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O-Zone: No complaints

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Nashville, TN

Do you think there is too much hype and exposure of the NFL Draft by media and the networks? You have said many times the impact of the players drafted last week will not be known for years to come and some could have no impact. It would be just as entertaining to watch shows looking for Big Foot or lost treasure?

The hype and exposure of the NFL Draft is huge, and that's fine. The interest in the event is high, and advertising dollars and ratings indicate as much. Fans like it. And it's fun. It's also absolutely true that the hype causes many observers – and many people within NFL circles as well – to forget that it's still comparatively rare for rookies to make significant impact quickly, or even in the first half of their rookie seasons. That's not to say it never happens. Rookie do sometimes contribute immediately, but there is a perception that the draft should be a quick fix for a team – and that a good draft automatically will make a team better immediately. That's a very sexy draft-weekend talking point. It's rarer for that to be regular-season reality.

Richard from Jacksonville

Zone. Now the front office has added in free agency for quarterback Trevor Lawrence (for the most part) and drafted for the defense to fit our new defensive coordinator, and stop the run of the big backs in our division while increasing pass-rush capabilities ten-fold. The front office also has now begun to sign our own players to extended contracts. What could a Jags fan ask fan ask from this front office that they aren't giving us? Here is to faith in the organizational direction when I haven't had some in decades. In the front office I trust.

Hey, one fer the front office.

Stu from Wrestlingworth, UK

KOAF! A couple of observations from the past week. 1) I think this year's draft class has the potential to give us a top 10 defense next year. 2) Re-signing left tackle Cam Robinson is big, not only as he's a good tackle in a league where good tackles are hard to come by, but also the message it sends to the team, that we will resign core players going forwards. Thoughts?

I don't know where the Jaguars will rank defensively next season; I do know this unit should be significantly better against the run than it has been in recent seasons, which should make this a significantly better defense overall.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Thinking about the October 30 game at Wembley Stadium versus the Denver Broncos. Is there someone at the Jaguars that ensures all new players have valid passports in order to travel to the UK?


Howard from Homestead, FL

OK, strange question. Is it just me or did the Jags have the Travon Walker press conference while the first round was still underway? What if a team had tried to call them about a trade during that time?

Head Coach Doug Pederson and General Manager Trent Baalke indeed spoke to the media briefly following the Walker selection. Yes, the first round was underway. But the Jaguars' next selection at that point was No. 33 overall. There was plenty of time to speak to the media and get back to the draft room in time to discuss a trade. They weren't going to have a chance to trade until somewhere around the 20s, which they indeed did.

Rob from Jacksonville

Mighty O, I don't understand. We didn't draft anyone we need. If we would have drafted players we need, then we wouldn't need as many players to get better. Why doesn't this organization draft the right players, only the wrong ones? There are gaps all over both sides of the ball and we could have traded down from our top three picks for dozens of Day 3 picks to get more players so we can get better. In my opinion.


Bryce from Jacksonville

There is all this talk about not having a true "No. 1" receiver on the roster. Do you think this is a valid concern or will the combination of the receivers we have on the roster be enough to be competitive?

The No. 1 receiver talk has reached a deafening level among Jaguars observers. When such things happen, it can skew perspective. Yes, having a No. 1 receiver is a positive – and the Jaguars certainly will look to acquire/develop such a player moving forward. But Pederson had success in Philadelphia without a "true No. 1 receiver." We'll see if that translates.

Zach from Washougal, WA

Hey John, it's been said HCDP and GMTB worked collaboratively during the draft, do you feel they acquired enough talent for OCPT and DCMC to get the most out of their schemes? How much impact will experienced guys like QBCMM and PGCJBC have on QBTL and his development? What is your favorite ACDC song?


Paul from Jacksonville

I need a new HCDP cable for my 4k TV. Any chance you could hook me up with one?

Good one, Paul.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, what is more important: athleticism or production? Being good at football is a must in my humble opinion but you at have to have enough athletic ability to play in the league.

Scouts and football personnel people generally agree, and there are many who believe there are certain measurable minimums a player must have to play in the NFL. An offensive lineman might be scrappy, gutsy and have good technique but if he's 240 pounds, he's not playing in the NFL. Ditto certain speeds heights at other positions. The scouts and personnel people are sometimes wrong on this, but that's often a general operating philosophy.

Alan from Jacksonville

J-bro, I waited a week for the disappointment of this draft to die down before I put on my rose-colored glasses, but I can't seem to find them. I was really geeked for this draft, with us holding the No. 1 pick and 11 others. But somehow, some way, not only did we not draft anyone on offense to get excited about, we really didn't help Lawrence at all. I know the Jags don't draft with the purpose of pleasing fans but I thought they were in the business of selling tickets. It seemed to me we just threw away our extra picks for players like Snoop Dog Conner, who no one except for our scouting staff had ranked that high. This draft did zip to get the fans excited enough to actually buy a ticket. I know ticket sales have been pretty good but I think it's the Pederson Effect and not our uninspiring draft or free agent spend fest.

You don't draft with the idea of selling tickets in the short-term. You draft with the idea of winning, which will sell tickets in the short and long term.

Bill from Palm Beach Gardens

The Jaguars have had success with undrafted free agents. Just curious which players among the 2023 UDFA class caught your eye as players who might continue that trend.

This is an impossible task. That's because projecting any rookie is a tricky task, and projecting late-round selections is a next-to-impossible task. Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Austin has talent and a big-time collegiate background. That guarantees nothing, but he's the sort of free agent who could make it.

Russell from Oceanway

I can tell you are having so much fun, having to answer questions about everything Travon and Aidan Hutchinson, and I'm afraid it will continue all year. Well, that is until the last game of the 2022 year against the Detroit Lions. I hope you still have hair by the time that game is finished.

I've covered the Jaguars since 2011. I've written this column every day since August 2011. My hair hasn't fallen out yet. I expect to be OK.

Johnny from Zoneville

Everyone complaining we didn't draft a receiver later in the draft, which receiver? All the best went in a run in Round 1. It feels like we got a very good potential receiver in undrafted free agency. Would they have been happier if we took the same guy in Round 4?

The Jaguars indeed signed Austin as a collegiate free agent, and he's indeed a similar receiver to one who might be selected in later rounds. He had a productive final collegiate season, and he has traits that could translate to NFL success. Would those complaining have been happier had Austin been drafted in Round 4? Sure. Would they be happy? Sure. Why not?

Brian from Jacksonville

I've read the thoughts of you and the professionals that cover the NFL. I've read the thoughts of fans and bloggers. In the end, isn't it the case the lot of us got nothin' to lose, got nothin' to gain? Yeah, I like my team to win, still overall I guess I can't complain.

We're all waiting in the dugout thinking we should pitch.