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O-Zone: Leave the bread

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Chelten from Jacksonville

I see many analysts and people are still concerned that Gardner Minshew II is not the answer at quarterback. After looking at his body of work last year, do you think even though we traded Nick Foles, that the front office will consider a first-round quarterback in the draft? What are the major concerns of Minshew besides arm strength?

I do think the Jaguars will consider a first-round quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. When a team has been deficient at quarterback for as long as the Jaguars – and when that team is selecting in the Top 10 – it must consider selecting one. Whether the Jaguars like a quarterback enough to select him – or whether that player will be available to them when they select – remains to be seen. And only General Manager David Caldwell and perhaps a few others know the level of consideration. As for concerns about Minshew, arm strength is one, as is a tendency to leave the pocket a bit early at times – and not being effective enough working the middle of the field. All those things can improve, And Minshew is like many young quarterbacks in that he needs to improve field vision, pocket awareness, etc. There's every chance he will do so. Can the Jaguars afford to wait and see if that will happen? Wait and see.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

John, I know it's not the same, but I see a lot of similarities in the way Clemson linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons is discussed and the way Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was discussed. Sure, one is a linebacker and the other is a quarterback, but people asked if Jackson was just too unique of a player to work in the NFL. It seems to me that if you can't figure out how to use Isaiah Simmons in your defense, you're just a bad coordinator with a bad defense.

The issue with Jackson entering the draft wasn't as much whether he was too unique; it was whether he was accurate enough to be effective in the NFL. I still don't know that he can "make every throw" with pinpoint accuracy, but the Ravens have used his skills with phenomenal effectiveness. So far, so good. As far as Simmons … the question indeed is whether he will play linebacker or safety in the NFL. My guess is he is gifted enough athletically that he will succeed, but it's not ridiculous to wonder exactly where he will fit in an NFL defense.

Richard from Jacksonville Beach

To give people some upside, is it better to be 6-10 with no cap space, descending with aging veterans OR at the end of next season be 5-11 with five new starters from your 12 draft picks and four new special teams players all playing on rookie contracts? Not to mention you have an up-and-coming quarterback also on a rookie contract with extra picks next year and some cap space moving into the following year. They tried to win immediately. I am now thankful they are trying to win long term. That being said, my favorite team is still the Jags. The team I dislike the most is now whoever plays Baltimore.


Garrett from Jesup, GA

Are the Jags done in free agency? I think there are still some players available that could help the Jags out without a huge price tag. A player like defensive tackle Damon Harrison seems like someone the Jags would be interested in due to their lack of run defense last year and his run-stuffing ability. Or a cornerback to compete for a starting position like Eli Apple or Logan Ryan. Do you think the Jags will do anything more in free agency or will the draft be the last hope for the team to get better?

The Jaguars acquired defensive tackle Al Woods, defensive lineman Rodney Gunter and cornerback Rashaan Melvin at those positions in free agency with the idea that they can start if it works out that way or contribute if a rookie starts at those spots. I don't anticipate the Jaguars doing much more in free agency until after the draft. I anticipate several moves filling out the roster after that.

Lukas from Pirmasens

I would really like to see Tua come to the Jags. How high is the chance this will happen?

Not great.

Ray from Jacksonville

John: Although I think Caldwell has been in over his head from the beginning, his moves this offseason make clear former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin has now left the team in salary cap difficulty for the second time.

Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell's moves this offseason mean the Jaguars won't be in salary-cap difficulty next offseason. As for this offseason … yes, the team entered it with cap constraints – but much of that was preplanned and unavoidable. When the team acquired players such as defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, it did so knowing at the time they likely would be two-to-three-year players and then be released because of their cap figures. That was how the contracts were structured. That's usually the reality with free agents. Now, as for the decisions at quarterback …

Mark from Sobieski

Is Minshew doing any offseason training (like Blake Bortles did) or is he just flying with the Thunderbirds and making himself the Jaguar King. Seems like he's spending all his time marketing himself. For a second-year quarterback, that kind of worries me. Will he be ready?

Minshew spent February and early March in Naples, Fla., working with the same quarterback trainers with whom he worked before the 2019 NFL Draft. You can market yourself and work. That's what the NFL offseason is about, and you can't work 24 hours a day. Minshew's work ethic isn't an issue.

Brian from Jacksonville

Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has a stupendously poor sense of timing to press a negotiation during the COVID-19 pandemic. He should thank goodness for the tag during this uncertain time. It ensures that he is the third-or-so best-paid player at his position (his self-ascribed place). Sick, life-changing money now ... this year. He could also wait out the uncertainty that the pandemic has created to negotiate a longer-term deal with a team in post-pandemic dollars. All this, and he wouldn't seem like a such a jerk. Bank the money, young man. Stop appearing selfish. Un-like Ramsey and be yourself. Will Ngakoue eventually accept his enviable position, O?

If it comes to that, yes. Eventually. Probably.

Alejandro from Mexico City, Mexico

Oh, mighty KOAF that knows everything in this zone. Most of the time, people think that a new left tackle Is an improvement in two positions with Cam as left guard. Do you think that drafting center César Ruiz is an option to improve two positions moving Brandon Linder as a guard?

If a center came available in the draft that was impossible to pass, I imagine the Jaguars draft him. I get no impression that they're in any hurry to replace Brandon Linder at the position.

Tim from Fort Wayne, IN

With all the limitations and restrictions caused by this global pandemic, do you foresee a scenario that eliminates this year's London games? Is there a situation where travel restrictions don't allow that to take place? Or a situation where games are being played in empty stadiums? It seems as though it wouldn't make sense to play in London if fans can't be there to watch.

Yes, I could absolutely see a scenario where the Jaguars don't play their London games in 2020.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

With all of the irregularities of this year's draft process, it seems like general managers will have to use more guesswork than usual. If that's true, is it more likely that a very talented player - especially one from a smaller/lesser known school - falls through the cracks? Will teams be more likely to draft guys that played college ball closer, at least in later rounds? Do you foresee any differences in the way teams approach this year's draft?

General managers have the same access to film as years past and scouts worked the process throughout the year in the same fashion as before. The primary difference is the medical information available and the number of prospects the general manager gets to meet face to face. Many analysts believe that will cause general managers to be a little "safer" in their projections, so yes … some smaller-school players who perhaps weren't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine or Senior Bowl seem more likely to go undrafted and be overlooked.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Should we set up a Go Fund Me for Yannick? Nobody wants him or his family to go hungry. I mean, I don't mind stealing bread. My cup is already overfilled anyways.

Never steal bread. Jean Valjean got 19 years for that.