JACKSONVILLE – Maybe the coolest thing about draft day is that the form to submit O-Zone questions through the app still isn't working. That is cool, right?
Cool or not, we ask that you continue to submit questions through the form on the website – or by emailing at Joehser@gmail.com. Thanks. Cool.
Let's get to it …
Greg from Pleasant Valley
Consensus says five quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round Thursday. Based on history we know that one may be great, some will be good and at least one will fail. Success and failure will be determined by their desire and the team's offensive scheme, not athletic prowess. Knowing that the first quarterback taken is seldom the most successful quarterback of the draft, do you draft the most athletically gifted man that has most of the tangibles and fit him into your scheme, draft the man that best fits your scheme or change your scheme to fit the player's strengths? Of course, knowing that the answer will determine the success of the team.
Five quarterbacks indeed are expected to be selected in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, Justin Fields of Ohio State, Trey Lance of North Dakota State, Mac Jones of Alabama and Zach Wilson of Brigham Young. And you are dead on in saying that some likely will fail while others likely will succeed. But desire or scheme won't solely determine the group's success or failure. Much will depend on mental toughness, pocket awareness, instinct and other factors that play into success or failure for a quarterback. I would take the player that best exhibits the traits that make for a successful quarterback. If I believed that quarterback truly elite, I would do whatever possible to build my franchise around him. And then I would hope like hell I was right – because as your question correctly illustrates, there are no guarantees in this thing.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
So, draft day is here. Can you give us your final prediction for 25? Based off where you see other people ahead of us mockin'. Starting to worry Moehrig will be gone at that spot.
I'll go with the best athletic linebacker available. Yes, it's a copout to not specify a name, but this linebacker class is deep, talented and athletic and there figures to be major value at the position still available when the Jaguars select at No. 25 overall. My backup would be the best fast wide receiver available. This is based on the defensive line class in this draft not being great – and the Jaguars wanting to get faster and more dynamic early in this draft on one side of the ball or the other. And yes … Texas Christian safety Trevon Moehrig might well be gone before the Jaguars select. So might multiple other players who experts have mocked there. You know what? So what? It's not as if this team is so loaded with talent that it must specify a spot where it needs to improve.
Steve from Brentwood, TN
JO. If the New York Jets didn't screw up getting Trevor Lawrence, who would the Jags take if they were picking second?
Dave from Dallas, TX
Perception is reality: the reasonable perception is that this franchise cannot be trusted to draft Trevor Lawrence. Hence, the fans' angst, compounded by uncertainty and Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke emphasizing that it will be the "owner's decision." Say what you want about how "fun" the drama of not knowing is, but you should at least acknowledge the seriousness of the long-term hopes dependent on the decision. Consider also your long-term mental health dealing with a super-angry post box for years if they draft anyone other than Trevor. Thoughts?
My thoughts are that this is the NFL, Dave. It's professional sports. It's entertainment. Yes, Thursday is important for the long-term hopes of the franchise. Last I checked, I've pretty much written and said that for the past four months. But trust me on a few things. Any perception that the franchise can't be trusted to select a perceived generational quarterback No. 1 overall isn't "reasonable." And my long-term mental health, while certainly in jeopardy, won't be affected by the inbox. And finally … yeah, the drama of not knowing and of being a little coy about the No. 1 overall selection is a little "fun." And there never will be anything wrong with that when discussing sports.
Jordan from Mandarin
So, who we taking at 1?
That's a funny question. I laughed. (Sorry, Dave).
Jono from Southampton, UK
John-O, I am always worried about any prospect described as "a movable chess piece" or "twiched up." Who would be a good pick at 25 or 33 avoiding these evil buzz words!
Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore – or pretty much any of the linebackers or wide receivers being routinely mentioned at No. 25, for that matter.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, does this draft feel easier from a coverage standpoint given our first selection is pretty obvious allowing everyone to prepare ahead of time for the selection or is it perhaps more work given the high profile of the selection?
The Jaguars have 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Knowing the likely No. 1 selection will help from about 8 p.m. until about 9 p.m. After that, it will be the same as always – a controlled, manageable chaos, followed by a gradual descent into madness.
Ben from Cuba, MO
If Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley falls to the early 20s, how tempted do the Jaguars become to trade up a couple spots to grab him? He is said to be a Top 10 talent with some questions about his back. I for one would be very tempted if he got close to 25; if he was available at 25, I think he's my choice. A top 10 corner is valuable. Keep up the good work!
This answer depends completely on how the Jaguars' physicians feel about Farley's back. If they believe the back won't be an issue, then the Jaguars probably would be very tempted to trade up a few spots and they probably wouldn't let him slide past 25. He's considered that good. If the team physicians believe the back is likely to be a long-term issue, then the Jaguars probably wouldn't trade for – or select him – in Round 1.
Sprinkle from Duval
Hey, Zone. Trent Baalke has a history of trading down in the draft. Can you do me a favor and make me feel better about this? We already have 10 picks. Do we really need more? Last year was a huge draft class, so shouldn't we pick quality over quantity right now? I really like Trent, but I've been hurt before ...
You are perhaps projecting fear unnecessarily. Baalke has a history of trading both up and down, having traded up nine times and down 12 times while the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2016. There's no reason to think he's predisposed to moving one way or the other Thursday – or that he will trade back with the idea of arbitrarily adding extra selections simply for the sake of doing so. Still: a couple of thoughts on your thoughts. One, while the Jaguars did use 12 draft selections in 2020, a new regime is selecting players this offseason. Who's to say this regime likes all 12 of those players? Or even six? As for you being hurt before … welcome to life, Sprinkle. We've all been hurt. Gut up and move on.
Robert from Manassas, VA
"I want all the fans, all of us in Jacksonville, to enjoy this moment and our time in the national spotlight." Can Jaguars Owner Shad Khan be any clearer as to why you don't announce the pick earlier?
Yeah … fair.
James from British Columbia
In no particular order - who are the five most impressive NFL players you ever saw live?
I've seen pretty much every NFL player in the last two and a half decades, so the most impressive players I've seen are pretty much the top guys you would expect from that era: quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, wide receiver Jerry Rice, wide receiver Randy Moss at his absolute peak, Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, etc. I'm better qualified to list the five most impressive players I've covered. In no real order, that's Manning, Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli, Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders and Jaguars defensive end Tony Brackens with a hat tip to Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison and Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. This is not arguing for or against any of those players for the Hall of Fame, but when those players were at their absolute peak, they were the most impressive players I've ever covered.
Biff from Jacksonville
Less than a minute. It should take less than a minute for that card to make it to the podium. If the Jaguars take any longer than that, and this might simply be your best guess, what could they possibly be doing?
Pouring it forward.