JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tom from Charlottesville, VA
It is becoming annoying with all the talk about 3-4 and 4-3! Don't the fans know that the new defense will have 11 men on the line to rush the passer?
Ah, you jest – but there understandably remains much interest in the Jaguars' defensive scheme. I spoke to Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen about this for a story that will post on Jaguars.com in the coming days. I specifically asked how he would describe the defense, and would it be a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He said while it will have elements of a 3-4 in some situations it also will have elements of a 4-3 in other situations. He said there will be many different looks and personnel groupings based on circumstance. There will be times, for example, when linebackers Myles Jack, Joe Schobert and defensive ends/linebackers K'Lavon Chaisson and Josh Allen play at the same time – and there will be other times when those four players aren't on the field at the same time. This will be based on situations and the approach of the opponent. Cullen's biggest emphasis throughout the conversation was that the scheme will be aggressive – and that generally speaking, how much it gears toward a traditional "3-4" or "4-3" will depend largely upon the Jaguars' personnel. That means he knows more about specifically how it will look now than he did two months ago before free agency, but that he doesn't know as much about how it will look now as he will after the draft later this month. The key word to describe the defense? Hybrid. So as much as observers and fans want to fit the defense neatly into a specific idea of "scheme," that's simply not possible. More importantly, it's not accurate.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
As currently constructed along our defensive line, are we more likely to draft to stop the run or rush the passer? Let's say a run-stuffing defensive tackle and a pass-rushing defensive end are available with nearly an identical grade (assuming we are taking one or the other in this situation), what would you think need versus value is there? I love what we did in free agency to make stopping the run a priority, but I love the idea of having another monster in the middle. I also want Sacksonville's return. This is hard.
This will depend on what's available in the draft, and the word is the defensive-tackle class in the 2021 NFL Draft overall is not great. But if a run-stuffing defensive tackle and a pass-rushing defensive end that could contribute immediately both were available early, the priority likely would be stopping the run. If the Jaguars can't improve in that area, they won't get enough opportunities to rush the passer effectively.
Sean from Jacksonville
"There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen and be the ball."
"I know that my life makes you nervous. But I tell you I can't live in service. Like the doctor who's born for a purpose. Rudie can't fail."
John from Cape May Court House
With the combination of Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's opinions of the defensive line and the lack of depth of true edge rushers of the roster, I'm leaning more and more that we will be addressing the edge position early in the upcoming draft. This appears to be a deep and talented class for edge rushers, so it wouldn't shock me in least if we double dip at the position in both the first and second rounds. Thoughts?
I would be very surprised if the Jaguars select edge rushers in each of the first two rounds of the draft. I could see them selecting one if the right player were available. As for the edge-rusher class, it's not considered great at the top, but it is considered deep – and it appears there will be some value players available at the position late in Round 1 and early in Round 2 where the Jaguars will be selecting. So, it's a possibility.
Tom from Old Forge
If after the first four rounds of the draft the picks were quarterback Trevor Lawrence from Clemson, wide receiver Terrace Marshall from Louisiana State, safety Trevor Moehrig from Texas Christian and tight end Pat Freiermuth from Penn State, tight end Brevin Jordan from Miami and running back Chuba Hubbard from Oklahoma, what would be your grade? I feel like that would be a pretty good start how would you feel about it?
Your scenario would mean the Jaguars filling a lot of perceived needs with a lot of familiar names – names that are also considered good value in the positions where you seem to be projecting them. Because of that, I would guess such a draft would receive a lot of good grades from many analysts. And yes … I would consider it a good start.
David from Chuluota, FL
KOAF - I have two draft sins I don't want the Jags to commit: 1. Do not draft a player with the intention of changing his natural position. It rarely works out well. 2. Draft high production players. I don't care how impressive their workout was or what you project, if they didn't produce in college, they won't produce in the pros. Please add these two points to your "great ideas from fans" spreadsheet.
David has weighed in.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ
Zone, count me as one that would prefer we don't use all our picks again this year … I would like to be done after Day Two. Along with quarterback, we need impact players at position groups that aren't deep this year like tight end, defensive tackle and safety – as well as positions which typically don't produce immediate contributors after the third round like rotational edge, game-changing receiver, and running back that can take it to the house on any given play. We have enough back-of-roster developmental talent with NFL experience after 12 picks last year to go with fourteen new faces this year. There will be interest in the 33rd pick (as well as possibly No. 25), and teams against the cap for the foreseeable future will covet our lower-round selections. I say we move down from 33 or 25 to get another day-two pick, package our day-three spots to move up, and walk away with seven guys that can play now — six if we can swing a trade with the Eagles for Zack Ertz.
I expect Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke to be active during the draft. That could mean trading back and it might mean trading up in spots, too. Baalke is known in league circles for liking to do essentially what you're suggesting – that is, trying to move up or down into areas of the draft where the value is high. I doubt that will mean trading all selections in Rounds 4 through 7 and being done after Day 2. That's extreme. But could the Jaguars enter the draft with 10 selections and exit it with a few less than that? Yes. Absolutely.
Jonathan from Palmetto, FL
Please tell Sean it is not that difficult to type "We shall see" and "Obviously the front office saw something they liked better."
You're absolutely right. It's not hard to type accurate answers. It's doing it with flair and panache while staying this damned good-looking that makes me special.
Jerry from Blountville
At the risk of bringing up a new topic, any thoughts on how the league will handle the Deshaun Watson situation? It seems the number of accusers continues to grow, and there are now public statements from alleged victims. It feels to me that the league must take some action to address the issue. I don't remember the league giving any benefit of doubt to Ben Roethlisberger after a single allegation. It seems as if they aren't taking this as serious, even though there are MANY women reporting very similar offenses from.
I know no more about the Deshaun Watson situation than most observers and fans. But just because the league hasn't yet punished the Houston Texans quarterback doesn't mean it's taking the situation lightly. NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk the following this week: "The allegations are deeply disturbing and we take these issues very seriously. Immediately following news of the first allegations last month, and as has been reported, we initiated an investigation under the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. We are continuing to closely monitor all developments in the matter." That's reasonable under the circumstances. We're month from the regular season. We're still in the allegations and fact-finding stage of this. The league's goal will be to act and respond appropriately. That can and will take priority over expediency.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
Have you watched any Jeopardy with Aaron Rodgers?
No, but I watched the hell out of Match Game '74 with Gene Rayburn.