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O-Zone: Funny stuff

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

JT from Palm Coast, FL

The AFC South is going to look extremely different with all new quarterbacks. Funny how Lawrence is the elder statesman (Levis is older, but still a rookie). This is going to be our division for the foreseeable future.

The AFC South indeed moved toward a major overhaul at quarterback in this past week's 2023 NFL Draft, with the Houston Texans selecting quarterback C.J. Stroud No. 2 overall, the Indianapolis Colts selecting quarterback Anthony Richardson No. 4 overall and the Tennessee Titans selecting quarterback Will Levis No. 33 overall. Stroud and Richardson almost certainly will start in 2023 – if not immediately, then soon – and Levis likely will be the starter soon. Such youth at quarterback elsewhere around the division absolutely makes the Jaguars the division favorites in 2022. But being the favorite is not the same as winning the division, and remember: The Jaguars needed a defensive touchdown in the final minutes of the 2022 regular-season finale to win the division last season. The Jaguars certainly have a chance to "own the South" moving forward and quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a major reason. But that ownership still must be won on the field. That's true for the long-term and it's even true next season – no matter the quarterbacks on the other three teams.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

It's near impossible to tell if the Jags had a good draft at this point but do you think they would have taken Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks or Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. at No. 24 if they knew Florida guard O'Cyrus Torrence would be available at No. 56?

No. I think the Jaguars liked Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison above those players and that's why they selected him. They would have selected him at No. 24 – or No. 25 or No. 27 – no matter who they thought would be available when they selected in Round 2.

Don from Marshall, NC

How does anybody not like Tank Bigsby? He is not a short-yardage back entirely; the guy can score from anywhere. He has got skills that are going shock people. People will know his name soon enough. Big time weapon for the offense this guy does it all. Really a good pick. Go Jaguars!

Don, staying firmly and strikingly comfortingly in character, remains "all in."

San Marco Steve from Jax

So what's next? Camps? Pads?

The Jaguars' rookie minicamp is May 11-13. Organized Team Activities begin May 22. Both are non-padded, as is a mandatory veteran minicamp in mid-June. The first time NFL teams can practice in pads is training camp in July.

Devin from Winder, GA

Hey, John. What's your opinion on the possibility of former Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue coming back? I know we eventually addressed and added depth at EDGE with Yasir Abdullah later in the draft, but given the fact that Ngakoue is a proven commodity at his position, do you think we realistically could bring him back on a one-or-two year deal?

I wouldn't rule this out.

Buddy from Jacksonville

John, I wonder how all these armchair, mock draft reading folks would like it if Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke walked into their office for three days and started pointing out how bad they were at their jobs. Especially, if the only thing he knew about their jobs was what he learned off the internet. After the last 2 drafts, I say trust the man and let him do his job and everyone else do theirs.

I'm sure people criticizing Baalke and the draft wouldn't like it at all. They also don't work in high-profile jobs in which criticism is expected and part of the job description.

Brad from Jacksonville

I've heard rumors that other GM's dislike Trent Baalke and will not work with him regarding trades. After watching other GMs work with Trent to trade up, but not down, is there truth to the rumors?

Baalke traded four times during the 2023 NFL Draft and has traded 27 times during drafts in his career. He has traded up and down. He traded up for linebacker Devin Lloyd in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. General managers will work with any general manager to get a trade done. Another thought: If I were an NFL owner and discovered my general manager wasn't trading with another general manager – and therefore potentially hurting my team – because he didn't like the other general manager, I'd probably tell my general manger to stop acting like a middle schooler and start doing his job.

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear, John. "… and the best general managers I have been around take the approach of hitting a lot of singles and doubles in drafts rather than swinging for home runs and risking strikeouts." Wait didn't Baalke swing for the fence with Travon Walker?

Baalke took the player he considered the best available at No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. That was Walker. You may consider Walker a risky selection and a big swing. The Jaguars did not.

Will from Section 138

Did the Jacksonville Jaguars break any records with their 13 draft selections? While some teams prioritized quality over quantity, the Jags seemed to have traded for the latter. Was this a conscious strategy or the byproduct of trusting the board and letting the process play out? Do coaches prefer quantity over quality? I'd argue that all these players are talented, and the margins between folks who will never start and folks who will be stars can be minimal, especially in their first year at camp. So, I'd think a coach might welcome the additional competition. I know this is multiple questions – but the only rule we seem to have here, and not everyone follows, is to be nice.

The Jaguars' 13 selections marked the largest draft class in franchise history. The Jaguars traded down in the first and second round, selecting the same player after the trades that they would have selected had they not traded – so they lost no quality by trading. The Jaguars trusted the draft board in this draft and let the process play out.

Tom from Uptown St Johns

Big John: I am one (apparently rare) who likes the Jaguars' 2023 draft. However, as we walk away from it can you tell us if the Jag brain trust lost what they considered a real target? In other words, did falling back keep them from picking a plum they liked?


DuvalJag95 from J-ville

Hi, John. Just wondering and I know you say you don't read these other media analysts articles but several have said that by the Jags drafting linebacker Ventrell Miller out of Florida could mean it's Devin Lloyd's final year with the Jags. That just sounds crazy to me. Would just like to hear your opinion on this matter. Thanks KOAF!!!

The Jaguars selected Lloyd in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Saying a fourth-round selection the following offseason is a replacement is a bit of a reach. Lloyd needs to play better in Year 2 than he did as a rookie. That's the expectation and there's no reason to think he won't do that.

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. Been reading that our defensive back draft picks can all play well in the "slot?" What is the "slot," and where on the field is it? If you are not playing in the "slot," where exactly are you playing. Thanks for the help!

The "slot" is over an inside or "slot" receivers. It is football-ese for inside of the field as opposed to outside cornerbacks who typically cover the outside of the field closer to the sidelines.

Ron the juan narnia

So, he can spend money in free agency but he cannot draft worth poo. Take it from your bestie Trent is not the one.

You're not my "bestie."

Steve from Nashville, TN

Do you see Jamal Agnew still having a role in the offense in five receiver sets?


Jordan from Lincoln, NE

When a team trades up in the draft, pundits often say they're jumping just ahead of a team that is targeting the same player. Is this always the case?

The reason teams trade up in drafts is to ensure they get a player they want. They often do this assuming another team wants the player. Are they always correct in this assumption? No.

Rob from St Augustine, FL

There's a clip in the movie Moneyball where Brad Pitt is face to face with another "talent evaluator" saying something along the lines of, "You say I know I know, regarding a player. And the truth is, you don't you don't." If you could post a link of that part and send it to all these fans "fanning" about our draft, that'd be awesome.

I would laugh at that. We should find someone willing to work hard enough to pull something like that off.