and on our social channels talking with Brian Sexton, Ashlyn Sullivan and J.P. Shadrick about those selections. I won't be "blogging," because that's not much of a "thing" anymore, but I will be on Twitter. The best thing about it all. It's free. Go figure.