O-Zone Late Night: NFL Draft, Round One

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jeremy from Dodge City, KS:
No question. Just gotta say I KNEW IT!!! Great pick. Time to order a Fournette jersey! #DTWD
John: I'm glad you knew it, Jeremy, because I didn't. I honestly didn't know as the 2017 NFL Draft approached Thursday afternoon if the Jaguars' selection would be Fournette, or perhaps one of the two much-discussed safeties – Malik Hooker of Ohio State or Jamal Adams of Louisiana State. I also thought Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas might come into play if he fell to the Jaguars at No. 4, and I thought one of the two quarterbacks – Deshaun Watson of Clemson or Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina – might come into play. As Thursday night approached, though, I got a feeling the Jaguars weren't going quarterback – and it just felt at that point as if Fournette was going to be the selection. The Jaguars in the end didn't like Watson as the option at No. 4, and they eventually were down to four players as the draft began: Fournette, Adams and two others. My gut is the other two were Thomas and Alabama defensive lineman Allen. Is Fournette a great pick? Time will tell, but the team's decision-makers believe the Jaguars need an offensive playmaker who can make an immediate difference. They believe that player is Fournette and they believe he was the right combination of value and need. Not everyone agrees. If you don't believe that, keep reading.
Moshe from Mexico City, Mexico:
Welcome Leonard!
John: He says, "Hey."
Micah from Jacksonville:
Garbage pick. AND the Texans got the best QB in the draft. Why did you let this happen, O-dizzle?
John: I think "garbage pick" is a little strong here, because while I long have said I wouldn't take running back at No. 4 overall, I do think Fournette made sense for a franchise that needs to improve the running game. With no offensive linemen worthy of the No. 4 selection, running back in that vein was the move that made sense. As far as the Texans getting the best quarterback in the draft … well, there will be plenty of time to debate Deshaun Watson's future. For now, we can agree to disagree.
Esko from Finland:
This is about as exciting as receiving a Tupperware set for a Christmas present.
John: I like Tupperware. I especially like that little "pfft" sound it makes when you close it just right. I think that's what that "pfft" sound is, anyway.
Sam from Jacksonville:
I hope Fournette turns out to be Fred Taylor 2.0. But I'm not excited about the pick. Not even a little bit.
John: OK.
Alex from Rockville, MD:
I do not understand why the Jaguars think Fournette is better than Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is faster, quicker, an elite kick returner and punt returner – and just all around a better player. He has the foot-speed and moves to make people miss. Fournette is a pure power back with questionable lateral ability. I'm so disappointed and I honestly feel like I'm done with the Jags and I've been a diehard since a little kid.
John: The Jaguars believe Fournette is a special back who fits what they want to do offensively. I agree with you that McCaffrey's quickness is impressive and that he is a strong kick and punt returner. I don't know that I agree about McCaffrey being faster than Fournette, the latter of whom certainly does not lack straight-ahead speed. My big question is one you and I share: Does Fournette have the lateral ability to make people miss? I saw situations when he was at LSU in which I thought he had some miss-ability. I saw others where it seemed he relied heavily on speed and running over people – and it's hard to run over people in the NFL. That will be the question he must answer as a rookie, and I imagine it will be a debate in this forum until that rookie season begins.
Jerell from Columbia,SC:
Deshaun Watson will soon breathe life into this dead franchise once selected at 4 my sources inside the building tells me it's a lock to happen!
John: This was sent at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. #Lock #sources #Draftguru
Jeff from Orange, CA:
If you can explain Fournette's sub-par games with poor blocking, doesn't that largely negate the rationale in taking him so high? Like you've pointed out before, the position seems so reliant on good blocking so why use such a high pick on a position like that?
John: That's the argument against running back so high. That's the argument Fournette and the Jaguars' offensive line together must disprove. The Jaguars' offensive line must play better next season for this to be good selection. There obviously is confidence on the part of the decision-makers that that improvement will happen. Those will be major topics going forward. I can't predict the future so I don't know how these areas will play out, but without question the Jaguars' decision Thursday night is one that brings the offensive line into full focus. I don't see Fournette being good enough to be great with a struggling offensive line, because I've seen very, few backs good enough to be great in that situation.
TJ S from Orlando, FL:
Really?! What the hell were they thinking?! I can't believe they took that guy with those stats at that position! Marrone? Fired! Caldwell? Double fired! Khan? Mustache shaved and then fired! I'm burning my jerseys as we speak! Ow! That's really hot! I should've taken it off first!! Bulldoze the stadium and give me back my money from the 5 games I've been to! Let me be the first to say this is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!
John: Welcome to the O-Zone. You'll fit right in.

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