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O-Zone: No introductions needed

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

KC from Orlando, FL

Are you surprised with the Henderson trade? I thought if we were to see him traded, it would have been when the talk was louder before the season started. Yet another wasted first-rounder ...

The Jaguars indeed traded second-year cornerback CJ Henderson to the Carolina Panthers Monday morning for veteran tight end Dan Arnold. The teams also reportedly exchanged 2022 draft selections, with the Jaguars receiving a third-rounder and the Panthers receiving a fifth-rounder. I was surprised at the timing, because I didn't expect a trade here during the season. But I wasn't stunned, because there was enough talk – and enough speculation and rumors – surrounding Henderson being traded that it wasn't a total shock. That talk started during training camp and was reported by reputable enough media it was hard to believe it didn't have merit. I confess to not knowing enough about Henderson to have a real feel for this situation. He spoke to the media on only a few occasions and COVID-19 protocols have been such I haven't gotten to know a few of the younger players. Still, everything about this move felt like being ready to move on from Henderson as much as addressing a need at tight end. As far as it being a wasted draft selection … well, the Jaguars selected Henderson No. 9 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and traded him for comparatively little equity. So, yeah … this is a lot of value lost in very little time. The Henderson situation felt like something of a lost cause, so the trade through that lens made sense. And remember: this regime – Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Trent Baalke – didn't draft Henderson. Still, for the long term this franchise must reverse a decade-long trend of getting little out of first-round selections. You can't be competitive doing that. You just can't.  

Zach Miller from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, wide receiver Justin Blackmon, left tackle Luke Joeckel, quarterback Blake Bortles, defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., cornerback Jalen Ramsey, running back Leonard Fournette and cornerback CJ Henderson … eight of our last 12 first-round picks aren't on the team. Defensive lineman Taven Bryan is a backup, linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson is a question mark and running back Travis Etienne Jr. is hurt. That is why the team has lost 18 in a row. You can't keep missing like that.

Going back to 2011 – when Gabbert was drafted – is a bit extreme, because 10 years is a long time in the NFL. But that's nitpicking and the point of your email couldn't be more correct. Too many first-round selections either have missed or are gone. The Jaguars haven't gotten enough from a decade of drafting – first round and beyond. It's why the Jaguars are behind the rest of the league overall in talent. And yes … it's a reason – THE reason – for the current 18-game losing streak. Without question.

Ben from Jacksonville

If the Jaguars draft one more damn Florida Gator I am gonna lose it! Fred Taylor is the only player to ever come out of Florida University and have a good NFL career. STOP DRAFTING FROM THAT TALENTLESS SWAMP!!!

I got a lot of versions of this email Monday, and it's understandable because the Jaguars have had a lot of players from Florida not work out. But you don't draft players based on how other players from their school have fared. You draft them based on your evaluation. And Taylor isn't the only good NFL player ever to play for Florida. Obviously.

Paul from Washington, D.C.

This team really misses running back Travis Etienne Jr.

Fair.

Ryan from The 2022 NFL Draft

So, we traded last year's Top 10 draft selection for a third-round pick and a tight end who has been on four teams in four years. I don't see the value there. Unless UM is honestly trying to purge the roster of everyone that isn't one of "his guys" and stocking up future draft pick to draft more of "his guys.". But can you really tell me that our team is better without Henderson?

Meyer isn't purging the roster, but he is trying to get players who fit what he wants physically AND culturally. The Jaguars aren't better without the ideal version of Henderson, the one who played at a high level in the 2022 regular-season opener. But Meyer pointed out Monday following the trade that Henderson missed a lot of games – 10 of 19 since joining the Jaguars. It's hard to be ideal when you're not on the field.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

The lack of success for top ten first round draft picks over the last decade is astounding. Can quarterback Trevor Lawrence break the curse?

Yes, he can. And it appears likely he will.

Davis from Jacksonville

Yes we need a new Quarterback because he not throw football goods.

I will not make fun of emailers. I will not make fun of emailers. I will not make fun of emailers. I will not make fun of …

_Dominic from Jacksonville          _

When enough is enough and we start getting wind or even think about putting C.J. Bethard at QB

I will not make fun of emailers. I will not make fun of emailers. I will not make fun of emailers. I will not make fun of …

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I saw tons of improvements against the Cardinals. My biggest concern is that Trevor is not sliding on his runs. He is not built like a Blake Bortles. Do you think they should coach him on that?

I certainly hope so. I had multiple takeaways following Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. One was that this offensive line can run block. Another was that the defensive front might be legitimately pretty good against the run. But one of the biggest was that while Lawrence is a good runner, he is not an elite NFL running quarterback. Because he's not, he is exposed to more hits when running than, say, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray or Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Lawrence was exposed to a few more risky situations Sunday than is ideal. So, yes … the Jaguars need to make sure Lawrence is good at getting down and protecting himself. Really good.

Michael from Jacksonville Beach

No question. here. He's three games in and is 21 years old. Can people like Jerell please calm down?

Wait. There are other people like Jerell?

_Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA      _

Oh, Zone. I read the Jags quieted De'Andre Hopkins. Checked and he had three receptions for 21 yards. Was he covered primarily by one player or was it a group effort? Also, do you think rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell's performance had a significant impact on the Jags trading a "starter" out of an already thin defensive backs room?

Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin "followed" Hopkins all over the field Sunday, marking the first time in the veteran's five NFL seasons he had been responsible for covering an opponent's best receiver throughout an entire game. And yes … Griffin did a nice job on Hopkins. Meyer said Monday Campbell's development was a reason the team traded Henderson.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi John. I guess Tyson Campbell showed he's an NFL corner.

If he hasn't, he's sure going to get his chance now.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, it was great learning that a missed field goal could be returned, especially returned for a touchdown. If Jamal Agnew would have been tackled along the way, would we have gotten the ball where he as tackled vs. the line of scrimmage of the missed field goal?

The Jaguars theoretically would have taken possession where Agnew was tackled in your scenario. The problem with that theory was the return was on the last play of the first half, so the Jaguars wouldn't have gotten the ball for another play if he had been tackled.

David from Amelia Island

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." So what are the lessons learned from the high percentage of first round busts during the Caldwell Era; Joeckel (39 games then released), Bortles (75 games then released), Ramsey (51 games then traded), Fournette (36 games then cut), Bryan (only 17 games started to date), Allen (TBD), Chaisson (only 5 games started to date), and Henderson (10 games then traded)? To me they fall into two distinct categories; quality character lacking in talent (Joeckel, Bortles, Bryan and Chaisson) and quality talent lacking in character (Ramsey, Fournette and Henderson).

Well, you certainly want a combination of high talent and high character. No one in the NFL would argue with that.

Chicken Little from Jacksonville (apparently)

We traded away CJ! We are a dumpster fire. We will never win another game ever in the history of professional football. We should just disband the whole team now. Football life as we know it is over.

Welcome. I would introduce you, but it sounds as you know everyone.

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