O-Zone: No problem

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Holger from Zurich, Switzerland

I think the Jags will take Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson in the first round. I think tight end is the bigger need than right tackle and that he really helps both the run game and the pass game. With new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles thinking so highly of the position, it makes the most sense.

Although you’re correct about Hockenson’s skill set, I’m not so sure he will be the Jaguars’ selection at No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft Thursday. It’s not that the Jaguars don’t like Hockenson; it’s whether they think a different approach to the early part of the draft makes more sense. Here’s why: I would put both needs – right tackle and tight end – around the same level, and I would be stunned if the Jaguars don’t draft a player they believe capable of starting at both positions. That likely will mean selecting players at both positions by Round 3 – and more likely by Round 2. The issue may not be as much whether the Jaguars need right tackle and tight end as where team officials believe the value is at each position in the draft. That’s why I continue to lean toward offensive tackle being the Round 1 selection. The draft doesn’t end at No. 7 overall, and it’s possible – read: necessary – to get contributing players in Rounds 2 and 3. The depth of this tight-end class makes it a little more likely to get a starting-level player at that position in Rounds 2 or 3 than getting a starting right tackle in the same rounds. That’s my pre-draft theory, anyway. I wouldn’t be stunned if the Jaguars reversed that and went tight end in Round 1 and offensive tackle in Round 2. Or they could trade. That’s the fun of the pre-draft process. Even with good theories, it’s anyone’s guess.

Art from Drexel, PA

I feel like Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is going to be looking for a Frank Clark-type contract. Can the Jaguars afford that?

If that’s what they want to do.

Daniel from College Station, TX

Seems to me we might actually get a trade offer this year. I think if a team wants a quarterback after the Giants, we would be the folks to call. What do you think, O? Is our spot important or the run on talent in a specific area more important in generating a trade?

A team’s draft position and a demand for a key position – i.e., quarterback – are the two major factors for a team wanting to trade out of a selection in the first round. It’s not nearly as simple to do this as many fans and media believe. But I agree that this is the best chance for the Jaguars to trade back in the first round since David Caldwell took over as general manager in 2013 – and I think there’s a strong chance quarterback will be coveted at No. 7, particularly if the New York Giants pass on a quarterback at No. 6. That likely would mean Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State being on the board – and he’s a quarterback teams could covet enough to trade up.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I live in Minneapolis where the Lakers and North Stars both relocated, then went on to have a ton of success. If the Jaguars were planning to relocate it wouldn’t be a slow, methodical case. There would be no reason for that; the team would just leave. I am continually shocked at any criticism Owner Shad Khan gets from fans in this forum. The commitment Khan has shown to Jacksonville is unheard of. Jaguars fans should be very thankful; most owners don’t care about the fans and hold taxpayers hostage for new stadiums.

All Khan can do is continually make his actions back up his words. He has done that to a remarkable degree as Jaguars owner.

Roger from 9965

Wrong phone number ... really??? That the best lame excuse the team could come up with?? LAME.

You’re referencing Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone saying early this week that he had the wrong number for cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s phone last week; Marrone said that was why they didn’t communicate during the first few days of the team’s offseason program. You obviously think Marrone was not telling the truth. I get people’s need to be cynical in these times, but I don’t recall Marrone making a habit of lying publicly during the time I’ve covered him with the Jaguars. I fail to see why he would start now. I also fail to see why this is so hard to believe. Ramsey was communicating with his position coach, secondary coach Tim Walton. He couldn’t have changed numbers and not told everyone? That’s never happened with people in their early-to-mid-twenties? Ever? Really?

Chris from Nashville, TN

"So, yes … Foles should be here." I see a fine coming your way, John.

That’s fine (get it?)

Amit from Jacksonville

Please, John: I beg of you. Stop talking about who didn't come to the offseason program. Voluntary means voluntary. Coughlin doesn't like it, but he can't do anything. Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith are top players who have more leeway than others. It won't matter come contract time. That really is all there is to say.

I really only talk about this topic – or most topics, actually – when answering questions about it. For instance, I wasn’t planning to talk about the topic in this question – but then I got a question about it. Ironic, yes … but irony can be that way.

Josh Jacksonville

Dumb question for you. With the draft coming up I was curious about whatever happened to former Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon. I read that he was still listed as a reserve player for the Jags. Is this true or has the team cut all ties with him? Also, if Blackmon or some other player in that boat were to make some crazy comeback how long could a team keep them on its reserve list to give them a chance to do so?

Blackmon remains on the reserve list. It will be that way until the team decides otherwise. The reason to keep a player in that situation is that there’s no negative to retaining his rights.

Abel from Jacksonville

Yo, Big "O…" Why does the NFL want to make things so hard? Get rid of voluntary workouts, problem solved.

Plenty of players want to prepare at the facility. Plenty of players feel they benefit from the work. Why punish those players?

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, do you know that it's the offseason when people are worried about how we win vs. that we just win no matter how?

Even fairer.

Zach from Jacksonville

With the Packers holding two first-round picks, could you possibly see the Jaguars try to trade back to 12 to possibly get both first-rounders (or maybe another second rounder)? In that scenario, who could you possibly see the Jaguars targeting at 12 (and 30 or 44)?

The most likely scenario for the Jaguars to move back is by trading with a team coveting a quarterback. I would be surprised if the Packers fall into that category.

Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL

Hey John, are players paid any extra for attending voluntary activities?

Players under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement must be paid at least $215 per day for participating in the voluntary offseason program.

Paul from Jacksonville

A 5-11 record – 45-99 since 2010 – is why the Jaguars should have 100 percent participation in voluntary activities. No one on this roster has arrived, no matter how "elite" they think they are. Win a Super Bowl – heck, play in one – and maybe this is a non-issue. Thank you, TC, for sticking up for the 99 percent who are here, putting in the time. These guys are professional athlete. Sure, they'll arrive in good physical shape. But football is the ultimate team game right? The team isn't improving because two of its best players decide to exercise their rights to voluntary workouts.

Your last statement, though boldly stated, has little connection to reality. And the offseason is voluntary for a reason: because for some players – many players, in fact – there’s no reason to require them to be at the team’s facility.

Scott from Jacksonville

Careful. Tom knows where to find you.

Yep.

Brian from Round Rock, TX

I'm not going to get worked up about Ramsey missing voluntary workouts. We need him to be a better locker-room presence this year. I think he contributed to the well-documented culture problems last year. I do support Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, though. It is part of an effort to fix the culture problems, right?

The belief that Ramsey is a cultural problem for the Jaguars is widely-held. It’s almost exclusively held by people completely unfamiliar with the Jaguars’ locker room. Ramsey is not a problem for the Jaguars. He’s just not.

Advertising