JACKSONVILLE – Dance on, happy people … dance on.
Let's get to it … Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
I like the Myles Jack gamble, but I'm a little concerned about the depth we have at the offensive line. In 2008, they lost both their starting guards in Game 1 and the team was never the same because there were so few "jars on the shelf" so to speak. Thoughts?
John: I do have a couple of thoughts, actually. One is you can't have everything you want, and if a lack of offensive-line depth is the price for drafting a player on the level of Myles Jack … then that's a price that must be paid. I say it that way because once you got out of about the third round in this draft you weren't going to draft starting offensive linemen for the Jaguars -- and you probably weren't going to draft backups that were significantly better than the players on the roster. Another thought is the offensive line may be a touch deeper than you think. The Jaguars like Tyler Shatley, Luke Bowanko and Mackenzy Bernadeau on the interior of the offensive line and didn't believe a fourth-round lineman was going to be better than anyone in that trio. A third thought is the Jack selection almost certainly didn't cost the Jaguars a front-line offensive lineman in Round 2. I imagine they would have gone edge rusher there had they not gone Jack, and I don't know much realistically was going to knock them off defense anywhere early in this draft.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
Can we start comparing the defense to the '85 Bears yet? Maybe wait until Week 2 or 3.
John: No. Don't wait. Do it now. Everyone else is.
Evin from Joplin, MO:
John, who do you see starting for the defense Week One assuming no injuries occur?
John: End Jared Odrick, nose Roy Miller III, tackle Malik Jackson, Leo Dante Fowler Jr., Otto Dan Skuta, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, weak-side Telvin Smith, cornerback Davon House, safety Tashaun Gipson, safety Johnathan Cyprien and cornerback Prince Amukamara with Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey playing in passing situations to start the season – and Jack/Ramsey probably starting relatively soon after that.
Kyle from Ohio:
Why 700 defensive linemen? Couldn't we have drafted somebody to protect Blake Bortles?
John: If you were going to get somebody to improve the offensive line appreciably you were going to need to do it in the first two rounds – maybe the first three. Did you want to pass on Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack? Did you not want to address pass rush in the draft? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you believe the Jaguars should have improved the offensive line in the draft. If you answered no to all of them, then you believe the Jaguars made the right decision to not go offensive line. Remember, the Jaguars signed Bernadeau and Kelvin Beachum in free agency. That was what they did to address the offensive line this offseason. That counts.
Jake from State Farm:
Now that Jack is the pick, the looming question on my mind is when do we see him in action? Will he be ready for camp? Preseason?
John: Nice khakis, but I don't foresee this being a huge issue. Jack won't be in the first part of the offseason program because of NFL rules that mandate a player can't participate until exams at his school are complete. Jack likely will participate in the rookie minicamp/orientation this weekend then return sometime close to the mandatory minicamp in mid-June. As far as his knee, it's a long-term issue more than short term. He'll participate in training camp and preseason.
Charles from Midlothian, VA and Sec 35:
Can it honestly be said with picking up our "developmental quarterback" we are officially out of the "rebuilding" stage?
John: You know what? That's a fair assessment, and I think David Caldwell saw it that way during this draft – to a point. The main reason he selected quarterback Brandon Allen in the sixth round was at that point he didn't believe there were any other offensive or defensive players in the draft who would "move the needle" in terms of raising the talent level in a discernable way. That means he didn't think it was likely anyone at that stage of the draft was going to come in and play right away. That wasn't the case in 2013 and 2014. So, yes, the selection of Allen was certainly another sign that this roster is a whole lot closer to Caldwell feeling it is a mature, competitive roster.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
The Ngakoue pick surprised me with Calhoun and Bullard still there. Bullard is too large to fit as an edge rusher. What about Calhoun might have caused the Jaguars to pass him over? Go JAGS!
John: They thought the guy they picked is better.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
Loved the first four picks. Totally baffled by our sixth- and seventh-rounders. Quarterback Brandon Allen seems OK, but an odd choice. Picking Tyrone Holmes and Jonathan Woodard rather than allowing them to come our way in free agency seems wasteful. What about guys like G Vadal Alexander, C Jack Allen, LB Scooby Wright, FS Jalen Mills? Overall a great draft, but weird at the end.
John: What makes you think Holmes and Woodard would have come the Jaguars way in free agency? NFL teams scout players year round and they have a good idea of what players are coveted and what players are not. They also have a good idea of what players they covet enough that they don't want to take a chance on losing them in free agency. There's a simple reason they didn't select guys such as Alexander, Allen, Wright and Mills. They didn't like them as much as the guys they selected. Overall, I get the sense you're happy. If you like the first four selections of a draft, then you like the draft. The percentages go way down after that, anyway.
Terrance from Guam:
Is it built...now?
John: It's getting there.
Jake from Section 124:
How could Dallas take Ezekiel Elliott and Jaylon Smith, who dropped because of a major ACL and nerve injury (Top 5 talent)? And pass on Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, who dropped from a "potential" micro-fracture surgery (Top 10 talent). Who's making those decisions?
John: My understanding is it's Jerry Jones, but I don't know for sure. I don't cover the Cowboys.
Branson from Waxhaw, NC:
Last year our sixth- and seventh-round picks, Ben Koyack and Neal Sterling, never really played. Do you see Tyrone Holmes and Jonathan Woodard playing in the rotation next year? DUVVAAALLLL!!!!!!!! from North Carolina
John: I haven't seen these players practice or play yet, so it's obviously too early for a definitive prediction. Ideally, it is an unusual situation for sixth- and seventh-round players to contribute significantly to a mature roster immediately. That's not to say it can't happen, but you want your roster developed enough and experienced enough to make it very difficult for raw, unpolished rookies to make an impact.
Flouder from Delta Chi:
Oh boy … is this great!
John: Yeah, I liked Gene's column, too.
Bill from Westfield, MA:
With this team running a "simple" defense it should help the influx of defensive talent gel more quickly. Do you expect we should see significant improvement there by second half of the season just in time for a playoff push?
John: I don't know that we know for sure just how simple this defense will be next season. While I don't see new coordinator Todd Wash trying to reinvent defensive football, I do think there will be wrinkles that haven't been in the scheme the past three seasons – and I think you'll have more players in the front seven moving around and playing multiple roles. As far as when we see significant improvement, I think you'll see it more quickly if you're looking in the right places. Remember, this was not a bad team against the run last season; it needs to improve against the pass. I believe it will. I don't think that will mean setting an NFL record for sacks in a season, but I do think it will mean being more effective on third down – i.e., getting off the field more two or three times a game. If that happens – and I don't doubt it will – that's a small statistical difference but a big difference in real life.
Kyle from Ohio:
Myles Jack seasons in NFL, over or under 3.5?
YesI'mSerious from Jacksnville:
Can I do the honor of showing Henne the door? Since Allen is obviously gonna be the Jaguars backup quarterback.
John: My beloved grandfather once said to me, "Hey, you … boldness and confidence doesn't always equal accuracy or knowledge …"
Stan from Hallandale Beach, FL:
Why a quarterback? We only keep two on the roster, Blake and Chad. Practice -squad guys can be undrafted guys. Wasted pick … no chance to make the 53-man roster.
John: Grandpa was right.