O-Zone: Onward and upward

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Jupiter, FL

I don't get it. If Minshew were drafted in the first round and had the year he had in his rookie season, the perception would be that the Jags may have found their franchise quarterback. The numbers compare favorably to other highly-drafted and highly-touted rookie quarterbacks. So, why the talk of trading up to draft another quarterback? Is there a generational talent in this year's draft?

Your premise – that Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II would be perceived as a franchise quarterback had he been selected in Round 1 – has been said and repeated enough that it has become widely accepted by many Jaguars fans as truth. But while I share the hope of many —including the Jaguars – that Minshew becomes a franchise quarterback, I don't know that the premise is as inarguable as many Jaguars fans seem to believe. Had Minshew been a first-round quarterback, I imagine the flaws he showed during his shaky rookie performances would have been much more criticized than was the case. I imagine his mistakes and his significant struggles in the second half of the season would be far more scrutinized as well. I also imagine I would be getting far more questions from people concerned about some really difficult late-season performances – the first three quarters of the Oakland game, pretty much the entire Atlanta game, etc. Look: No matter how much we discuss it here – and we'll certainly continue to discuss it – the reality is Minshew gave the Jaguars many reasons to hope he is a franchise player and many reasons to wonder if that's actually the case. That's why they're not certain about him – even though they like him. A lot. And that's why there's still talk about what the Jaguars might do at quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft.

GenuineJag13 from Jacksonville

Mr. O. What's with the third-round pick, tight end Josh Oliver, and his back injury late last season?

Oliver is expected to be fully healthy for the 2020 NFL season.

Eric from Columbus, IN

So, what happened with Dennard? It feels like Caldwell continues to ... fumble …

After initially agreeing to terms, the Jaguars and cornerback Darqueze Dennard couldn't finalize the deal. This happens on occasion and it has happened a couple of times around the league early during this league year – an apparent aftereffect of the coronavirus precautions making the offseason logistically difficult for all teams. As for it feeling like General Manager David Caldwell continues to fumble … frankly, I just don't get it. He has by any measure had a very good offseason with the trades involving cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive end Calais Campbell and quarterback Nick Foles – and acquiring middle linebacker Joe Schobert. People are overblowing the Dennard thing. It's a blip. Nothing more.

Bill from Jupiter, FL

What the heck is up with Fournette's recruitment of former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to Jacksonville? And on that topic, signing Cam Newton would be repeating the same mistake over again. Give Gardner a shot. He earned it.

Players are entitled to express opinions. It remains to be seen what the Jaguars will do at quarterback outside Minshew, but what running back Leonard Fournette says about the position on social media won't dictate the direction.

James from Jacksonville

I keep seeing Utah State quarterback Jordan Love penciled in as the Jags' projected 20thoverall pick. First, do you think that he has the skillset to play in the Jaguars' offensive style. Second, do you think that he is worthy of a first-round pick, even at No. 20?

I don't know that I would go so far as to call Love "penciled in" as the No. 20 selection, though I have seen him projected to the Jaguars there in a couple of mock drafts – and I continue to say you can't rule out a Round 1 quarterback for this franchise considering the long-time deficiency at the position. Love certainly has the skillset to play in the NFL, and therefore he could play in the Jaguars' style. Is he worthy of a first-round selection? Certainly. Will the Jaguars select him there? We won't know that until draft night, because the Jaguars certainly won't be providing any hints.

Brian from Jacksonville

Caldwell has finally overcome his massive miscalculation in drafting and re-signing Blake Bortles. Quarterback Nick Foles turned out to be an extension of that blunder that added dearly to the overall price tag. That capital is gone, but shedding all $30 million quarterback dead money in 2020 is huge for the franchise. Nice going, Dave. Who knows, maybe the Jags get a starter or two from the multiple middle-round picks moving veterans has provided. Minshew! Thank goodness. Quarterback is very much back on the 2020 Jaguar draft table, right? Will the Jaguars trade multiple picks to move up in Round 1 for a quarterback in this draft?

I doubt it, but maybe.

Scott from Medford

With the signing of middle linebacker Joe Schobert, is it fair to say the Jaguars do not expect Simmons to be available at Pick No. 9? What if he is still on the board? Does Diamond Dave turn on the #tradebackmachine?

The Jaguars didn't acquire Schobert based on how they feel about Clemson linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons. When you hold the No. 9 overall selection in the draft, you can't assume any specific player will be available when you make the selection.

Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124

I'm sure that I'm wayyy overthinking this, but Head Coach Doug Marrone's comments about Joe Schobert indicate that, "This gives us the ability to move Myles Jack to outside linebacker." In a 4-3 defense, the linebackers are typically referred to as the Mike (middle), Sam (strong-side), and Will (weak-side). In a 3-4, they're typically referred to as the two inside linebackers and the two outside linebackers. So does this signal a move to the 3-4 as the Jags' "base" alignment?

No.

Nicholas from Djibouti, Africa

KOAF: Zone, which NFL club's website would you rate as high in transparency and which teams would you rate as being the most secretive in releasing information to the public – or do you think all clubs are relatively equal? I feel like jaguars.com is top-tier in information sharing – no doubt due to the senior writer's hard work (whomever that is). On another note, is the front office able to work from the stadium offices or is everyone working from home? What level of difficulty is the current social situation causing in running an NFL team? Stay safe and healthy and we will all get through this.

I don't read the other 31 websites regularly enough to know where teams rank in transparency and secrecy. I do know all NFL websites are not equal in this area, and I know the Jaguars are close to being as transparent as possible; writers from other team websites consider jaguars.com very transparent compared to most other sites. While I would like to take credit for this, and while I am usually quite comfortable taking credit where it is and is not due, the transparency is not because of the senior writer. It is because team management – from Owner Shad Khan, President Mark Lamping, Caldwell and Marrone – understand the need for fans to understand what's happening with the team. They therefore allow jaguars.com and Jaguars Media extensive leeway to analyze and report – and often constructively criticize – the team's actions and results. There are often situations in free agency and with trades that we can't report until those moves have become official, but that's a leaguewide hurdle. For the most part, jaguars.com is uncommonly transparent. As for the Jaguars' front office … yes, personnel people are working from home. As are the coaches. My understanding from speaking with Marrone about this recently is it's not hindering preparations for the season – or hindering how the team goes about the offseason.

Steve from Jacksonville Beach, FL

So what direction to go for a backup quarterback? Veterans are a bit scarce. Fourth round maybe?

Veterans aren't really all that scarce this offseason, but yeah … a quarterback in the Round 4 is a possibility.

Keith from Palatka, FL

I think Dave Caldwell is doing a commendable job cleaning up the mess he inherited. I also think that he is doing a good job of adding affordable quality free agents with the fiscal restraints he is under. While this may not be popular sentiment, I think you need to give credit where credit is due. I hope that he will be judged by a better standard than the team's won-lost record this season. "Rome wasn't built in a day" and he has not been the primary decision maker for the last three years. This "rebuild" (every year is a rebuild) will take more than one year. If we build the roster and get a franchise quarterback (and no I don't think Minshew is the answer), man, oh man, it's going to be a sweet decade for Jaguars' football.

Hey, one fer Caldwell! And one fer the next decade!

Advertising