JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL, via Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL
What's up, Zone? I read recently that Trevor Lawrence's game, at least per his college statistics, doesn't demand a top-tier tight end for Lawrence to find overall success. I am as big a fan of Kyle Pitts as the next guy, but it seems like the more realistic use of a high draft pick by the Jaguars on an offensive skill-position player could be at receiver. I know the team has many needs, and receiver may not be at the top of the list, but it appears the Jaguars' receiver room is one strong receiver away from being a formidable group, if not elite (assuming DJ Chark Jr. bounces back). What are your thoughts on this year's receiver draft class and do you believe any of the top-tier talent has a realistic possibility of being available at 25 (or at a trade-up position that may be within reasonable reach)? Thanks, and GO JAGS!!
I've been hearing more in recent days about Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence not needing a tight end because his college statistics indicate as much. It strikes me that this is a case where analytics might not tell the entire story, but what do I know? I do know having a good tight end is better than not having one – and I also know that while University of Florida tight end Kyle Pitts appears special, it essentially will be impossible for the Jaguars to trade up from No. 25 overall far enough to get him. As for wide receivers, this indeed is a good draft class, with ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. saying 30-to-35 receivers have fifth-round grades are better. Good receiver classes have been a trend in recent drafts, a trend I don't see ending soon. But while I can see the Jaguars drafting a receiver this month, I doubt they would trade up for one. The three "elite" receivers in this draft – Ja'Marr Chase of Louisiana State and DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle of Alabama – figure to go in the Top 10, which makes it unlikely the Jaguars will trade up for them. The difference in the next tier of receivers may not be enough to merit a trade up when you can wait for one at No. 25.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
At pick No. 33, the No. 2 tight end, the No. 4 defensive end and the No. 3 defensive tackle on Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's big board are available. In this exercise of draft obsession, who would you take regardless of name – just positional big board? (We took a QB at 1 and a safety at 25, FYI). I would have to take the tight end.
Theoretically in your scenario, I guess would take the defensive tackle. Under normal circumstances. But theory doesn't necessarily work here because it's not necessarily about where a prospect ranks in relation to other prospects at his position as much as where he ranks against all prospects. For instance: The No. 3 defensive tackle in some years might be a far better prospect than the No. 2 tight end, while in other years he might be far worse. In thisdraft, I probably would take the No. 2 tight end in your scenario because defensive tackle is said to be weak this year, and the Jaguars appear to have a need at tight end. That might push me to take tight end.Theoretically.
Reuben from Pikesville
As Bill Parcells once said, the pro game has to work with what the colleges send them. That's a big reason the NFL has moved towards offensive concepts of the college game. Lawrence may not have lined up much under center, but quarterbacks in the NFL rarely do as well – at least in non-play action situations. Most passes are completed within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, so quick-developing plays are the rule. Lawrence will be fine, IMO.
Reuben has weighed in.
David from Gainesville, FL
O-man - I find it wonderful that the schedule works out so that the Jags will end up playing the next five teams at the top of the draft order next year (presuming no further trades). The quarterback battles should be fun to watch, and I'm extremely pleased the preseason has been shortened. Should be a fun year for a reporter too, no?
The Jaguars – who hold the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft – indeed will play the New York Jets (No. 2), San Francisco 49ers (No. 3), Atlanta Falcons (No. 4), Cincinnati Bengals (No. 5) and Miami Dolphins (No. 6) next season. And yes … that presumably will mean multiple matchups of talented, young quarterbacks. I'm meh on the preseason being shortened; while I won't mind not covering a fourth preseason game, I'm old school enough that I don't love shortening the preparation/evaluation time. Will it be a fun year for a reporter? Cartwheels, David. I'm doing cartwheels.
O-zoneman from O-zone
Fighting with an angry clown. #OzoneSighting
That clown knows where to find me.
Manny from ATL
Warren Sapp had looked at Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore while working out in Tampa. According to Warren, he couldn't follow direction or know what to do during the workout (check out the YouTube interview). Coming from an all-time great, how does his face-to-face evaluation impact Barmore's draft stock? His tape is impressive, but NFL is a lot more complex (i.e., Taven).
Playing and evaluating are two different skills, so the evaluation itself – Sapp's expertise notwithstanding – wouldn't have much of an impact. If any. If NFL teams agree with Sapp, it would hurt Barmore's draft stock. If they don't, it won't.
Steve from Hilton Head, SC
Back at the 2005 NFL Draft, the Jags picked Matt Jones at No. 21. Aaron Rodgers was picked by Green Bay at No. 24. How did that work out?
You have a point. I guess. Maybe. Right?
MrMakersMark from Strings, Springfield
I have to agree that I would prefer 14 games over 17, but I think Jordan's reference to the end of the season is only because of the Jaguar fans looking at the draft at the beginning of November rather than the playoffs. Hopefully enjoying a LONG season will become the norm in the near future.
I wrote recently that I would prefer 14 games to 17 because I do believe there would far less attrition in the postseason with 14 games. Attrition by definition is a huge factor in the postseason – and with a 17th game, there is a chance you will have Super Bowl teams playing their 21st meaningful game in their final game of the season. But we're into the weeds on this discussion … yes, it would be awesome for the Jaguars and their fans if players playing 20 and 21 games is an issue soon. Here's hoping.
J R from The Squatchlands
Zone, it seems people in this forum really enjoy bashing the offensive line like they are the reason the Jags only won one game last year. Here's a thought: we had one of the most productive running backs in the league last year, and he was an undrafted rookie. No disrespect to running back James Robinson. He is an incredible athlete and was the silver lining on an otherwise dismal season, but can we maybe, MAYBE, attribute some of that success to the guys in the trenches blocking for him?
There are many reasons the Jaguars' offensive line was better than many observers believe in 2020. You indeed have cited one.
Unhipcat from b bar h, ca
Never mind. thanks
John from Jacksonville
Not a question, just a statement. There really isn't an extra game because they took away a preseason game then added a 17th regular season game. My math tells me that's still 20. Why don't players complain about wear and tear during playoff games? Geesh. Just do your job.
The players most affected by a 17th game are core players – veterans, starters, etc. – who play sparingly in preseason and who play full-time roles in the regular season. And while players don't "complain" about wear and tear during playoff games, the fact does remain that 17 regular-season games and three or four additional playoff games – plus, say, one preseason game – is a tremendous toll on the body. Are players well-compensated for it? Of course, but it's an issue.
Dan from Varna, Bulgaria
Hi Zone, this is pretty depressing: More than half of them were busts. The rest are no longer playing for us. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (No. 10 overall in 2011), wide receiver Justin Blackmon (No. 5 overall in 2012), offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (No. 2 overall in 2013), quarterback Blake Bortles (No. 3 overall in 2014), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (No. 3 overall in 2015), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (No. 5 overall in 2016) and running back Leonard Fournette (No. 4 overall in 2017).
Google is cool. Dan likes it.