JACKSONVILLE – Home at last.
Let's get to it … John from St. Augustine, FL:
Many experts are actually thinking that the Jags may be in play for trading back twice, which would have them with three first-round picks in 2016. As much as I would love to see this happening, what are the chances that this actually could happen and would you be for it?
John: Let me start by saying it is difficult if not impossible to parse through every trade possibility and every speculative projection heard in the weeks leading to the draft. It's very easy to throw out a scenario before the draft without any clue about it actually being a possibility. Add to that the fact that Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said he has yet to have many discussions of note about draft-day trades and you'll see why I haven't spent an inordinate amount of O-Zone space discussing trade scenarios. Generally speaking, I think the Jaguars want to trade back and Caldwell is very, very open to it – much more so than last season. How far back he would be willing to go will depend on the offer. I also believe it will depend on how quickly the top defensive end/pass rushers – or impact players in general – go off the board in the first round on April 30. If the Jaguars believe they can drop back 10-to-12 spots and still get an impact player, then I think they will do that. I doubt they'll drop back so far that they miss on a chance to add a premium player.
Gene from Savannah, GA:
I saw a complaint about the Jags-Bills game being digitally streamed by a man in Texas. I understand some people don't like change, but I think this is a great thing for the Jaguars and the NFL. What is your view? (Even though I am in the Jags market area I will watch both and compare.)
John: Whoa. The Jags-Bills game is being digitally streamed by a man in Texas? My understanding is it was being streamed by the NFL.
Chris from San Marco:
What did the free agent say to the agent? I want my two dollars.
John: "I'm really sorry your mom blew up, Ricky."
Matt from Jacksonville:
Team record aside, what would you consider a successful season for Blake Bortles statistically? I would say 20 passing touchdowns and 15 or fewer interceptions with at least 3,500 yards. I feel like that's realistic to expect. I noticed the Jaguars franchise record for passing touchdowns is only 23. It really wouldn't take an impressive season by current NFL standards to break that record considering 13 quarterbacks had 27 or more touchdowns last season.
John: Your statistics could indeed mean a successful season. I don't know that there's a hard, fast cutoff for successful and unsuccessful, but your numbers … sure, why not? Winning a bunch of games wouldn't stink, either.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
The number of defensive linemen and pass rushers available this year seems very comparable to the wide receiver situation in last year's draft. If a player begins to fall, like Allen Robinson did, do you expect Caldwell will move up to get him?
John: I do if he wants him enough.
Jamaal from DUUVALLL!!!:
O-man, if Gordon and Gurley are gone by the Jags' second-round pick, what do you think about Jay Ajayi from Boise State? I heard he had a great workout for the Jags and his running style resembles Marshawn Lynch. He could be the every-down back we need! What do you think? And if we draft a back, then which one of the four running backs (Denard, Gerhart, Pierce, Storm) would be cut?? Thanks!!
John: If he resembles Marshawn Lynch, yes … go for it. They'll cut the player who doesn't perform in camp and preseason as well as the others. Right now, I'd honestly consider those four too close to call.
Allo from J-Ville:
O-man, although I am disappointed in the Jags direction during free agency, I think that Duke Johnson is the diamond in the rough that the Jags are looking for. Proven running back, good size and speed, and can catch coming out of the backfield. I think the Jags will take him with the #1 pick as a slot receiver. What do you think?
John: If Duke Johnson is as proven a running back as you say he is, I doubt the Jaguars make him a slot receiver.
Michael from Port Orange, FL:
Why does this statement worry the Jacksonville fan base? "And of course, the London aspect … I think that's where the future really lies for us." I hate that we lose a home game every year. I understand the Owner makes a great profit from it, but it is also a clear message that he wants to locate the franchise in London. We should be worried.
John: No, you shouldn't. Read the entire quote and not just the end. What Shad Khan said was this: "Our mission and what really makes sense is engaging Jacksonville, coming up with a regional approach – and of course, the London aspect … I think that's where the future really lies for us." He was talking about a three-pronged approach: Jacksonville and regional with a presence in London. The London element is key to the team's local revenue. That's no secret. But Khan does not want to locate the franchise in London, and that's not what he was saying at the owners meetings.
Gamble from Washington, DC:
Khan's quote here really confirmed my hunch – he wants the Jaguars to be the Manchester United of the NFL, with all the benefits that entails: "For us, we are doing London because we want to have a compelling proposition for our corporate partners... Where we want to develop fans is in Jacksonville and London." If that means giving up one home game to bring global fans and revenue on board, and keep the team in Jacksonville, keep it going!
John: That's a much more accurate interpretation than Michael's.
Anthony from Jacksonville:
I see so many people upset we did not get DeMarco Murray. Let me throw out another back, Justin Forsett. He did not do much here behind a weak offensive line, but had a breakout year for the Ravens behind a great line. Other than what Jacksonville has done so far in free agency, what more can we do to improve the offensive line? What position on the line do you think we need to improve?
John: The Jaguars need to improve all positions on the line. That was done in part with the addition of Jermey Parnell at right tackle, but it mostly will be done with the addition of perhaps one more free agent or draft selection for depth and focusing on improving the strength and experience of the other players along the offensive line. You don't always improve by bringing in new players; sometimes you have to let young players develop.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany:
Hey, O-Man, do you think if Blake Bortles were in this year's draft class he would be taken before Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota?
John: I think he would if the Jaguars were making the selection.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
Lovie Smith was recently quoted as being open to a trade down off the No. 1 pick. O-man, again, we are three feet away from the cup. Line it up, and send Blake Bortles and the No. 3 pick to the bottom of the hole that is Tampa Bay and bring future HOF-er Jameis Winston to the Jags!!! We instantly become Super Bowl contenders!!! Make it happen!!! You know I mean business by my use of exclamation points!!!
John: I don't think you should waste time or energy hoping for this!!! But hey, you do what you gotta do!!!
Daniel from Jacksonville:
Oh great O, which second-year player are you most excited about watching next year besides the Duval savior, Blake Bortles?
John: Allen Robinson, with a nod to Telvin Smith.
Aaron from Chantilly:
The main problem I see for short-term and long-term isn't Bortles per se but our divisional foe... Andrew Luck … he is so good and so far ahead of any of the South Division quarterbacks that it's going to force such a small margin of error to win those games. Maybe our defense can make the difference?
John: Teams with great quarterbacks usually win a lot of games. And I agree that having Luck means the Colts will win a lot of games in the coming decade. But having Peyton Manning didn't mean the Colts won the Super Bowl every year and having Luck has yet to get the Colts to a Super Bowl. Don't despair about who's playing quarterback for your opponent; get good enough to beat them.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
… surprise you most at No. 3 … wouldn't PUNTER have been ten times funnier?
Josiah from Fargo, ND:
Hey John ... wanted to let you know that it has been two years ago I had a question answered on the Ozone. (Same goes for asking) Any new changes I should be aware of about the team?
John: Nah. It's all good.