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O-Zone: Good intentions

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … immy from Del City, OK:
I think I know what we're gonna do, judging by what David Caldwell has been saying – and reading the tea leaves, so to speak. We'll trade back unless Leonard Williams is there, draft defense heavy with a running back, guard, and maybe receiver sprinkled in. What say you, John?
John: I say with the Jaguars' seven selections you've taken three offensive players, and I'd say that's a little more than "sprinkling." I also say I don't know that the Jaguars have quite so firm a grasp on their draft-day plans yet, and don't forget: Those plans depend quite a bit on what happens in the draft before they select. Still, it sounds as if your grasp isn't far off. As late April approaches, I'm more and more intrigued by what the Jaguars will do at the top of the draft. There's a very talented player there in Williams, a couple of potential elite wide receivers and multiple pass-rushers – and all of those players could significantly help the Jaguars. How do you balance short-term needs with long-term gain? What area will help the most? Do the Jaguars feel as strongly about the players we're discussing as the analysts do? There are no definite answers, but they're all important questions. It's going to be an important month. Very, very important. I don't think the Jaguars are yet at the point where they're saying for sure, "Yes, we're taking Player X if he's on the board." I think that's true even if Player X is named Leonard Williams.
Michael from Jackson de Ville, FL:
Johnny! Get a chance to check out the Skynyrd homecoming shows this weekend? Great show Thursday, but how's it a Skynyrd show without "That Smell" or "Saturday Night Special"?
John: What song is it you wanna hear?
Herbert from MidState Office Supply Accountz Receevable:
First, Lageman said Winston wouldn't go in the Top 5. Then Lags amends his earlier comment to say "he" wouldn't draft Winston in the top 5. If he backpedals much further he could run for public office.
John: I'm not sure who this Lageman guy thinks he is, but it sounds as if he has a lot in common with … oh, pretty much anyone who analyzes the draft. There are plenty of general managers who would be nervous about selecting Winston in the Top 5, but I imagine there are very few general managers with quarterback-needy teams who would pass on him. Nerves or not, Jameis Winston is going in the Top 5. Anyone following the draft knows that without thinking or breaking down anything on film.
Tym from Southside:
O-Zone, the Jaguars missed in a lot of drafts. It hurt. It still does. From the 2007-2011 draft classes, only Tyson Alualu remains on the roster.
John: Yes, that's a big reason the Jaguars have won 14 games over the past four seasons.
Christina 123 from St. Augustine, FL:
When can they get the new playbook and talk to coaches?
John: April 20. That's the date veterans can start reporting for the voluntary offseason conditioning program.
Steven from Duval:
Why is Fred Taylor not even mentioned as a Hall-of-Fame running back? I don't think he is eligible until next year, but I've seen and read about Hall of Famers who don't have close to the stats he does and anyone who saw him play knows he was as good as there was in the NFL while he was here. Do you think he will get in? Even if it's a small market he still was the best running back in the NFL at one point and Top 5 for many years.
John: I absolutely think Fred Taylor should be in the Hall of Fame; whether he will get in is a completely different matter. The problem Taylor faces is while there certainly were NFL people – not to mention Jaguars followers – who believed Taylor was as good as any back in the NFL for a long stretch, that wasn't necessarily the widespread perception around the NFL. Taylor made just one Pro Bowl, and while that's not necessarily an accurate measure of talent, it does speak to the fact that there were other really good players having similar or better years at the time. Taylor played in an era that also featured Terrell Davis (Taylor's rookie year), Edgerrin James (much of the early part of Taylor's career), LaDainian Tomlinson (most of Taylor's prime), Jerome Bettis (most of Taylor's prime) and Curtis Martin (again, most of Taylor's prime) among others. Now, I'm not saying Taylor wasn't better than a lot of those players; he was. But those players often had bigger statistical seasons or more playoff appearances or were more well-known, and that combination makes it a difficult task for Taylor to get in the Hall of Fame. Should he be in? Yes. Will he? Perhaps, but it's a long way off.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
You're on the clock as GM of the Jaguars, John. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Jameis Winston, the Tennessee Titans took Leonard Williams and you can't find a trade partner. Who are you taking and why? Thanks for being awesome!
John: Right now I take Dante Fowler, Jr., because he appears to be the best pass rusher available in the draft. But I'm probably really considering Amari Cooper/Kevin White and I'm wondering if Leonard Williams just might maybe, maybe, maybe drop a spot.
Christian from Titusville, FL:
Hi John, not to sound critical, but if we take Amari Cooper at No. 3, isn't that an indictment on last year's draft that we didn't fill the need at receiver with two relatively early picks? Or is it that we didn't think either of those guys was a true No. 1 receiver? Thanks.
John: I wouldn't call it an indictment. The Jaguars like Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, and consider them a huge part of the equation going forward. You need more than one productive wide receiver in the NFL, and you actually need more than two. Robinson, Lee And Allen Hurns have potential. Robinson in particular showed signs last season as a rookie of being very reliable and very effective on third downs. Are Lee and Robinson No. 1s? Not yet, but maybe. Are you going to have trouble finding a way to utilize Lee, Robinson, Allen Hurns and a Top 5 receiver? Absolutely not. I don't know that that's the direction the Jaguars will go later this month in the first round, but it wouldn't be ridiculous.
Doug from Jacksonville:
As the new season quickly approaches let me wrap up what has gone on since you came back to Jacksonville. New head writer, head coach fired, hired, new owner, head coach fired, hired, new locker room, cries for 15, London, head coach fired, gm fired, gm hired, head coach hired, Joeckel, indefinite suspension, Culligan water, Gabbert traded, new unis, moodachay, Bortles, Khan Kam, pools and scoreboards.
John: I got a new phone, too. It was cool. And a case. I got the case after I dropped it.
Cliff from Jagsonville:
Todd Gurley would be a game-changer for the Jags. Is this feasible. Have you heard any DC chatter on this?
John: David Caldwell doesn't "chatter" a lot about the draft; in fact, he – like most general managers – tends to keep things relatively quiet. I agree with the widespread speculation that the Jaguars could very well take a running back somewhere in the first three rounds of the draft, but the running back class in this draft is deep enough I doubt they would give up selections to move up in the draft to get one. That probably is what it will take to get Melvin Gordon or Todd Gurley.
Marty from Jacksonville:
O, you answer a lot of questions about what the Jaguars are thinking. Do you get a lot of information from the team "on background?" Or are you just assuming what they are thinking?
John: A little of this, a little of that.
Ryan from Chesapeake:
John, why not take Amari Cooper at No. 3? He seems like a lock to be a GOOD receiver as a rookie and potentially a star caliber player that could play all over the field. But if Williams is there I don't see us passing on him.
John: I'm not a big believer in any player being a "lock" to be anything as a rookie, but I understand that's not really your question. The decision on whether to take Amari Cooper/Kevin White or Leonard Williams or Dante Fowler, Jr./pass rusher is one that almost certainly isn't yet decided. An argument could be made any of those players could help the Jaguars. I've said "pass rusher" at No. 3 since the offseason began and I'll continue to say, but I wouldn't be surprised at any of the above scenarios.
Austin from Athens, GA:
Out of curiosity, how long is your streak up to?
John: I have bathed every day since September of last year. I intended to bathe that day, but things got away from me.

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