JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Jim from Neptune Beach, FL
I'm curious how you picked up the information on Jaguars rookie linebacker Quincy Williams. You mentioned that multiple teams had him slotted around Round 4 in the 2019 NFL Draft. But, you didn't have access to the Jags’ draft board, and I suspect any other sports reporter doesn't have access to any other teams' draft boards. If I were a general manager or team owner, I wouldn't give anyone access either before or after the draft. Looking at a team's draft boards after the draft might give another team some hints about how a team evaluates talent and that might give them some clues for future drafts. So, my thought is there isn't a lot of viable information to be had after the draft. Do the draftees get to ask other teams where they were slotted? Where do you get your info? (I like the pick and I think he's going to surprise a lot of people. Just maybe not the sources that had him being selected in the fourth round.)
First off, I don’t always share “where get my info?” Nor am I obligated to do this. In this case, though, it’s no secret. I picked up my information in a pretty normal way. I (wait for it …) listened to and read what people said about the Williams selection! Multiple teams called Williams during the third round, and told him and his college coach they were interested in him in Round 4 – and immediately following the draft San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said without prompting that Williams was selected where he should have been selected. There also were reports that the Atlanta Falcons were considering Williams around Round 4. Where is the proof? Well, you’re correct that no teams show media their draft board, and you’re correct that there never will be forensic proof. But what are we talking about here anyway? We’re not trying to solve a crime. We’re trying to determine what NFL teams thought about a football player. Believe what you want to believe. There’s plenty to suggest the Jaguars selected Williams pretty much where he should have been selected.
Chuck from Ponte Vedra, FL
Dennis Young at Yardbarker.com claims clubs should lose draft picks for drafting/signing players with a history of abuse. What do you think of the idea and chances that the NFL will enact something like it?
Who at where claimed what? And I care why?
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, you say that Yannick won’t be a free agent for 10 months. But isn’t it true he may hold out altogether without a new contract? Also, you say he’s not been elite all the time. If he’s not elite, he’s at least among the best of the very good right? Doesn’t he deserve a contract similar to those recently signed by Frank Clark and Dee Ford? Is Yannick not even more important that Calais given the latter’s age? In sum, are you saying that you think Yannick may very well not be a Jaguar in 2020?
Nope. Didn’t say that. I said that solving Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue’s contract situation isn’t as easy as simply saying, “Pay the man!” and giving him whatever he demands. He deserves to be paid and paid well. But the Jaguars can’t simply pay him whatever he wants. They must determine if what he wants/demands make sense within the structure of their team. I believe Ngakoue will be with the Jaguars in 2020, but a contract doesn’t have be agreed upon RIGHT NOW for that to be the case.
Andy from Jacksonville
Why don't the Jaguars sign Tre Boston? He's a solid safety and should help out our safety room. I don't think he would be that expensive.
The Jaguars signed Jarrod Wilson to a three-year extension early this offseason. They did that with the idea that he was going to be one of the starting safeties along with Ronnie Harrison. That’s the team’s path. You can’t sign multiple veterans and/or have premium-selected rookies at every position. Sometimes, you need affordable options. The Jaguars’ approach right now at safety is the relatively affordable option of Wilson and Harrison, and I don’t get the sense they’re planning to change that approach.
Jason from St. Augustine, FL
How and why have we as a culture, and by extension our athletes, sunken to a place where we communicate via tantrum, Twitter rant and the no-show? This is devolution.
We as a culture have communicated via tantrum for a long while, and professional athletes have been communicating via the no-show for practically as long. And while Twitter rants have become a primary means of communication, players for years ranted through newspapers and other media. Twitter is a quicker version of that sort of ranting, but not an entirely different concept at its core.
Joe from Colonia, N.J.
How would you grade the team by positional group as the roster stands today? Here are my grades: Quarterbacks - B, Running Backs - B+, Wide Receivers - C, Tight Ends - C, Offensive Line - B+, Edge - A, Interior Defensive Line - B, Linebackers: B+, Cornerbacks - A, Safeties - C+, Special Teams - B+. What are your thoughts on my grades and what would your grades look like?
I probably would lower the running-back and offensive-line grades until I see those groups perform better than they did last season – and I might lower the linebacker grade until the group performs better than last season, too.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
I think it’s fair to say that the Jaguars do not have an elite blocking tight end, but do they even have a good one? I like the Josh Oliver pick, but he seems to be more the receiving type with the frame/traits to develop into a capable NFL blocker. I don’t know much about Geoff Swaim, but my impressions are that he’s OK at catching and blocking. I don’t anticipate any more roster moves in this area, but what would you estimate the team’s level of concern is regarding the run-blocking abilities of the current group of tight ends?
Relatively low. Geoff Swaim and/or Ben Koyack will play that role and if the Jaguars had major concerns in this area, they would have addressed them in free agency.
Sam from Winter Park, FL
Two things, Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew's arm strength isn't just questionable. It's below average. I feel like that is being ignored. Second. Hiring Dom Capers, drafting edge defender Josh Allen (amazing pick) … all signs point to more 3-4 scheme out of our base 4-3, Who doesn't fit a 3-4? Telvin. Who's not here right now? Telvin. Whose position is being stocked with players who are a better fit and know how to play a 3-4? Telvin's. Just sayin’.
Two things: Of course Minshew has a significant flaw; quarterbacks without significant flaws get selected in Round 1 or drafts rather than Round 6. As for Smith, he’s not the only player not in the voluntary program. But I can tell you this: Hiring Capers as a defensive assistant and drafting Allen does not mean the Jaguars are moving to a 3-4 base defense. Could they use some of the concepts? Sure, but teams do this all the time. The Jaguars did last season, in fact.
Edward from Los Angeles, CA
How do you think the organization would react if you began sleeping in your office, refusing to do video appearances and simply answered each O-Zone question with "I'd prefer not to?"
I can’t imagine anyone would notice. Or care.
Brodie from Pensacola, FL
All the talk of Minshew’s intelligence and ability to pick up the playbook says to me that he could probably be pretty good as a scout quarterback, at least in terms of trying to mimic the opposition’s scheme. How important is that when choosing who makes the team/the backup QB depth chart? Thanks, O.
The priority for a backup quarterback is finding someone who at minimum can get you through a few games without the starting quarterback and keep the team afloat. How well he runs the scout team – while important – is secondary to that.
Dwayne from Jacksonville
O-Zone readers put a lot of emphasis on past history to help evaluate the current roster. After drafting the first Blaine or Blake to ever play QB in the NFL, is that a bad omen for Gardner? Why don't you explain to Shad why we need someone named Joe, Tom or even John?
I never know what’s going on.
Jordan from Clovis, MD
Great and magnificent Mr. O. How do you feel about the Jaguars’ wide-receiver corps. (They did sign one or two from the undated free agents.)
The Jaguars’ wide receiving corps is comparatively young and untested, but the team feels it is better than many observers believe. As for the free agents, they’re also young – but they reportedly were quite popular in high school and college. I’m sure they were dated at some point.