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O-Zone: So excited

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Scott from Jacksonville

We all know the multitude of injuries that Trevor Lawrence suffered through in the last third of the season. How is he now? Is he totally healthy or is he still working through injury healing from last season?

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence addressed the media Tuesday at the beginning of the 2024 offseason program, the first time he has spoken extensively to the media since shortly after the 2023 season. He discussed multiple topics, chief among them that he indeed feels 100 percent recovered from the multiple injuries he sustained late in the 2023 season. He said he didn't feel completely normal physically until mid-March, adding: "When March hit, I felt really good lifting and doing everything totally normal. I've been so used to the back half of the season, adjusting to everything – whether it was working out or throwing or practice or whatever it was – I would work out but still modified. Until March, I'd say that's when I started to feel 100 percent and do the stuff I normally do. I think I'm kind of getting back into the shape I want to be and train the way I wanted to. It took a little while."

Michael from Jacksonville

If one of these three players fall to No. 17 in the 2024 NFL Draft – Quinyon Mitchell, corner from Toledo; Brian Thomas, wide receiver from Louisiana State; and Byron Murphy, defensive tackle from Texas – who should be the Jaguars' first-round selection? If all three are there at 17, my order of preference is – one-Murphy, two-Mitchell, three-Thomas. I think Murphy would make our front seven the best in football. At this point I would get their highest-ranked corner in the second and highest-ranked receiver in the third. Your thoughts?

I think we now know you favor defensive line over cornerback and that you favor cornerback over wide receiver. Your approach has merit because defensive line is not considered particularly deep in this draft, with corner a bit deeper and wide receiver perhaps the draft's deepest position. For that reason, taking a tackle early and waiting on the other two positions makes sense. I'm still saying the Jaguars will select cornerback in Round 1, but that's not etched in stone because my thoughts – even offered somewhere as critically important as this space on this free website – etch nothing about the Jaguars' draft approach in stone. It would surprise me a little if the Jaguars selected Murphy because they recently signed defensive tackle Arik Armstead as a free agent. But would it be a bad selection if they selected him? Not if he's really good.

Jason from Jacksonville

The Jags just started offseason conditioning. Can they do classroom stuff and work with coaches on the playbook now?


Bob from Bobsville

How did the NFL end up with the current rookie contract agreement? The stats say the average NFL career is 3.3 years with only quarterbacks and kickers being over four and running backs less than three. It seems to me this system is unfair to the players and potentially hurts the overall quality of the game with the current model being a few superstars and the rest on rookie contracts.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association collectively bargained the current contract system. Any collectively bargained system has positives and negatives for both sides. Such is the nature of bargaining and compromise. Is the system unfair for players? In the sense that they are tied to a team for four seasons … I suppose. But in the interest of parity and some level of continuity – which is good for teams and fans – players need to be tied to teams for at least a few years. If not, you would have the mess of having a good player for one year and having no earthly idea if he would be on the team the following year. It could potentially destroy the sport or at least make it as incredibly uninteresting as a certain sport is threatening to become. Remember, too: While the average NFL career may be three or four seasons, that includes a lot of players who are in and out of the league very quickly. Most players good enough to be key players for teams play long enough to become free agents.

Brendan from Yulee

KOAF! THROWBACK UNIFORMS! Just take all of my money!

Congratulations on your big day.

David from Orlando, FL

KOAF - Every year around this time, I pipe in with my two cents on who the Jaguars should draft with their No. 1 pick. A few years ago, the Jaguars drafted the player (running back Travis Etienne Jr.) that I felt we should take, even though no mock draft predicted this. This year, again, the player I think we should draft hasn't been mocked to the Jags in over two months. The player I think we should draft is UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu. He is a plug-and-play sack machine, with all the pass rush moves, an instant impact player. It's been reported that this is a deep draft for cornerbacks and wide receivers, so we can still fill those needs on Day 2 or 3. After the first round, good luck in finding an elite pass rusher. In free agency, the Jaguars missed out on Danielle Hunter and Brian Burns, two sack guys they coveted. Those players were out of our price range, so if Laiatu Latu is available at 17, lock it in.

I expect the Jaguars will select a cornerback No. 17 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. I have expected this long enough that it almost seems odd that there's a chance they won't do this. But just because it's odd to me doesn't mean it can't happen. Bottom line: The Jaguars need a good player at No. 17, a player who they believe can be a core piece for a half-decade or more. If there is such a player available at a premium position such as edge/pass rusher, by all means they should select that player regardless of perceived positional need.

Chris from London

Hey O, I was listening to Happy Hour yesterday and found Jeff's take on Latu the pass rusher really interesting. He states he was the best rusher in the draft, you don't often see players like him, possible unblockable and the one player in the draft he would trade up for. The bit I find interesting is in every mock draft I have seen he would be available at our pick 17 so do you think we would consider a pass rusher if he's there??

I would be surprised if the Jaguars trade up in this draft because I sense the draft will fall in such a way that there's a good player they like at No. 17 overall. I think they will consider a player at pretty much any position except quarterback if they consider the player the best available at the time.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Maybe the 2020 draft was not a great draft NFL wide? I looked through the list of first-round draft picks from 10 to 32 and did not see any names that were superstars.

Did they delete Justin Jefferson or did you just miss his name?

KC from Orlando, FL

KOAF - Last year's draft saw the Jaguars very active trading down numerous times. Do you think we will see the same this year?

I don't expect the Jaguars to trade down from No. 17 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, but these things are impossible to predict and depend almost entirely on how the draft plays out for all teams.

Scott from Jacksonville, FL

I've asked about Derrick Henry a lot so hoping you will answer this question. Did we pursue him in free agency? If not, do you know why? It isn't just about his local connection, but having him split carries with Etienne sounds pretty deadly.

The Jaguars did not pursue former Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry in free agency this offseason. There were other priorities.

Don from Marshall NC

The Jaguars were gifted when they got their colors for the uniforms. All the uniforms over the years have been pretty cool. It seems a lot of teams keep creating a little teal in their uniforms. In a couple of years, the Dolphins will be teal the way they are going. The best uniform of all time had to be the 2017 one. I liked the two-tone helmets when watching the game. Looking black on defense and gold when you score. They just looked cool! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to loving all the Jaguars' uniforms – particularly the two-toned helmets (?!!) – Don remains "all in."

Brian from Carlisle, PA

O, excited seeing players back in the building for the start of offseason program. That feeling is coming back with some hope for a good season. Lots of challenges ahead as this division is now very competitive.

Go Jaguars.