JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Steve from Nashville, TN
Would you agree that the coverage, hype (social media), analysis and visibility of the NFL Draft process now compared to even 10 years ago would not allow a team to make a selection like the Jaguars did in 2005 by taking an accomplished SEC quarterback at pick No. 21 and proclaiming him a wide receiver – that that kind of move would just be too controversial in today's NFL for a team to consider?
I wouldn't necessarily agree – mainly because fans and analysts often overestimate just how much influence they have over teams' actions. If a team was thinking the way that prompted such a decision, that team would still make the move – even in this era. You are, of course, referencing the Jaguars selecting Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones and converting him to wide receiver – a move that did not work in the long term. Would it be analyzed and criticized more intensely than a decade and a half ago? Maybe. A bit. But ESPN, NFL Network and other news outlets were covering the NFL pretty intensely then – daily and hourly, if not exactly "24/7." So, media scrutiny is maybe not sooooo much different in that sense. Anyway: Most teams don't make decisions based on outside opinions. I'm not saying teams don't hear what's said about them. And I'm not saying teams never let outside noise influence thinking. But many good general managers and decision-makers also know you can't let popular opinion dictate your thinking. You're a success if you win and a failure if you lose. If you lose, you're out. You may as well rise or fall on what you believe as opposed to what others say.
JT from Palm Coast
John, this draft has a 2013 feel. Hope whoever we pick doesn't become 2022 Luke Joeckel. Do you have the same feel or am I off base?
I've received multiple emails along these lines recently, mainly because the 2022 NFL Draft isn't considered a great draft early in the first round. That's indeed similar to the 2013 NFL Draft, which featured a pair of left tackles – Eric Fisher and Joeckel – selected at Nos. 1 and 2 overall. But that draft was considered exceptionally weak throughout all rounds, whereas the main knock on this draft is that it lacks star power at the top. There is still a sense you can find good player at the top of this draft; there were concerns before the draft in '13 that that wouldn't be the case.
Shawn from the inquisitive streets of Arlington
Is a generational safety really that much of a reach at No. 1, contingent he's a constant Pro Bowler? And not the pins bowler game. To clarify.
A safety indeed is considered a reach at No. 1 overall; because of perceived positional value, it would be difficult for a general manager to select the position there if there were offensive tackles, pass rushers, wide receivers, etc., with relatively similar grades. Something to note here: Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, widely considered the best player at his position in the draft, has slipped a bit in the eyes of many analysts because he ran slow at the NFL Scouting Combine and slower at his Pro Day. Hamilton almost certainly wasn't going to be selected No. 1 overall anyway. But if teams are looking for a reason not to risk a safety at No. 1, that would be one.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Hi, John. Of all the things to predict, the future is the toughest.
C'est la vie say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.
Alex from Des Moines, IA
I think the Jaguars should spend the pick on edge and move K'Lavon Chaisson to inside. He has the speed and can somewhat cover; might turn into a good run defender for us. What do you think we should do with the first overall pick and with Chaisson?
I expect the Jaguars to use the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft on an edge defender – and I currently expect that to be Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan. That's in no way a guarantee, but that remains this writer's feeling. Whatever the Jaguars do there, Chaisson's level of performance in two seasons means he can't factor in to whether the Jaguars use the selection on that position. I think Chaisson – the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft – is in a tough spot because he hasn't proven to be a natural NFL pass rusher and he might fit better as an off-the-ball, chase linebacker. Could that mean trying him inside? That's a decent question and one worth asking as we get into the offseason.
Scott from Jacksonville
I can't help but think that Tom Coughlin's latest stint here hurt his chances for the Ring of Honor.
I don't believe it should. Coughlin as head coach – and essentially czar of all things football – defined the franchise through its most successful period, 1995-2002. He led the franchise two division titles, four playoff appearances and two AFC Championship Games during that span. Yes, his three-year stint as executive vice president of football operations, ended very poorly. But in this writer's opinion, he's more than qualified for the Pride of the Jaguars. A lot more than qualified, actually.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
Let me know when the Dead Zone officially begins, so that we can argue about NHL v World Cup overtimes. Although, hey … the Dead Zone will be a lot shorter this year, right? With things starting earlier for us and not having any more looming penalized lost practices?
If there is an "official" start to the dead zone, I suppose it's mid-June – just after the end of the final mandatory minicamp. But a little word to the wise here: My sense is Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson puts a comparatively small emphasis on the offseason program. When he says the sessions are "voluntary," he's not saying it with his tongue in cheek. Yes, the Jaguars will hold them. And yes, veterans will be present and learning. But organized team activities are often vastly overblown in terms of importance. Pederson will not be guilty of that. So, in that sense, the "live" zone of the offseason may have a little deader feel than usual.
Daniel from Jacksonville
OT is by its nature a virtual coin flip. During the regular season it's not even necessary, though it is pretty exciting. I'd suggest each team get one possession from a kickoff. If still tied it ends a tie. In postseason, if still tied bring the foot back in and starting at 40 yards or so alternate field goal attempts moving back a few yards until someone missed. Hey, IT'S FOOTBALL! And yeah it would be exciting or have you forgotten Morton Andersen, Mike Hollis and Josh Scobee? How about last season's Wright!!!
John from Jacksonville
If Cam Robinson hasn't signed the franchise tag by the day of the draft, will the Jaguars rescind the tag and pick the best tackle? Is rescinding the tag an immediate thing or does Cam get one more chance to decide?
A team can rescind the franchise tag at any time if it is unsigned. If a team is using it as a negotiating tactic – as your question suggests – the team likely would give the player and agent one more chance to decide. I don't get the idea the 2022 NFL Draft is a hard deadline for Robinson to sign a long-term deal. I get the idea both sides want it to happen and believe it will happen, and I haven't gotten the impression this is as contentious as your scenario might suggest.
Richard from Jacksonville
Zone. Here is a crazy idea about overtime; instead of constantly changing the game to fit the rules that made it all offense and a score-last league, why don't we loosen a few of those rules and let the defense play just a bit more defense? Then let the game, especially overtime, stand as it is.
I like your idea in spirit. I don't get the sense the league is in any hurry to pass rules to increase defense, though. That would decrease scoring and theoretically "excitement." It also could reverse some of the player safety initiatives, and that's not likely.
Dylan from Duval
"As always, it's a strong class." Doesn't that mean it's just a normal class? Do words have meaning, O?
Yes, words have meaning. And saying "as always, it's a strong class" doesn't necessarily make it a normal class. For instance: It's reaching the point in the NFL Draft that receivers almost always are a good group. That might make it a normal class for receivers, but a very strong class compared to other positions.
Jim from St. Johns, FL
If the numbers are available, I'd appreciate knowing how many of the current All-Pro lineman in the NFL were former first-round picks.
As would I. Maybe someone could google that for us.