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O-Zone: Snap out of it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Logan from Wichita, KS:
Last year after we got Jalen Ramsey in the first round and Myles Jack in the second round everyone said we were a playoff team. Prior to the draft, we were a little hyped – but we didn't get the huge playoff aspirations until after the draft. Thus, I keep saying trade back, skip the draft, quit with the hype! I hate "winning" the offseason when it doesn't show in the regular-season Ws.
John: I don't know who "everyone" is, exactly, but I think the record pretty well reflects that I never said the Jaguars were a playoff team last season – and I certainly never said it based on who the Jaguars selected in the draft. Overrating the potential impact of rookies is perhaps the biggest mistake even the most experienced NFL followers make entering each season. In fact, I'm pretty sure I often wrote and said the big theme many were observers were overlooking last offseason was that the drafted players likely wouldn't have a huge impact on the record and that the key to the season would be whether or not the offense and Blake Bortles made necessary strides. But Logan, seriously: don't be dim. Don't skip the draft. Continue to draft well and build the talent base. It's the only way to long-term success – oh, that and drafting, developing or signing a reliable quarterback.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
John, last year this time I was getting excited. Borderline pumped after the draft. But I can't help but feel like no matter what we do in the offseason it won't translate to wins. Guess I have been burned too many times recently. Talk me off the ledge, Big Guy!
John: Why don't you talk to Logan? He seems pretty juiced about this season.
Goose Just Goose from North Dakota:
Wondering if you saw what the Ravens are doing for their London game against the Jags? It appears they are taking a ship across the Atlantic. Apparently, it will take around seven days and the ship is equipped with a 100-yard field on it to practice with the biggest benefit being that they can adjust day by day to the time difference.
John: Big ships are cool. Apparently John Harbaugh likes them.
Tucker from Gallatin:
John, would the Jags have selected Myles Jack in the Top 5 last year? We know Jalen Ramsey fell to us, but what if the Cowboys had drafted him at No. 4? I don't think we would have drafted Ezekiel Elliot.
John: I doubt the Jaguars would have selected Elliott or Jack at No. 5 last year. They already had signed Chris Ivory, and Jack's knee issue likely would have kept the Jaguars from selecting him so early. My impression is that the Jaguars likely would have selected defensive end DeForest Buckner from Oregon at No. 4 had Ramsey not been available.
Don from Jacksonville:
Have you ever considered the possibility that your personal feelings about a player or coach as a player skew your view on there performance?
John: No, but I have considered the possibility that my feelings about there, their and they're might skew my feelings on which questions I answer and which I don't.
Dave from Duval:
What evidence do you have at that makes you think Chad Henne could go .500 in fill-in duty? Or is it faith?
John: How good is his team? Or does that not matter?
J Trimm from Jacksonville:
Oh Great Wizard of Guessing, I'm wondering why you never responded to my comment and question about why we should be looking for a running back??? With good blocking do you think T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory could be a potent duo? Also, there is no back short of Barry Sanders who could possibly be effective with the type and quality of blocking our O line provided last year is there? And here's to guessing you won't address this question either. Seems like you enjoy only commenting on the popular topics.
John: This is disappointing and frustrating because I took a lot of time with this answer. I had some well thought-out theories about the running-back position, and the Jaguars' offensive line. I also discovered what I truly believe is a ground-breaking theory on why teams should draft running backs No. 4 overall, and while doing so I unlocked the key to what's needed for Yeldon and Ivory to reach their potential. I actually had the whole answer written out and ready to publish … then I read your last two sentences again about me not addressing the question and only enjoying commenting on popular topics and I realized, "Hey, I don't particularly feel like responding to this. It's not popular enough." Too bad. The world is a lesser place now. Thanks, J Trimm. Thanks a lot.
Dave from Duval:
Why do so many people think that Aaron Colvin is a really good corner? He doesn't even have a career interception. That's hard to do for a defensive back who has seen as much playing time as he has.
John: Not if the defensive front doesn't get significant pressure, it's not.
Greg from Jacksonville:
Tom Coughlin won rings with fourth-rounder Brandon Jacobs and seventh-rounder Ahmad Bradshaw, not first-rounders James Stewart, Fred Taylor, or David Wilson. Hopefully he learned from that lesson. If the last generation of the NFL has told us anything, it's that even when you do "hit" greatly on a first-round running back you still aren't winning a Super Bowl.
John: As with anything, this running-back-in-the-Top-10 debate isn't a cut-and-dry issue. Were that the case, you never would see a running back in the Top 10 – and there would be no success stories for such players. But there are such success stories: Adrian Peterson and Elliott come to mind, and whatever your thoughts on the players, the teams that selected them never regretted the selections. If the Jaguars draft Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook early in the first round and either player has a career on par with Peterson, no one would regret the selection. But are the pieces in place for the Jaguars for a back to have that kind of success? That is the question.
Tom from Orlando, FL:
Do you think Cleveland's "purchase" of a second-round pick sets a dangerous precedent? Large market, wealthy teams could get very creative and find ways around the salary cap if there are struggling franchises willing to take cap hits in exchange for draft picks. Do you think the NFL will look into ways of restricting or preventing such "trades" in the future?
John: I doubt it. First off, it's not likely to happen with enough frequency to cause a major issue, and there's really not a lot of harm in it. Cleveland gained a draft selection because it had cap space it could use. Houston gave up a valuable draft selection in exchange for being able to maneuver around the salary cap after a bold move gone wrong.
Ray from Vernon, FL:
Is there any chance of selecting Joe Mixon with a late pick, if he's not taken before? And giving him a second chance in life if he would agree to be an advocate for stopping domestic violence? From everything I've read he is one of the most talented if not the best running back in the draft, and if given the chance would answer our running back issue. Your thoughts, O-man.
John: Sure, there's a chance of that – but I doubt Mixon is available very late in the draft. He's a significant talent and I have an idea that some team will give him that second chance late in the second round or shortly thereafter. It wouldn't shock me if that franchise was the Jaguars – and as I've said before, I typically don't have a problem with players getting second and even third chances in the NFL. It's professional sports. If a guy is a good teammate who can help your team and is legally allowed to work then I'm fine with signing the player.
Chaun from St. Louis, MO:
Who do you think was the Jaguars' best player at each position? (I think running back will be a toss-up)
John: Blake Bortles (quarterback), Toss Up (running back), Marcedes Lewis (tight end), Allen Robinson (wide receiver), Branden Albert (offensive tackle), A.J. Cann (guard), Brandon Linder (center), Calais Campbell (defensive end), Malik Jackson (defensive tackle), Paul Posluszny (linebacker), Jalen Ramsey (cornerback), Barry Church (safety).
Sam from Jacksonville:
O, I was a season-ticket holder for 11 years. The deadline has passed and I did not renew. I was in my teenage years when Tom Coughlin was the head coach. That was an exciting time. I want to feel excited and passionate about the Jags, but I can't. I can't help but feel that as long as Blake Bortles is our quarterback, it would take a miracle on the level of the parting of the Red Sea for the Jags to have a winning record. It's really disheartening because before last season I
John: Sam … Sam? Sam?

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