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Let's get to it …
James from Jacksonville
What position other than kicker do you think the Jags should avoid with their second first-round selection? I know we have a lot of needs, but do you feel that there is a position on the roster that is safe and does not require immediate attention?
I have received a few versions of this question, and it's intriguing. The Jaguars obviously won't select a punter or kicker No. 25 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft – and considering they likely will select a quarterback No. 1 overall, they likely won't select another at No. 25. The positive for the Jaguars on this front is that their approach in free agency throughout the last month appears to have enabled them to select pretty much any position at No. 25. I would guess safety, defensive tackle and perhaps corner as the most-obvious "need" – with tight end being possible if there is one available worthy of a late first-round selection. Edge, linebacker, wide receiver and offensive tackle really aren't that far behind as possibilities, and that's a good thing. You want to be able to take the prospect you like best with little attention to need anywhere in the draft. To be able to do so late in Round 1 is particularly good. So, are any positions "safe?" Not really. When you're 1-15, not a lot of positions fit into that category.
Alan from Ellington, CT
Just wondering the status of the players that opted out for COVID-19 last year. Al Woods in particular. Are any of them still on the roster?
Three Jaguars players opted out of the 2020 NFL season because of COVID-19: defensive tackle Al Woods, cornerback Rashaan Melvin and defensive end Lerentee McCray. Woods and Melvin, who signed as unrestricted free agents last offseason, were released by the Jaguars shortly after the March 17 start of the 2021 NFL League year. McCray, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in the 2017 offseason, remains on the roster.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Any news on facility upgrades behind the scenes?
If I told you, it wouldn't be behind the scenes anymore.
Steve from Hilton Head, SC
It is assumed that a franchise quarterback will be drafted at No. 1. It seems reasonable to have a 6-feet-8, 320-pound left tackle who is somewhat mean on the roster?
It's absolutely safe to assume the Jaguars will select a quarterback No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and (pssst) it's probably kinda sorta OK to assume that that quarterback will be Trevor Lawrence of Clemson University. As far as the 6-8, 320-pound left tackle … I assume you mean my rival, former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli. He's not that mean. Some people actually like him. If you're asking if the Jaguars need to select a left tackle in the draft, I do think it's possible. But if they do it, it's more for the future than the present. The Jaguars don't see offensive line as an immediate need.
Biff from Jacksonville
I used to be disgusted, and now I try to be amused. Is there really any other way to successfully approach all of this?
Absolutely. When everybody wants to be your friend simply ask yourself, "Oh? Why's that?" Even if it hurts you just to say it.
Steve from Brentwood, TN
JO. An offensive tackle prospect from Illinois State blocked for Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson in college. Do the coaches or scouts talk with former teammates about players the Jags might draft?
Such conversations occur occasion, though sometimes not as much as official parts of the pre-draft process as something closer to casual conversation. Remember: teams have scouting staffs and security people digging as deep as possible on hundreds of draft-eligible players each offseason. This digging takes place through myriad avenues. A conversation with a former college teammate might be part of the information-gathering process, but usually a small part.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
When teams evaluate talent for the draft, do they evaluate them not only in comparison to other players in the current year's draft but also compared to previous years (say a look back of seven-to-10 years)? For example, this is the No. 1-rated tight end in the '21 draft but he's the No. 6 tight end over the past 10 years compared to such and such? Would this help teams evaluate whether a draft is considered to be weak at certain positions if they included historical lookback?
Scouting staffs grade players in each draft, typically striving as much as possible to keep those grades consistent so that a player being graded by – for instance – the southeast scout would be graded on the same scale as the west coast scout. The effort also would allow grades to be consistent from year to year. The year-to-year grades by extension would allow scouts and general managers to have some level of idea of a player with, say, a 7.8 grade this year might compare to one with a 7.7 grade the year before. And yes … such grades are generally why analysts refer to some years as being weaker or stronger at one position or the other.
Chris from Sec 437
I thought this is the week the NFL schedule usually comes out. I just read it is May 7 now. I don't know about the rest of the season-ticket base, but I always wait for the schedule before planning fall travel and activities. Why so late this year?
You're correct that the NFL schedule usually is released in-mid-to-late April. That shifted later last season because of COVID-19, and there are reports that the release this year could be later than last year's May 7 release. The reasons for the delay are reportedly the addition of a 17th game to the schedule beginning next season and lingering COVID-19-related complications.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, word on the street is Trevor uses Pantene. Have you secretly switched to Pantene as of late?
Don from Marshall NC
You have mentioned how Trent Baalke determines where the depth of the draft is and works to be in position to work it. I do not think he has to do much positioning because it looks like he is in the perfect position right now. More than likely no defensive player will be taken until late teens. So many good players that should be first rounders are going to fall to the Jaguars. The more teams draft QBs and receivers the better for the Jaguars. Go Jaguars.
Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke indeed has a reputation for maneuvering in the draft and trying to maximize selections in areas where he perceives the draft being high in value. You're correct that this does not appear to be a major issue for the Jaguars early in this draft – i.e., at Nos. 1, 25, 33 or even 45. And you're correct that it appears likely that many players who analysts perceived as late first-round selections may indeed be available at those positions for the Jaguars. Remember a couple of things, though: One is there's often a major difference between how analysts project some players and where teams have them on their draft board, so the players fans believe the Jaguars should covet might be dramatically different from the players they actually covet. Also: there's more to any draft than just the early rounds, and we don't yet know what parts of this draft Baalke perceives as being high value. He may believe the best option is to trade back and stack multiple selections later in the second round or the middle of the third or in the fifth or sixth. Trading of this type doesn't begin until the draft begins. Whatever Baalke's approach, it will be intriguing to watch.
Edward from Jacksonville
I like the nickname "Sunshine," referencing the quarterback in the movie, "Remember the Titans." I think Trevor "Sunshine" Lawrence has a nice ring to it. Thoughts?
Lawrence reportedly was called "Sunshine" by teammates early in his career at Clemson, and he has told reporters he's not crazy about the nickname. He seems like a respectable, cordial guy so I doubt he'll become angry enough to express his displeasure too angrily.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I heard some people saying that you talk the way you talk about Boselli is out of jealousy. They don't realize he is the one who should be jealous, do they?