O-Zone Late Night: '17 Draft, Day 2

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tony from Atlanta, GA:
I'm a little confused as to why we drafted a left tackle who never has played guard after we just signed a free-agent left tackle and needed a guard. Lamp seems both more versatile and less likely to have off-field concerns. Is there anything going around the back rooms there at the 'Bank that might give a clue to Coughlin's thought processes?
John: There's no need to venture into back rooms on this one. The Jaguars selected Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson with the No. 34 overall selection of the 2017 NFL Draft Friday. He was the second selection of Round 2, and the Jaguars wanted Robinson enough that they traded the No. 187 overall selection – a sixth-rounder – to get him. The Jaguars liked Robinson a lot. They sent Head Coach Doug Marrone, General Manager David Caldwell, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and offensive line coach Pat Flaherty to Tuscaloosa a week before the draft to work out Robinson. Marrone also talked Friday about a comfort he had with the selection based on a relationship with Alabama coach Nick Saban and Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key. This was in no way a darts-at-the-board selection – and when you couple that with Robinson being widely considered a first-round selection, it made it easy. All of that already was the case, and then you add in the fact that Jaguars left tackle Branden Albert is not participating in voluntary workouts … this was a chance to send a clear message to Albert and make sure that you had a viable left-tackle option for the present and the future. Another reason for the selection: Robinson is considered versatile enough to play guard, tackle and right tackle – and the Jaguars could use an offensive lineman who could potentially be really good at multiple positions. The final factor? Robinson at 6-feet-6 is a mammoth human being and Marrone and Coughlin really like mammoth, tough human beings. I personally wouldn't have been surprised had Lamp been the selection because I figured the play might be to find a starting guard. But selecting Robinson gives you a player who could potentially start at guard and gives you a lot more, too. Considering the team's comfort with a player, the selection made sense.
Cody from Boston, MA:
Since we took a running back at No. 4, what future do you see for T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory?
John: As running backs for the Jaguars.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Please let the brass know for once they are doing a good job.
John: Stay where you are, Jerrell. I'll call for help.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
Is Cam going to play guard???? I only ask because the Jags need, you know, a guard...
John: Robinson theoretically can play guard if he doesn't win the left-tackle position. Listening to Caldwell talk about Albert on Friday night, I think the Jaguars are very serious about letting Robinson compete for the left-tackle spot. Can Robinson kick inside and play guard for a year if he doesn't start at left tackle? Yes, he very much has that skill set.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
Count me among the fans who were really hoping for a top safety or defensive line from the first round, but when I take a step back and ask myself, "Did we clearly improve at one of our positions?", I have to answer yes. And that is what the draft is about.
John: True.
Bill from Dansville, NY:
Soo Albert's holdout is probably only gonna last through the voluntary parts of the offseason, eh Zone?
John: Albert is missing voluntary activities – emphasis on "voluntary" – so he's not really holding out. He is, however, reportedly making the point that he wants a new contract. Caldwell made the point Friday that the Jaguars don't plan to give him a new contract. I don't know when that means Albert will report. My guess is he will participate in mandatory activities, the first of which is a three-day June minicamp. I guess that because I always guess players will participate in mandatory events because not doing so means getting fined. We'll see.
Mark from Oceanway:
Before drafting Cam Robinson, I think Branden Albert held most of the cards in his desire for a new contract. Other than Albert, we didn't really have a starting-level left tackle on the roster. We may not plan to use Cam immediately at left tackle to begin his career, but how do you see his selection affecting Albert's contract negotiations?
John: Significantly.

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