JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
JT from Palm Coast, FL
Now with Cam being tagged there is no chance we draft offensive lineman with the first, right? This is either a trade or draft defensive line?
The Jaguars indeed on Tuesday announced they had placed the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson, essentially assuring he will not become an unrestricted free agent when the NFL's 2022 League Year opens on March 16. As for that eliminating any chance the Jaguars will select left tackle No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft … there's rarely such a thing as "no chance" – in life, or the NFL. And there is a scenario in which the Jaguars could use the No. 1 selection on an offensive lineman. The scenario: The Jaguars select a player such as Evan Neal from Alabama or Ikem Okwanu from North Carolina State, play the drafted player at guard for a season and play Robinson at left tackle with either Walker Little or Jawaan Taylor at right tackle. Robinson in that scenario could play left tackle for a season on the franchise tag, with the drafted player – Neal/Okwanu – moving outside to left tackle in 2023. There are no "tea leaves" indicating this is the Jaguars' plan, but that's a scenario in which the Jaguars could use the No. 1 selection on an offensive lineman.
James from Jacksonville
I feel that Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is the best player available in this year's draft. To be able to build the franchise, I feel that the Jaguars need to draft the best available players to build upon. Do you feel that this will keep us from drafting an offensive lineman first overall or do you think that the Jaguars just draft needs?
Franchising Robinson doesn't guarantee necessarily mean they won't select an offensive lineman with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it certainly makes it easier to move another direction.
Marc from Oceanway
He John, I am happy about Cam Robinson being tagged. Why do you think he has not been signed to a multi-year contract?
The team and player haven't agreed to a long-term deal that makes sense to both sides.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
Players picked up through free agency usually are released for a reason. We are taking either an offensive lineman or defensive end first (or crazy pants, a safety). When do we talk about wide receivers? Or were the 17 games this season not enough to show this as an area of need? Who are people thinking is available at the top of the second? Could we see our general manager trading the farm to get a second first rounder?
The 2021 season without question was enough to show wide receiver as a major need for the Jaguars. I expect the Jaguars to attempt to address this in high-profile fashion in free agency; while you're right that free agency is an imperfect way to upgrade receiver, the Jaguars' need there is such that they likely will have to take the approach. Whatever happens in free agency, I do expect the Jaguars to address wide receiver in the draft – and yes, No. 33 overall at the top of Round 2 makes sense. Garrett Wilson of Ohio State, Drake London of Southern California, Jameson Williams of Alabama, Chris Olave of Ohio State, Treylon Burks of Arkansas … those names have been projected at various spots in Round 1. We'll see where they project as the draft draws nearer – and no, it wouldn't be shocking to see Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke trade into the bottom of the first round for a receiver.
Steve from Nashville, TN
The recent Russell Wilson trade and the Aaron Rodgers new deal reaffirms clearly the old saying a "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." Meaning these proven and more than accomplished franchise quarterbacks and future Hall of Famers are worth more by multiples than unknown first-round draft picks. In these two cases, there is whole flock in that bush.
Ben from Cuba, MO
Would quarterback Trevor Lawrence telling Baalke that he wanted wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. back add to the effort and value that Baalke is willing to put forward in resigning Chark? I would think it might but I'm not a general manager or expert.
What Lawrence wants absolutely should and would play into the team's thinking at many positions, particularly wide receiver. That doesn't automatically mean Chark and the Jaguars could agree to a deal that makes sense for both parties.
Rob from Orange Park, FL
It seems to me tagging Robinson is a smart move for the team. Even if Little either beats out Robinson for starting left tackle or takes over due to injury, you are still paying the same X dollars for the position and you have a decent starter and a decent backup. This frees the team up to improve a different position in the draft. Robinson may well not be worth the money but from an overall team perspective it makes perfect sense. Do you like the Robinson tag?
It makes sense for precisely the reasons you cite. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson and Baalke spoke extensively at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine about wanting to retain their own players. This fits in with the idea that the Jaguars don't have enough really good players on their roster, and letting Robinson leave in free agency would leave one less good player on the roster. Retaining him allows you to keep a good player and add one more rather than replacing the good player and adding another. In that vein, it's a smart move.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey John, the Jags really placed the tag on Cam instead of drafting an offensive lineman? And they still have Walker Little. I don't like the decision. It's so expensive and now they are drafting Hutchinson No. 1. Still looks like a classic Jags move. I am not excited tbh.
So, one not fer tagging Robinson …
Sean from Oakleaf, FL
Lucky for us we do not have to play the AFC West this year and that gauntlet of quarterbacks.
The Jaguars probably will have to play at least one team from the AFC West in the postseason. The math points that direction.
Isaiah from Collinsville, AL
If you had to give your gut opinion, who would you think the Jaguars pick at #1 overall?
Hutchinson. But that's a gut. It is only a gut.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, what do you think of former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell introducing former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli into the Hall of Fame? I'm kinda digging it. I also happen to have a very old Jags poster with both their signatures. It's going to add to their great story for me.
It feels perfect. It also makes me feel really, really old because I covered Boselli being drafted into the NFL in 1995 and Brunell being traded to the Jaguars shortly before that. But hey … feeling old is better than the alternative, I guess.
Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD
Hey O, I have a fun fact for you: in reviewing the modern-era teams that had two consecutive No. 1 NFL Draft picks (Tampa Bay 1976-1977 and 1986-1987, Cleveland 1999-2000 and 2017-2018), a neat trend appears. Three of those four teams went on to be playoff teams the second year after their second No. 1 draft. If the pattern holds, we will be a playoff team in '24! It's the small victories in life ...
Another fun fact: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually could have had the No. 1 selection again in the 1978 NFL Draft but traded the selection to the Houston Oilers for the selection that became Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell. So, there's that.
Rog from STA
So, "O." Can I control who gets drafted, which free agent gets a Jags contract, which tag is assigned to whom, who gets cut or who gets extended? NOPE! So, I enjoy the ride, wish for the best and keep on keepin' on. Go Jags!
You go, girl.
Bradley from Sparks, NV
In the AFC, the Jags are only behind Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs as far as drafting Pro Bowlers the last 10 years. Do you expect the Jags to dominate the draft once again?
I'm not sure exactly how you determined your premise, but I counted at least five teams – the Pittsburgh Steelers (nine), Baltimore Ravens (14), Miami Dolphins (nine), Kansas City Chiefs (11) and Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers (nine) – as drafting more Pro Bowl selections than the Jaguars' seven from 2012-2021. Whatever the statistics, it just doesn't feel as if the Jaguars have "dominated" the draft over the last decade. Can they begin to dominate it? Sure. Stay tuned.
Daniel from Jax
Why answer Andrew from Cowford? Don't you think a more intelligent conversation will bring more readers than reducing the discussion to the lowest possible level?
What's an "intelligent conversation?"