O-Zone: Popularity contest

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Dylan from Danvers, MA

As a Philadelphia Eagles fan living in New England Patriots territory, I only recently became interested in the Jaguars when Nick Foles signed in Jacksonville. I don’t think myself an expert on the Jaguars’ roster and needs, but what is your opinion on how the offensive line will play in 2019? I have yet to hear any of its offense linemen referred to as elite, so how will they perform? Do Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and Head Coach Doug Marrone feel comfortable with what they have at the position? Do they pass on Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor and instead draft perhaps a defensive lineman, or Ole Mis wide receiver D.K. Metcalf?

I wouldn’t call any of the Jaguars’ offensive linemen elite, but it is a capable group. Center Brandon Linder and guard Andrew Norwell are solid starters when healthy. Cam Robinson at left tackle has potential to be very good, but he has struggled with consistency during what amounts to one full NFL season. While right guard A.J. Cann has struggled at times, he absolutely is a starting-level right guard who could start for many teams around the NFL. There is an unknown at the right-tackle position that I expect to be addressed in the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Jaguars also could address it with competition between 2018 fourth-round draft selection Will Richardson and 2019 unrestricted free agent-signee Cedric Ogbuehi. So, overall: it’s not an elite group, but it’s also not terrible. The line therefore has a chance to be good in 2019, and I believe it will benefit from Foles’ ability to help the offensive line by getting the ball out quickly. I don’t believe they feel “comfortable” at offensive line because it still seems they could use a starting right tackle. That’s why for right now I think there’s a good chance they select Taylor No. 7 overall, and I don’t believe they will take any receiver there – including Metcalf.

Al from Orange Park, FL

I still think losing Tashaun Gipson is going to bite us. What do YOU think about Jarrod Wilson's abilities as a replacement? Also, seriously lacking depth at that position, aren't we?

Safety Jarrod Wilson primarily has a been a special teams player in three seasons with the Jaguars, and he hasn’t played enough safety for me to have a handle on how he will fare over the long term. He always has played well – not spectacularly – given the opportunity, so I believe he will be fine. And that’s OK. You’re not going to have “spectacular” at every position in the salary-cap era. And yes … the Jaguars currently lack depth at safety. I expect that to change during and immediately following the draft.

Section 114 Fan at TIAA Bank Field

Isn’t it time to let Big On Blake go and let him know when Dante Fowler Jr. – err … Foulup – was redrafted it was not even in the first round? It is a crapshoot and I hope we take an offensive lineman in the draft to help out Foles. Who is better Taylor or Williams?

Big on Blake writes the O-Zone often. But he’s not employed by the O-Zone so I can not in any way, shape or form “let him go” – and I’m certain he has at least a general idea of where Fowler was selected in the re-draft to which you prefer. And you’re also right that the draft is in very real sense a crapshoot. As far as whether Taylor is better than Alabama guard/tackle Jonah Williams, it’s a matter of preference. Taylor is considered the best pure offensive tackle – and right tackle – in the draft. Williams is considered by many the best lineman in the draft, but his skills may translate better to guard in the NFL.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Norv Turner is our defensive consultant? That's so misinformed Gene " T-Bone" Frenette just plunked a kid at a charity softball game when he heard the news.

No one puts baby in a corner. And no one crowds the plate on longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette.

Chris from Nashville, TN

"The Jaguars haven’t had a lot of Pro Bowl offensive linemen in their history. That has very little bearing on their current offensive line." Please tell me this means you will stop citing the accomplishments of 2017 as if they will somehow influence future seasons? Pretty please?

I’ve never cited the Jaguars’ accomplishments in 2017 as if they will influence future seasons, though this is a common misperception among some readers who have more difficulty perceiving than others. I have mentioned 2017 in answers when the subject is pertinent to the question, and when pointing out that not everything the Jaguars have done in recent seasons is bad. As far as your request, mentioning something that happened less than two years ago – something that involves players on the current roster and people inside the building – just might be more pertinent than mentioning something that happened ten-to-fifteen years ago. Can you maybe please tell me you can see the difference? Pretty please?

Brian from Jacksonville

Just when It looks like the Jags will most certainly select offensive tackle at #7, the landscape changes. It's beginning to look more and more like T.J. Hockenson is going to be the Jags’ pick at No. 7.

Does it?

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Three games are close to 33 percent of 16 games, 40 quarters in a dollar makes $400 in 10 quarters. And still Norv Turner is supposed to fix the first-half defense against the Colts?

It’s a whole thing.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Follow-up to Yannick Ngakoue captaincy question: Wouldn’t he have had to have earned it last year? Do you think he earned it? I think his on-field behavior and penalties left him a little short. I think Jags will go Calais Campbell and maybe go Jalen Ramsey. Not that Jalen behaved any better, but because he’s really good. Players like to have the best players be captains. Yan is Top 4 – maybe as good as Campbell, but I think the Jags vote for their best leader and their best player. You are right – it doesn’t matter at all, but what else we gonna talk about? Mock drafts?

Captains do matter, though I don’t know that even good captains can control all locker-room issues on a team. Ngakoue would be a good captain. While his penalties are a concern, that would be counteracted by him being one of the team’s most tireless workers and by no one ever doubting his commitment to the team – and to winning.

Ken from Jacksonville

It appears we aren't going to draft a quarterback on either the first or second day of the draft. So, should Nick the Quick get waffled by one of our Ole' blockers ... who is the backup quarterback? Does that mean that the reins will be turned over to either Wild Bill Cody Kessler or Tanner Lee? Although both are proven (?) veterans, it doesn't exactly scream of Super Bowl. "Say it ain't so, Joe!!" I've seen you mention that perhaps we will sign a collegiate free agent to compete for the backup job. If this were the case, why don't we dismiss those two and sign a quarterback with a little experience perhaps, from the Alliance of American Football? Their expiration dates are about to expire anyway. Is the current regime really going to stake their jobs and the ticket-buying fan base’s reactions on Cody Kessler and Tanner Lee?

The Jaguars actually have three quarterbacks behind Nick Foles: Kessler, Lee and Alex McGough, the latter of whom signed in the offseason after spending 2018 on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad. Lee was on the practice squad for 15 games last season and was inactive for the regular-season finale, so he’s not exactly proven. It’s difficult to get a read on what the Jaguars are thinking as far as Kessler and the rest of the quarterback room. They’re saying the right things and expressing confidence in the group, though Kessler’s performance last season in four games as a starter wasn’t great. Either way: If the Jaguars don’t address it in the next few weeks, I doubt it will be addressed in free agency. If they’re going to go that direction, they almost certainly would do it by the April 15 start of the offseason program.

Sean from Jacksonville

In your time covering the Jaguars, what has been the most popular draft choice – any round –and the least popular, also any round. Not including how the player ended up performing well or horribly in the NFL. Just straight up draft picks.

The most popular probably was the draft pick the most fans had heard of before the draft and the least popular was probably the draft pick they had heard of least. That’s usually how draft-pick popularity works.

Advertising