JACKSONVILLE – Draft Day is upon us, which means a long night ahead. So …
Let's get to it …
Matt from Section 133:
If the Jaguars DO pick a quarterback Thursday, what do you think that would mean for Blake Bortles? Would that be the death knell of his career in Jacksonville? Or would he still get a chance to start the season and prove he should be the starter?
John: The answer depends on how early the Jaguars select a quarterback – if it indeed happens. If the Jaguars select a quarterback in the later rounds, then Bortles almost certainly would get a chance to start the season. If they select one in Rounds 2 or 3, then I imagine Bortles would start as management/coaching kept a close eye on the drafted quarterback. If the Jaguars trade into the end of the first round and draft a quarterback, I imagine that close eye would have laser-sharp focus. If the Jaguars select a quarterback at No. 4 … well, I don't know what a death knell sounds like, but something would be tolling – and it wouldn't be the bell that tolls at the end of the third quarter at the 'Bank.
Bruce from Jacksonville:
What is it about the spread offense that works in college and does not work in the pros? Is it just the level of talent on defense in the pros versus college? One would think that all things being equal someone would find a way to make the spread work in the pros to be able to better use the quarterback that is coming out ready to play that style but not ready to play "pro-style" offense.
John: The speed of NFL defensive players prevents NFL teams from using spread offenses. College and professional football are two different sports because of the difference in the speed.
Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
Alright Zone: It's crunch time. Who do you say we are drafting in the first round?
John: Leonard Fournette.
Doug Season-Ticket Holder Yet to Renew:
Please, please, please for the love of God don't let our pick be Fournette. If there was ever a bust glaringly obvious it is Fournette. Please, please, please, please ...
John: This is going to be a fascinating inbox Thursday whatever direction the Jaguars go. I won't be bored.
Frankie from London, England:
Hi, John! My question to you is completely hypothetical. Which Jaguar do you think would have the highest trading stock? I would presume Jalen Ramsey, but I'm interested in your top three.
John: This is a tricky question because you just never see elite, young players traded in the NFL. Still, Ramsey would be first. Let's go with defensive tackle Malik Jackson and cornerback A.J. Bouye next because they're young enough players to be considered ascending and if teams would want to trade they would prefer acquiring ascending players.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
The truest thing I've heard this draft season is that I would give up my entire draft for Sam Darnold next year. Without hesitation.
John: If he's as good as advertised … yeah. The quarterback position has that much value, and the great ones are that rare.
Thrill from the 'Ville:
I don't understand the talk about trading back, then drafting a quarterback. Or trading back into the late first round to draft one there. If the team believes a quarterback is worth taking in the first round, anywhere in the first round, then the team must believe he's a franchise level-player. And if he's a franchise-level player, No. 4 is not high. Why risk losing your guy? What am I missing?
John: I don't entirely disagree. That's part of the reason I shrug a bit at the idea of taking a quarterback in Round 3 or 4 with the idea if him being a "developmental player." There are obvious exceptions, but guys "developing" into great quarterbacks are comparatively rare. Your chances of finding a franchise-level quarterback increase the earlier you take him – and if you take quarterbacks late, you're counting on real long shots. I know people will shout "Dak Prescott" and "Russell Wilson" in response to this, and who knows? Maybe the next Prescott or Wilson is in this draft. In that same vein … yes, if the Jaguars believe a player such as Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky is a true franchise quarterback, then by all means the Jaguars should take that player. If you like a guy, don't risk losing him. Don't wait.
Matt from Fernandina Beach, FL:
If I'm not mistaken, the last time Jacksonville hosted an NFL event was the Super Bowl in 2005. It seems like Shad Khan wants to change this and with all the upgrades/additions to EverBank Field, when do you think Jacksonville hosts an NFL event? (NFL Draft, Pro Bowl, Super Bowl, NFL Annual Meeting, etc.)
John: I think Jacksonville will host the NFL Draft in the foreseeable future. I don't see the city hosting the Super Bowl, because Khan is on record saying he doesn't think the city's infrastructure would host the game well at this stage. The NFL Annual Meeting is a long shot because they typically rotate between Phoenix, Palm Beach and Orlando – and there's comparatively little buzz generated by the event, anyway. But the draft seems like the best fit. Khan has said Jacksonville would be a good location for the event once the Daily's Place Amphitheater is complete. Khan's wishes in these sorts of areas have a way of coming true, so this is one I see happening.
Nate from York, PA:
Why not put Myles Jack in the SAM position and let Poz stay in the middle and then when Poz does retire move Jack in the middle?
John: The Jaguars want Myles Jack to be a three-down player, meaning they want him on the field in running and passing situations. The SAM – or strong-side – linebacker is more of an early/running down in the Jaguars' scheme whereas middle linebacker position is more of a three-down position.
David from Waycross, GA:
Fournette's stats against elite defenses in college is a red flag.
John: How did his offensive line play?
Rico from Jacksonville:
Zone, are you at all concerned you may be a playa to be named later in a trade on draft night? You, after all, are a franchise-defining senior writer in this league.
John: At my age I just hope I'm not forced into retirement – or asked to change positions.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
So, today I had a kale smoothie (along with about a dozen other ingredients) for lunch on the advice of Carson Tinker. It wasn't good, but I felt decent after knowing about the healthy nature of what I had consumed. Well, it's now 2 a.m. and I am writing to you as my body does some serious … soul searching … with a question. Is it possible to take ones love of team too far and listen to one's long snapper when one shouldn't?
John: If you've listened to Tink you've already gone much too far.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I cannot get excited about the draft. All I'm hoping for is that in 2018 the Commissioner says: "And for the 25th pick, the Jaguars choose …"
John: I understand your lack of excitement, because there are scenarios in which the Jaguars could select a player that doesn't generate post-draft buzz. The good news in that scenario is players don't need to have post-draft buzz to improve a roster over the long haul. As far as draft positioning, I can't say I feel good about the Jaguars selecting No.25 in 2018. How about if I tell you I feel good about double digits for the first time in a while?
David from Orlando, FL:
"With the No. 4 overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select quarterback Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech." O-man, what's your biggest OMG memory from an NFL draft?
John: When the Jaguars traded up in 2011 to select Blaine Gabbert.
Troy from Richmond, VA:
It is reported that the Titans have had at least eight teams reach out to them about the No. 5 pick. If there is that much interest in moving up, do you think our chances of moving back are better? Or are they going No. 5 because it would take less draft capital?
John: The absence of one critical detail in the reporting makes your question impossible to answer. That detail: what teams are offering to move up – or if they are offering anything at all. Officials from teams call officials from other teams constantly in the days leading to the draft. Many of these calls are along the lines of, "Would you be interested in trading this for this if we offered this, this or this?" Some are more detailed and some are more vague, but if there is serious interest in the Titans' selection at No. 5, then certainly there would be serious interest in the Jaguars' selection at No. 4. And it feels like there seriously could be a serious possibility of the Jaguars trading down Thursday. Seriously.