JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Nathan from St. Augustine, FL:
You can't acquire the talent the Jaguars have acquired the last three years and not have it start showing up in victories. I can't help but feel the patience of Shad Khan with this rebuild is fixing to start paying off for years to come – and judging by many of the stories I'm reading from ESPN, NFL.com and others I'm not alone in that opinion!
John: This indeed is the buzz right now – and emails with exclamation points!! and CAPITAL LETTERS indeed have been flooding the inbox in recent days. That's heady stuff. Jaguars fans are unquestionably excited locally and there indeed are plenty of positive thoughts about the Jaguars nationally. That's cool. Fans are enjoying it – and this fan base deserves to enjoy it. Jaguars fans have waited a lot of years for people to say something good about the team, and they've waited through a lot of losing. The positivity being felt right now is not without merit. This is a roster that is taking shape, and the offense did enough last season to believe it will continue to improve. There is a strong culture here. The team is improving. Players know it. Coaches know it. Fans and media who have been following it closely are starting to believe it. None of it means anything without winning and winning is not guaranteed – even to teams with talent. But talent makes it more possible and it sure looks a lot more possible around the Jaguars these days.
Andrew from Section 203:
I've returned to the O-Zone after a lengthy hiatus. What's new?
John: Not much.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Ok ... so while I am glad we went all in for defense, I just really can't wrap my head around not drafting some offensive linemen, at least for depth if nothing else. As it stands now, we have no true center. We have three guards and what, five left tackles? How about a center or someone to back up either guard spot? I understand we need depth at quarterback, too, too with Chad Henne on his final year of his contract, but come on: If we want to avoid needing a backup quarterback we get some linemen to keep Blake Bortles off his backside, where he was 90 percent of the time it felt like last year.
John: You and David Caldwell see this situation a bit differently. Actually, upon reflection, you see it much differently. Caldwell sees a player in Brandon Linder who can be a "true center," and I get the idea he's comfortable with a starting line of Jermey Parnell, A.J. Cann, Linder and Kelvin Beachum/Luke Joeckel. The Jaguars also like Tyler Shatley and Luke Bowanko at center, so the feeling is that with the addition of free-agent Mackenzy Bernadeau they actually have pretty good depth on the offensive line. As far as adding more, the feeling was that no one in the draft after about the fifth round was going to be better than the depth the line already had, so the decision was made to draft Brandon Allen as a developmental quarterback instead of going offensive line. That's how the Jaguars see this thing, and the biggest takeaway is probably that they like their depth there a lot more than most observers seem to like it.
Ovidio from Sarasota, FL:
To think we all thought we could get Jalen Ramsey OR Myles Jack – and somehow we ended up with both. Winning. GO JAGS. Kudos to Mr. Caldwell. The Jaguars arrow is pointing up.....ALL THE WAY UP! GO JAGS #DTWD
John: Hmm. Imagine that: David Caldwell seems to be cool right now. Fans seem to like him.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Hey, John - I know I'm just a dumb guy, but in my opinion the Jags are trying to improve the pass defense. What do you think?
John: Indeed, and I thought the selection in Round 4 Saturday was intriguing on that front. The Jaguars took Notre Dame defensive tackle Sheldon Day at No. 103 overall. He's an interior pass rusher who was rated very highly by a lot of draft analysts. Caldwell has said throughout the offseason he believes interior rush is very important. The team seems to have a lot of it with Malik Jackson, Sen'Derrick Marks and even Jared Odrick. Day may provide a little more.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
John, we don't want this to sound like a cliché - but Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack are two young men we, the fan base, you as a media — and apparently Jaguars staff – really wanted to wear teal, black and gold. The Bank on Thursday and Jaguars Twitter this past days has been unbelievable. Sometimes dreams come true. DWTD all the way from Slovenia!
John: I'll clarify here that I really didn't have a preference before the draft of who I "wanted" the Jaguars to select, but yes … these guys seem like good guys. They are by all reports very good players. People are happy. That's cool to see.
Paul from Jacksonville:
My phone, TV and Internet just came back up for the first time since Wednesday. What'd I miss?
John: Don't ask me. I've been binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix. This Doug Stamper guy seems like a friendly sort.
Kyle from Ohio:
Now that the draft is over, do we pick up Luke Joeckel's option? Also, what do you think the line looks like with immediate backups?
John: No, I don't see the Jaguars picking up Joeckel's option because they have no real reason to do so. If he plays well this season they can still pursue a long-term deal. And though he hasn't played as poorly as many Jaguars fans believe, neither has he excelled enough to lock into a fifth year. I imagine the line will look like this: Parnell at right tackle, Cann at right guard, Linder at center, Joeckel or Beachum at left guard and Joeckel or Beachum at left tackle. I imagine Josh Wells will be the swing tackle with Bernadeau, Bowanko and Shatley on the interior.
Nick from Panama City, FL:
Can we induct Dave Caldwell into the Pride of the Jaguars yet?
John: No, because he didn't sign Josh Norman.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
One of the knocks on previous general managers by local fans was the lack of Florida-talent drafted. Dave has three first-rounders in a row from Florida schools. From my perspective, I really, really hope that was just coincidence. Your thoughts?
John: It was just a coincidence.
Jimmy from Jacksonville:
Do you have Jerry Jones' address; would love to send him a thank-you card. We just received two great gifts from him.
John: Such is the nature of the draft that every city's perspective is different. The Cowboys are ecstatic they selected Ezekiel Elliott and Jaylon Smith, and those may be the perfect selections for Dallas. The Jaguars thanks to the Cowboys selecting Elliott and Smith were able to selected players they wanted. Every team's a winner on the final night of the draft.
Joe from Port Charlotte, FL:
Is easy to draft talent when you have the franchise quarterback onboard already, right?
John: It absolutely helps, and that's one storyline that perhaps has been a bit lost. The Jaguars appear to have gotten their franchise quarterback in Blake Bortles in 2014. That meant they didn't have to draft one in 2015 and 2016, which meant not having to give up draft selections to move up to do so. That has enabled the team to use those selections for other players. That's important.
Brian from Punta Gorda, FL:
I love the draft picks and free-agent acquisitions. We have some dynamic pieces now, which we were lacking in previous years. I see people getting excited, which is awesome, but I'm not convinced we are a playoff team for one reason. We have so many new explosive pieces that it may take time for them to cohesively play together. Am I wrong to think that way?
John: Sure, it will take time for this team to come together. It shouldn't take much time on offense because this team started to come together offensively last season. Will it take some time on defense? Yes, but it shouldn't take years. It's easier to come together on defense than offense. Remember, too: this defense doesn't need to be a Top 10 defense for the team to improve; it needs to be better on third downs. I have little doubt the offseason additions will make that happen.
Matt from the Matt Cave:
I was trying to complain today just to be a jerk but honestly … what can I complain about? I am very happy about Jalen Ramsey and even if Myles Mack isn't around for a decade he is a big part of this team's future. I love what Dave and Gus have done with our previous drafts also but this one could (fingers crossed) could be our best.
John: Well, I do appreciate you trying. It means a lot.
O-Zone: No complaints
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Nathan from St. Augustine, FL: