JACKSONVILLE – The saga continues.
If you read and submit O-Zone questions on the mobile app, there's no problem with the reading part – but the form to submit questions is STILL not working properly. SO …
If you want to ask a question – and who doesn't want to communicate with the witty, admirable and decidedly "awesome" senior writer? – please use the form on the website in a traditional browser, or email the senior writer directly at Joehser@gmail.com.
Thanks for your continuing patience with this.
Let's get to it …
David from Chuluota, FL
KOAF – Some have referred to Trevor Lawrence as the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL since Andrew Luck. In 2012, Luck entered the league and started all 16 games for the Indianapolis Colts. Here are some of his stats for that year: 4,374 passing yards, 23 touchdown passes, 18 interceptions with five rushing touchdowns. If I guaranteed you that Trevor Lawrence would produce those exact same numbers, would you lock it in … or do you predict he does better or worse?
I expect the Jaguars would lock in Luck's rookie season – but more than the numbers, I expect they would lock in the overall presence, maturity, awareness, production and readiness he showed in that season. While opinions among observers differ when assessing Luck's overall career, what isn't particularly debatable is Luck was phenomenally ready as a rookie. It's tricky to project how Lawrence will fare compared to Luck, and it's not fair because circumstances differ from team to team and year to year. I do expect Lawrence to be productive quickly and I expect the Jaguars will do everything possible to not have him be the sole focus of the offense next season, particularly early. I expect them to try to create an atmosphere, approach and offense in which Lawrence can grow into the player and performer observers expect him to become. What matters mostly next season isn't Lawrence matching Luck's rookie season. That's not all that pertinent to the Jaguars' future. What matter is whether he and the franchise are moving toward competing and winning at a high level for a long time. I expect we'll see significant progress on that front. Stay tuned.
Rick from Kyoto, Japan
The 2020 Jaguars record was 1-15. Since the 2020 season ended, we've hired new coaches and acquired several free agents (only three were starters on their previous teams and Malcom Brown is in the twilight of his career). Based on the personnel we currently have on the roster, it doesn't appear that our defensive line will be in the top 25 percent of the league. Aside from our No. 1 selection in the upcoming 2021 draft (assuming it's QB1, Lawrence), it's not expected that any other rookies will make a significant impact to the team's competitiveness. What should be a realistic expectation in wins-losses for this season assuming no other high-profile talent is acquired? Has the team improved its talent enough to achieve five wins this season?
This is a good and fair question, though I don't know that we see the Jaguars' offseason to date through quite the same lens. While the Jaguars only acquired three "starters" from previous teams, they acquired upward of a dozen players who either will start for the Jaguars or play key roles. And players such as cornerback Shaquill Griffin, Brown, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., safety Rayshawn Jenkins and tight end Chris Manhertz – just to name four – figure to be significant upgrades in their roles. You also may be particularly mis-assessing Brown. At 27, he isn't at the twilight of his career – and upgrading the team's run defense, which is the main reason the Jaguars traded for the veteran defensive tackle, could make a significant difference to this defense overall. In terms of the impact of the draft, a couple of thoughts. If the quarterback position indeed improves, that raises everything. And while I am the first person to minimize expectations for rookies, it's fair to think that five players among the top 65 might have some chance of impacting competitiveness somehow, some way. This offseason overall is about improving the overall talent level of the roster. The Jaguars did that at multiple positions in the last month and they're in position to continue that during the draft. Can they get to five victories? Yes. That's reasonable. It might even be a game or two short of what is achievable.
Andy from St. Augustine, FL
John - I thought YOU were the senior writer for the Jags! Why did you wait all this time to tell us that there's another senior writer, and this one is witty, admirable and decidedly "awesome?" Can we get that guy to answer a few questions?
He's out. He got the COVID-19 vaccine this week. He's good for the long haul, but it beat him up for a day or two.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
One of the locals told me about this great Q&A spot on the Falcons team site. So, I ambled on over and I am not happy with myself that I did. Why? Because now your work actually looks extremely good. Life, man. Life.
I am the king of all funk.
Charles from Knoxville, TN
When will I be offered seat selection with deposit I made?
This is expected to be in late April.
Marlin from Newberry, FL
Will the Jaguars have an event at the 'Bank during the draft? And when will we have a chance to meet Trevor Lawrence in person? He is the man, the myth, the legend and he hasn't played a snap! The Golden-maned Dude is the next Tom Brady and like Tom Brady's Patriots, the Jaguars will win three of the next four Super Bowls! I am feeling optimistic today, can you tell?
Optimism is cool. People like it, particularly optimistic people. And yes … there will be a draft party at TIAA Bank Field, the information for which can be found here. As far as meeting Lawrence in person … patience, Marlin, patience. The 2021 NFL Draft is 15 days away. We haven't really even gotten started yet.
Ed from Jax
With the first pick in a year when the selection is obvious, is covering the draft a lot more boring for you? All else being equal, would you find covering this year's team that picks fourth more interesting?
Covering any NFL Draft is pretty much the same exciting event regardless of where a team selects.
Damian from Outer Space
There has been so much hype about this year's coaching changes and free agency as well as the upcoming draft selections. My question is about last year's three fourth-round picks (smoothie king, Scott and Quarterman). What is the feeling of these players still developing or making the team?
You're referencing Jaguars 2020 fourth-round selections Ben Bartch (offensive line), Josiah Scott (cornerback) and Shaquille Quarterman (linebacker) – and your question is a good one. I expect all three will have a good chance to make the team; they're young, affordable players with talent and this is a building franchise. None of the three contributed significantly last season, so there's still a lot of proving to do to move into significant roles.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, can players sign sponsorships prior to being drafted?
If you mean endorsement deals … yes.
Fred from Naples, FL
A few days ago, you referenced Josh Scobee as being a very good golfer. What I feel really set him apart was his "Kicking it with Scobee" series he did on the team's website. I thought it was always funny and insightful. As much as we have never found success with the quarterback position other than Mark Brunell back in the early days, we have always had an outstanding placekicker starting with Mike Hollis in the beginning and with both Josh Scobee and Lambo, respectively.
It goes against everything I believe in to praise former Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee, lest he develop more "self-confidence" than he already possesses. But yeah … it's true. All of it.
Jordan from Mandarin
Woke up this morning thinking how much it stinks we didn't win that Week 13 game.
It was big. No doubt.
Big on Blake from Philly
John. I just had a frightening thought. What if, as payback for the league ALWAYS cutting to commercial during the Jags picks, that they respond by using every second of the clock on the first overall pick. And in turn, the most Jaguars thing happens and they stumble on the way up to the podium as time expires? In the world of fantasy drafting that means the Jets have choice of all remaining players if they submit their card prior to the Jags. Can you tell me that's not how it actually works? Or at least console me after I've cried myself to sleep tonight...
No tears necessary. The Jaguars will select the player they want to select, and all will be right in the world. At least until the following morning.