JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sascha from Cologne
Hey, John: How do teams prepare for the draft in terms of scouting and evaluating in these uncertain times with COVID-19? Is there now a bigger lack of knowledge as other years? Stay well!
Teams' knowledge of players in this year's draft is similar to any draft in terms of being aware of the best players – and in terms of teams having scouted players extensively not only during the college football season but at the NFL Scouting Combine. There also is ample game video to ensure coaches, scouts and general managers can properly evaluate college players' playing ability. But a lack of knowledge does come into play with general managers having had significantly less face/interview time with the prospects – as well as with teams having less information from a medical standpoint. Medical evaluation plays a far bigger role in the draft process than most fans and observers realize. There will be multiple prospects this year on whom teams do not have a chance to perform physicals before the draft. That concerns many NFL general managers more than anything else about this year's draft process.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
I feel better at tight end going into the season with Tyler Eifert, Josh Oliver and James O'Shaughnessy than I have felt over the last few seasons. It's not great, but it seems an improvement over what we've had the last couple of years. It doesn't seem unreasonable to think the group could get over 1,000-1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns, which would go a long way to give space to the receivers on the outside. If Oliver doesn't develop and Eifert can't stay on the field, then they will need to address the position but this is better than what they have had recently.
Vinnie from Palm Beach, FL
Yan says the Jags disrespected him, but isn't this the same team that … well, one, drafted him? Then started him his rookie year over the first-round, Top 10 pick – Dante Fowler Jr. When Yan and Fowler fought in training camp in 2018, the team chose him over Fowler. Now, they franchised tag him because they value and don't want to lose him. They never badmouth him nor made any remarks towards his childish attitude other than we want you here. Even with Josh Allen clearly more effective during the season, they still continued to play Yann full time over Allen. Am I missing something with the disrespect?
Players equate money with respect. As many people do. The Jaguars and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue couldn't agree on his value last offseason to the point that Ngakoue held out of training camp – and to the point that he made it clear on multiple occasions that he was unhappy with his contract negotiations. And apparently to the point that he doesn't want to play here. So, do you have a point that the disrespect apparently pretty much comes down to money and that the Jaguars have respected Ngakoue in a lot of ways? Well, yeah. Still, Ngakoue feels disrespected – and apparently is inclined to continue feeling that way. The Jaguars for their part feel they have been respectful with their offer to him – perhaps more than might be reasonably expected. Neither appears inclined to change their stance. Therein lies the rub.
Whenever someone says it's not about the money ... it's about the money.
Ray from Ansonia, CT
Fred Taylor is the reason I love the Jags. He should be a Hall of Famer. One of the most exciting players to watch ever. But my question is do you think we will ever see another Fred Taylor in the current NFL? If he played today (not at his current age) do you think there is even anyone better if so who?
I consider former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor one of the NFL's most overlooked great players of the past few decades, and I believe he will increasingly get Hall of Fame consideration. I can only put all-time greats at his level, so who in today's NFL would compare? Maybe Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe, though I don't know that Elliott is as exciting a runner as Taylor. Few were.
Art from Drexel Hill, PA
You can't be a fair-weather fan if you're a fan of a franchise that's had four winning seasons since the turn of the millennium.
Dan from Ormond Beach, FL
I, like many fans, would like to see the Jaguars address the offensive line early in the draft. I have been hoping to draft one of the three or four offensive tackles in the first round who should make an immediate impact. We have all just thought we would draft a left tackle and move Cam Robinson to guard. You have repeatedly suggested you don't see the Jaguars taking a tackle that early. I have wondered why? An equal level left tackle will make more money than a guard. Is it possible the Jags are thinking they don't want ask Cam to move to guard and ultimately make less money on his next contract before giving him a fair chance post injury to show that he can be great? Perhaps it's not a great look during the current climate to make a guy move to a lesser paying position when he hasn't really had a fair chance to win his spot? After all, if he doesn't prove it this year, we could make that move in 2021 and be sure without any added animosity.
I have repeatedly suggested that I don't see the Jaguars taking a left tackle in the Top 10 because Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell have spoken very highly of the offensive line throughout the offseason. Their tone when speaking about this has been similar to how they spoke last season about their wide receivers when many believed they would take a wide receiver early in the draft and they in fact did not draft one at all. Perhaps I am reading this wrong and the Jaguars will indeed take a left tackle and move Cam Robinson to guard. There's certainly an argument for doing so, but that's why I'm thinking entering the draft that it won't happen. Either way, I don't think their decision will be based on not wanting Robinson to be upset about possibly making less money. It will be about what they think will give them the best chance to win.
Andrew from Mattoon, IL
If the best free agent players available are on the defensive side of the ball, would it not make sense to sign more defensive players?
Bentley from Boulder, CO
Sounds like many would like to draft Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah with the Jaguars' first pick. After all, the Jags' leaguewide reputation in recent memory has revolved around the elite cornerback play of recently departed Jalen Ramsey, who we also drafted in the first round way back when. It looks like a dedicated, talented cornerback around which to rebuild our backfield over the next few years would be wise--and familiar territory. Could the front office share this sentiment to the extent they move up and grab him, and what might it take to do that?
I would think the Jaguars would be very tempted to select Okudah if he is available at No. 9 overall. I would be surprised if they traded up from No. 9 for a player other than a quarterback. I think this because I think they value the selections they have and won't want to give up the quality later selections it might take to move up in the first round. As is the case with my thoughts on offensive line, it's possible I'm wrong.
Andy from St. Augustine, FL
Surely Caldwell and Marrone "being content" with the offensive line is just a smoke screen, right? Either that or neither of them watched a single Jag game last year - and I'm pretty sure I saw both of them at a few games. Neither quarterback – Gardner Minshew II or Nick Foles – had any time to throw throughout the year, and I can't count the number of times running back Leonard Fournette ran into the backs of the offensive linemen because there were no holes to hit. I get that right tackle Jawaan Taylor was a rookie and hopefully will improve, and Robinson will be another year removed from knee surgery, but c'mon - I'd like to see our backs be able to choose which hole they want to run through as opposed to having the linemen pushed into the backfield and stopping us for a loss or no gain on the majority of our runs.
I wouldn't bet on the Jaguars' positive comments about the offensive line being a smoke screen, and don't call me Shirley.
Andrew from Matoon
Abraham Lincoln is on the internet saying you are NOT the King of All Funk. Is this true?
This is not true. I am the King of All Funk.