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O-Zone: Paper trail

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Kanaan from Section 215:
Please John-a-thon Ozone, answer me this: Wouldn't you say Watkins is the obvious BAP-meets-value-meets-need here? Considering the overall outlook of our defense versus our offense, this pick seems easy. Saying all that, I prefer Mack! Good day, Sir.
John: Wide receiver Sammy Watkins of Clemson indeed makes sense for the Jaguars – and he might well be the selection if they remain at No. 3 overall. And if the draft were only about the 2014 season, Watkins would be very close to a no-brainer, because a rookie quarterback probably isn't going to play immediately anyway – and because the Jaguars seem to be further ahead on defense than offense. Of course, the draft isn't about just the 2014 season but about the next five and perhaps 10 years. In that regard, the Jaguars have to take the best available player around whom they can build for the long haul. That well could be Watkins, or it could be your preferred choice of Mack. Good day, Sir!
Etheric from Magicland:
How can scouts compare Manziel to Brees and Montana, but none of the quarterbacks – including Johnny – are guaranteed to be a franchise quarterback?
John: Because comparisons aren't guarantees … wait … is this a real question?
John from Cape May, NJ:
Jags Nation, just stop it: we don't live at Hogwarts and magic doesn't exist. We are NOT taking Manziel and the illusion that he is somehow a great prospect is mind baffling. We take either Watkins or Mack and we celebrate that our general manager isn't as gullible as some of you. My rant is over.
John: I wouldn't call the notion that Manziel isn't a great prospect "mind baffling." I'd put him more in the intriguing category. He might indeed be great someday and it wouldn't be out of the question for him to be off the board in the Top Five. It also wouldn't be out of the question for him to be still on the board deep into the first round. Intriguing.
Doug from Jacksonville:
Poor Paul from Hastings. The issue is the Jags' front office is just too dumb to see the winner sitting in his hometown, sitting in his hometown because every other team in the NFL was too blind to see his winnerness. The one who thought he saw his winnerness was fired that year. #cult
John: #politicsandreligion
Steven from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I think there is already a deal in place to swap top picks with Tommy D. & the Falcons. They draft K-Mack, and the Jags drop to No. 6, and pick up a second- and fourth-round pick. Then, we take Mike Evans or Anthony Barr, and are sitting pretty with Nos. 37 and 39. Book it, Johnny!!!It is a much cheaper price for Atlanta, instead of moving to #1, and the Jags get five of the top 114 picks! What do you think??
John: I think the Falcons may not give up quite that much, but I absolutely think there isn't a deal in place yet. The Jaguars' ability to trade largely could depend on what happens in front of them and who is available when the Jaguars go on the clock. The draft is so wide open that we really don't know which players would entice a trade and which ones wouldn't. Intriguing.
Daniel from Santa Rosa, CA:
I'm thinking there won't be too many quarterbacks taken in the first round. As you've mentioned, there may not be a huge difference between the top quarterbacks and the rest of the pack, so why use a first-round pick on a decent player while the rest of the league picks up premium players in the first round? I'm thinking one maybe two at most go in the first round.
John: That sounds about right-ish.
Joseph from Jacksonville:
You may not post this because it may seem a bit mean, but I feel very confident in whomever the Jags pick at quarterback because they had Blaine stay for a full season (despite his failures with the previous regime). Having him for a full year allowed them to examine what NOT to look for in a quarterback. A perfect "compare-and-contrast" barometer. Any truth to that?
John: No. The Jaguars' personnel people and coaches have enough combined experience and knowledge of the NFL to evaluate quarterbacks without using Gabbert as a barometer. Gabbert didn't work out here for a variety of reasons, and now he's gone. But I assure you the Jaguars' decision-makers don't view him as the prototypical failure, and their experience with him will factor minimally if at all in their decision-making moving forward.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
So in this 1,000 consecutive O-Zone mailbags there was not one time you let your wife to answer the questions? There was this time I could sense a woman's touch...
John: My wife's interest in answering O-Zone questions is so minimal as to be beyond understanding.
Mark from Jacksonville and Section 113:
While many of the "instant-success" fans will be calling for a quarterback in Round 1, the Jags are in a good position to fill one of two major holes at wide receiver and defensive end, presumably taking Manziel, Bridgewater, and Bortles out of the equation for Round 2. Which of the "second-tier" quarterbacks would you personally want the Jags to draft? (Carr, Garoppolo, Murray, Savage, etc.)
John: I don't know that I agree with your premise. If the Jaguars take Sammy Watkins at No. 3 overall, for example, it will be difficult if not impossible "fill a major hole" at pass rusher in the second round. It's typically difficult to get a big-time pass rusher outside the first round and this isn't considered a particularly deep draft for pass rusher. If I had to guess, I'd guess the Jaguars go wide receiver or pass rusher early in the first round and quarterback in the second, and there would be worse options than Carr if he's available there.
Shawn from Mean Streets of Arlington:
One fer some Ozone readers who for some reason share in your streak to soak in this pointless drivel on a daily basis. I fer one still have no idea what you're talking about. I have to go now; I have a meeting with some people for some crisp, cool, refreshing Culligan water.
John: Tilt one back for me, Shawn. Tip one back for me.
Chris from Jacksonville:
Caldwell said it would take a 2015 first-round pick for the Jags to move down past 10. Would you make that trade?
John: Yes, for this reason: to listen to David Caldwell it appears he believes the Jaguars can get an impact player around No. 11, 12 or 13 of the draft. If you can do that and at the same time secure a first-round selection, you absolutely do that. You might even do it anyway because the Jaguars are still early in this building process. There are only so many chances you get to secure multiple first-round draft selections in a given year. To do it, you must give up something. In this case, it would be giving up around 10 draft spots in what is considered a very deep draft, which means the real cost might be a lot less than it would be in other years.
Malosi from Santa Clarita, CA:
I understand Marcedes Lewis wouldn't WILLINGLY take a pay cut, but that's not his choice. I find it hard to believe he could demand anywhere near $8.25 million dollars if he were to enter free agency as a player heading into his 30s. Plus with the possibility of the Jags drafting a tight end gives the Jags even more leverage. I appreciate you answering my question Mr. Oehser, but I kind of assumed you would include the option of Marcedes' being waived. Again, I want Marcedes to be a Jaguar. He is still good, but not $8.25 million dollars good. Thanks for doing the O-Zone and congrats on 1,000 consecutive days.
John: I didn't include the possibility of Lewis being waived in a previous discussion on this topic because the Jaguars have no reason to waive Lewis. First, the Jaguars aren't in any sort of immediate salary cap trouble, so there's no reason to approach players they want on the roster next season and ask/demand a pay cut. You're also not going to find a tight end in the draft who is a blocker on Lewis' level. Don't forget he was a first-round selection and is as physically gifted as pretty much any tight end in the NFL. Also, I wouldn't assume Lewis would have trouble on the open market. Would he get $8.25 million? Perhaps not. On a short-term basis, would he get something close? I wouldn't rule it out. But more than anything, it's just the fact that Lewis remains one of the Jaguars' best players. While $8.25 million is a bit high, it's not a burden for the Jaguars under their current salary structure.
Ben from Fort Lauderdale:
Can we get new Jaguars wallpapers for the 2014 season? I am still rocking Eugene Monroe, MJD, and the 2013 schedule on my three computers...
John: You think your wallpaper's disturbing? You should see Shadrick's.

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