JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Aaron from Jacksonville
O, with the massive unknown that is the tight-end position, along with our relative lack of action so far this offseason addressing it, I'm really thinking we should swing at both Freiermuth and Jordan with Nos. 33 and No. 65. I know we have other needs too, so do you think this represents too much investment in the position?
There's nothing inherently wrong with your approach – and tight ends Pat Freiermuth of Penn State and Brevin Jordan of Miami both appear to be good value and good fits at Nos. 33 and 65 in the 2021 NFL Draft, respectively. The issue is what you aren't addressing by selecting two tight ends so early. The Jaguars have five of the first 65 selections in the draft, which means a major opportunity to essentially draft nearly a quarter of your roster. One of those first five selections apparently will be a quarterback. Do you really want two others in such an important fivesome to be tight ends? Or would you rather invest in offensive line? Or speed? Or defensive front? I suspect the Jaguars will use those selections to get faster offensively and address the future of the offensive line. I also suspect they will address tight end – once, but only once.
Alon from Malibu, CA
I noticed the terms strong safety and free safety are not used much anymore. Why is that? So projected starting safeties Jarrod Wilson and Rayshawn Jenkins have the same role? Does Moehrig, the potential 25 pick fit in playing with Jenkins?
Strong and free still distinguish between safety positions, though "box" safety often is used these days to distinguish the safety that plays closer to the line of scrimmage – in other words, the safety who plays "in the box." How much the terms are used often depends on the team involved. Some schemes use their safeties in dramatically different ways, while the positions are a bit more interchangeable in other schemes. As for the Jaguars' safeties, Wilson played free safety last season and Jenkins has played free and strong in his career. Analysts consider Moehrig a free safety, so presumably Jenkins and Moehrig could start with Wilson and second-year veteran Daniel Thomas possibilities. Much will depend on how defensive coordinator Joe Cullen envisions the roles of the individual players in the scheme. Stay tuned.
Bingus from Duval
The Titans bringing Jim Schwartz is so on the nose about what I think about the Titans I can't contain myself. Do you think we can beat the Titans once this year?
Roger from Valdosta, GA
The human body is designed where we all feel similar body aches and pains. So, on a Sunday morning, an NFL running back wakes up and realizes he must have slept in a position that has created the feeling many refer to as "a crick in the neck." What is done in the next few hours that will allow him to play at an elite level? Running into a 300-pound lineman is not exactly going to be very desirable. I personally have felt that pain for several hours and sometimes into the next day when experiencing it.
Trainers address the issue, perhaps with massage, heat or ice. Perhaps by other medical means. And then the running back "deals with it."
Tom from Jacksonville
After the draft can we discuss Trevor's hair some more?
You're damned right we can.
Will from Jaguarville
You referred to the Jaguars having 11 draft picks this year. Don't they have 10 picks? I think you may be forgetting about the Malcom Brown trade.
Right you are, good man. While I did remember that the Jaguars dealt a seventh-round selection to the New Orleans Saints for defensive tackle Malcom Brown, I had it stuck in my head that the trade with the Baltimore Ravens for tight end Josh Oliver had brought the Jaguars a conditional selection. While that's true, it was a 2022 selection and not a 2021 selection. So, the Jaguars do have 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Age is hell, William. Don't you forget that.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
I think some are getting hung up on the 3-4 alignment. It's going to be more than that or any one front. They will have plenty of situations where Brown will be the nose tackle with two other big guys on the line with Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson standing up on the line at outside backer and Joe Schobert and Myles Jack at inside backer. They will also run nickel defense plenty. And there's variations between 4-3 and 3-4 that they will use in various situations. They can put Allen with his hand down on the line. Jack can play inside or outside linebacker. With the personnel they have now, they can be flexible and use whichever front they feel gives them an advantage in whichever situation. I think they will use a variety of fronts throughout the season. Does it look like that to you, that it's going to be a hybrid defense using various fronts?
Pretty much, yes.
Luke from Brisbane, Australia
KOAGF, interested in the general perception that the tight end position is less important than other positions on a typical NFL roster. Outside of quarterback and blindside protection (thanks Sandra Bullock), I would have thought tight end would be right up there in terms of importance? The position essentially requires run and pass protection as well as being a reliable receiving option. Is the position not "valued" as much because the game's evolving and there are few who can properly fulfill the multiple needs of the role, or do I simply know nothing about football? Thanks!
Tight end is important in the sense that all positions are important – and as is the case at most positions, deficiencies certainly stand out as liabilities. And tight end absolutely has become more important as the position – and the game – has evolved. But if a general manager has a choice between, say, pass rusher or tight end, they usually will take the edge rusher. Witness the Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft. They had tight end T.J. Hockenson targeted at No. 7 overall in the first round. Josh Allen, considered a potential generational talent at defensive end/linebacker, fell to them at the spot. They chose Allen and it was pretty much a no-brainer decision. It didn't mean Hockenson was bad. It just meant pass rusher was the more important position.
KC from South Florida
Regarding your response that you expect all free agent signings to make the final roster, where does that leave room to add another dynamic wide receiver through the draft? If the team already has six receivers (DJ Chark Jr./Laviska Shenault Jr./Marvin Jones Jr./Collin Johnson/Phillip Dorsett Jr./Jamal Agnew taking guaranteed spots, can you possibly see them carrying a seventh receiver?
Sean from Jacksonville
How long of a vacation will you take if the Jaguars don't select Trevor Lawrence? A month? You'll quit? Admit yourself to a mental ward? Curious minds want to know.
My vacation plans don't depend on whether or not the Jaguars select a certain player in the draft. If your scenario happened, Jaguars fans undoubtedly will be mad. The questions would be combative. Some fans would be mean to me. Guess what, Sean? The Jaguars have lost double-digit games in nine of the last 10 seasons. If Jaguars fans happened to be mad … well, that wouldn't be this cowboy's first rodeo.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
I had to take some time off because I glanced at your comment section and got eye cancer. Does the Dead Zone start after the draft or are we in it?
What's a comments section?
Ryan from Pontiac, IL
Do you ever build friendships with any of the players on the team? More than just a working relationship? Is that even allowed, or when it comes to players is it always strictly business? Who currently is your favorite player to talk/interview? Dare you answer who is your least favorite to interview? I've always been fascinated by the player/reporter relationship. P.S. I think the O-Zone rocks!
I'm generally not big on friends, though that likely stems from years of not having any. Specifically to players, I do not consider any "friends." I like many of the players. I enjoy speaking to many of them, and that has been the case through two and a half decades covering the NFL. But if you consider a friend someone I would have over to the house for dinner and game night … no, that doesn't happen with players. I do consider former Jaguars players such as Jeff Lageman, Mark Brunell and Fred Taylor friends. But those relationships have developed from working with them in media capacities following their career. For the record, I consider Tony Boselli a nemesis and not a friend, though he does continually ask me over for game night. It's annoying at this point, frankly.