JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Cchean from Woodbridge, VA:
So far, so good. Do you think since we haven't done anything at linebacker in free agency it's safe to assume Dave Caldwell already has his made up his mind for the upcoming draft with the No. 5 pick? Myles Jack will surely put this defense in the Top 10 next season. What are your thoughts, Mr. O?
John: My thoughts are the Jaguars haven't done anything at linebacker in free agency because they indeed plan to address it heavily in the draft. But I don't think it remotely means Caldwell is locked into UCLA linebacker Myles Jack at No. 5 overall. That would be risky considering there are four teams ahead of the Jaguars in the draft. I do think Jack is a possibility there, but so are Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, etc. – and you can't assume Jack will be there. But whether or not they select Jack, I absolutely believe the Jaguars will select multiple linebackers – presumably and preferably multiple fast, athletic linebackers – next month.
Bill from St. Petersburg, FL:
John, remember a couple of years ago fans before the draft saying we should draft Johnny Manziel? Secondly, the Culligan commercial is cool … what do you think?
John: I do remember, and secondly … I have no idea what you're talking about.
Bran from Atlanta, GA:
Are there any similarities or overlap in skill sets between Telvin Smith and Myles Jack?
John: Yes, both are fast and both have the skill set teams want in weak-side linebackers. The difference is Jack is probably big enough to play the middle or perhaps even the strong side.
Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
With all the attention being paid to the interior defensive line, where does someone like Michael Bennett fit into the rotation? I like this kid coming out of college but he hasn't had much of an impact so far.
John: Bennett was a 2015 sixth-round selection who played 310 snaps but indeed made little impact last season. That "little-impact" part isn't too unusual for a late-round defensive lineman. I'd expect Bennett to be part of the rotation entering training camp. The Jaguars like his penetrating ability/athleticism, and believe he can take a step this season.
Damian from Appleton, WI:
I like the direction this team has gone since hiring Dave as the general manager. This start to the offseason is great. I don't understand anger over not landing a pass rusher at this time. It's free agency; if you are going to shop, try to shop smart. We still need to build through the draft. If you had to guess positions to be drafted in Rounds 2-5 for the Jags what positions would they be?
John: Linebacker, cornerback, linebacker, safety – or any combination thereof.
Chad from Palatka, FL:
The edge-rusher concerns are overblown by the fan base. I saw on more occasions than I can count last season where the edge was getting to the opposing quarterback and all he had to do was step up into the pocket and make the throw. I believe we were lacking on the interior part of our defensive line and now that issue has been addressed.
John: I agree that the Jaguars' edge-rusher concerns have been somewhat overblown by the fan base, but that's only because I'm not sure I've ever seen one topic cause quite the anxiety/heartache/angst/panic that edge-rusher angst has caused this offseason. But saying edge-rusher anxiety is somewhat overblown is different than saying there's no issue. There absolutely is an issue, and the area does need to improve. Is the team's edge-rusher situation so bad that there's no way this team can get any pressure on the quarterback next season? Is the season thusly doomed? No and no. But do the Jaguars still need to find a solution not named Dante Fowler Jr. for getting pressure off the edge? Yes.
Alan from Jacksonville:
I really like the Kelvin Beachum signing. I think lighting a fire under Luke Joeckel's behind will motivate him. Do you think Beachum might work his way into the lineup by coming in on obvious passing downs since he is better at protecting the quarterback than Joeckel? That way he's engaged and will keep Joeckel fresher. It might be a good misdirect for a draw play as well on third and long.
John: I like the Beachum signing, too, because if he plays to the level he played in Pittsburgh then who knows? He may be an upgrade at the left-tackle position? But I don't necessarily buy into the light-a-fire-to-motivate-Joeckel line of thinking. That implies that Joeckel needs motivation, which is to imply that he doesn't want to be good or isn't working hard enough. I've never gotten the impression that's the case. As for Beachum working his way into the starting lineup, I'd be stunned if you see a situational situation. If one player is better than the other, that player will play. You don't want to be rotating offensive linemen based on situations.
Marty from Jacksonville:
Mr. Oehser, what I like about you is you are precise with your words. Even if some of your readers aren't particularly precise when they read your words.
John: That's sort of true or could be kinda true I sort of guess.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
You can't sign everyone. Every team has holes.
David from Orlando, FL:
O-man, does how hard the Jags went after Olivier Vernon say anything about how the team feels about Joey Bosa?
Joe from Boston, MA:
Everyone is talking about the "what ifs," and wondering "what if" Beachum beats Joeckel for the left tackle spot. You've discussed that Joeckel might push inside to guard, but I would think that Parnell's skill set fits a guard a little bit more. I know it's just speculation, but do you think there's a chance that if Joeckel gets beat in training camp he could move to right tackle and Parnell could move to right or left guard? Thanks!
D'Angelo from Lake City, FL:
Why is there no buzz on selecting Vernon Hargreaves as our No. 1 cornerback – a lockdown cornerback?
John: A few reasons … One is that the general consensus is a player rated higher than Hargreaves – either DeForest Buckner, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack or Jalen Ramsey – likely will be available at No. 5. Another is that Hargreaves' size and build aren't typically what the Jaguars seek in a corner. Another is that I'm not sure Caldwell loves corner as an elite, early-draft position as much as, say, pass rusher. None of that is to say Hargreaves can't be the selection at No. 5, but those are three reasons he's not discussed with the Jaguars as much there as the aforementioned players.
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, Pro Football Talk on Thursday had an interesting post about the franchise tag and why it should go away. They noted that someone like Von Miller will earn less money than a lesser player like Olviier Vernon, and it's all because of the franchise tag. Miller could potentially have to play eight years in the NFL for one team before he became a true "free agent." So my question(s):: Do you think the franchise tag is good for the game of football and do you think the franchise tag is "fair" to NFL players? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: I do think franchise tag is good for the NFL because it enables teams to keep their "franchise players." Some level of continuity is necessary. As far as fairness, if the players don't think it's fair they can collectively bargain something different at the next negotiations.
Brett from Jacksonville:
Will we get a compensatory pick for Wisniewski?
John: Compensatory selections are awarded based on a formula that weighs free-agent losses versus free-agent gains. The more significantly your losses outweigh your gains the more compensatory selections you receive. Losing Stefen Wisniewski and Andre Branch would weigh in the Jaguars' favor next offseason, but almost certainly not enough to outweigh players such as Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and Chris Ivory.
Jeff from Wake Forest, NC:
Is DeForest Buckner considered an edge-rushing option?
John: DeForest Buckner isn't a prototypical edge rusher. He is considered a prototypical big-time defensive end and difference-maker with length, strength and size. And there's nothing wrong with big defensive ends with length, strength and size. In these edge-rusher-obsessed times we might be wise not to lose track of the importance of good players who happen not to line up on the edge of the defensive line.
Bryan from New Hampshire:
Is everyone complaining about how David Caldwell could not sign free-agent pass rushers missing the fact the team looks a lot better on paper? We finally have a free safety who can play sideline to sideline that Bradley wants. That's arguably more important for this defense to work well.
John: The Jaguars also have Malik Jackson. It somehow has been easy to forget that the Jaguars signed him.
O-Zone: Oh, yeah... him, too
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Cchean from Woodbridge, VA: