JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ben from Cuba, MO
O, I have been reading a lot of mock drafts, "expert opinions," projections, etc. regarding this draft. There is a common theme amongst Michigan edge defender Aidan Hutchinson and Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker. It seems everyone admits that Hutchinson is the easy pick and the safest pick but that his ceiling is lower. Walker's floor and ceiling are spread out and if he is a miss, it's going to look bad. If you are a general manager, are you worried at all about Hutchinson's potential lower ceiling when placing that first pick? For the record, I do believe he is the first pick in the draft and would gladly take a 12-sack a year guy there considering our recent draft history.
If I were a general manager, I would worry about everything regarding any selection – and I would worry a lot more about first-round selections. I would really worry selecting No. 1 overall because of the short- and long-term importance of the selection. Regarding this worry specifically … sure, there is concern that Walker could be an All-Pro player and that selecting Hutchinson you would "only" get around double-digit sacks for five or more seasons. But I would worry a lot more about getting nothing or drafting a complete "bust" than worrying over "only" getting 12 sacks a year.
Bill from Hammock, FL
Zone, there is a lot of speculation on the No. 1 pick. I believe the 33rdselection is going to be key to our draft. I am surprised there is not more discussion about the Iowa center. He appears to be an elite talent and may be available at 33. This would solidify a key position for many years and benefit our quarterback. What are your thoughts?
The reason there's not much discussion about Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at No. 33 overall is it's a lot more difficult to specifically discuss a selection at the top of the second round than at the top of the first. If Linderbaum is available at No. 33, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's the selection.
Jason from North Pole, AK
Do you ever refer to writing the O-Zone as "going streaking?"
Only when it is.
Bill from Jacksonville, FL
John, I can't ask bear to ask another draft question, so instead I'll ask this. What do you think Jaguars Owner Shad Khan says to himself when he remembers his franchise was able to select the most coveted QB in the last decade, and then he chose to pair him with the worst head coach in the history of the NFL as a rookie? I still cannot believe that actually happened.
"I tried something big and high-profile that I believe would succeed. It didn't work. I reacted quickly when it became clear it wasn't going to work and did so in the best interest of the team. We moved forward and appear to have found something that will work."
Random reader from the comments section
I've been a daily reader for several years, first time commenting. Do you know Red from the comments section? He seems to have an unhealthy obsession with you! He can't go more than a couple of days before throwing out some coy, shy hints to get your notice. How do you deal with the celebrity? Does Khan provide you with security to protect you from all of your stalkers?
What's a "comments section?"
Marcus from Jacksonville
It seems like every year where there aren't a handful of "elite" prospects at the top of the draft, the draft is considered to be deep. Is it true that this year the draft is deep, or is it just that you don't have those can't-miss prospects at the top messing up the curve? What I mean is, if there are no "Tier 1" edge rushers, then the Tier 2 guys become Tier 1, and so on down the line. So, the draft seems deep because now all the guys that would have gone later in the draft get moved up. There are, statistically speaking, more lower-tier prospects at any position in any given year, so if all those guys get bumped, say from Rounds 3 and 4 to Round 2, then it looks like the draft is deeper because you have more guys that are projected in Round 2 who can't all be drafted there, so they fall to Rounds 3 and 4. So it looks like you're getting a Round 2 talent in Round 4, when you're really getting a Round 4 talent whose stock got elevated because there aren't the usual number of elite players at that position. I think I just confused myself. I guess the question is, is the draft really "deep" or is that just a mirage?
It seems you confused yourself by overthinking this. This draft is considered a good one, though perhaps not great at the top. It's considered really good through a lot of Round 1, and there are good players at a lot of positions deep into the draft with draftable players likely available through Round 7 and into collegiate free agency. That's not always the case and wasn't the case last year.
Fred from Naples, FL
Jim Bob Cooter … is that not the coolest name in football?
It's in the conversation.
Stewball from Steubenville
Let's build the house before we buy the flashy sports car. Three interior offensive linemen were out for extensive parts of last year and we can expect the same this year. Should we not focus on two interior linemen with Picks Nos. 33, 65, 70 and 106, then if a receiver or linebacker is there for the right price get him?
I anticipate the Jaguars selecting at least one interior offensive lineman in the range you suggest, but I don't quite know why we should expect a rash of injuries to the Jaguars in that area next season.
John from Jacksonville
I'm guessing the idiots that say Hutchinson can't be a good NFL edge because he didn't get a sack against Georgia are the same idiots that think the practice squad should be starting. Fans gonna fan. It's what they do. With this being said and pretty much in line with "they schemed to stop him," I suppose 31 other NFL teams would never consider that. Some fans are smarter than some observers believe.
Let's hope so.
Mike from Jacksonville
How has Khan gotten rich? He clearly doesn't understand anything about business culture and being successful. He is perfectly content to let a little boys club brew up and fail miserably again and again and again. This is why the Jaguars will always be bad as long as someone as inept as Khan owns the team.
I started laughing when I read that Khan doesn't understand business culture and being successful. I then kept laughing.
Eric from Lynchburg, VA
I'm not sure if you've had a chance to listen to the interview defensive line coach Brentson Buckner did with JP Shadrick on Happy Hour Thursday night. He seems like a great guy and it was a good interview. One thing I found very interesting was his response when asked about the players he has inherited on this defensive front. He named and praised several players. One player he did not mention at all: Josh Allen. That would seem to be a glaring oversight if Coach Buckner has been working with Josh Allen during OTAs. It makes me wonder if this new staff is looking at Allen as mostly a linebacker rather than a defensive lineman. Is it possible he's working more with the outside linebacker coach?
Steve from Nashville, TN
You keep talking about the low probability of any Year 1 impact for players the Jaguars draft next week, then what players from the Jaguars' 2020 and 2021 drafts will make an impact this year more than they did previously?
I talk a lot about a low probability for Year 1 impact for drafted players because that's NFL reality as I know it. As far as players selected in 2020 or 2021 who could make more impact than they have thus far … let's go with quarterback Trevor Lawrence to start. And perhaps offensive lineman Walker Little. And safety Andre Cisco. And perhaps running back Travis Etienne Jr. That's from the '21 class. We'll see about the '20 class.
Tom from Charlottesville, VA
I have a plan for everyone to be happy! Keep the number one pick. Trade the remaining picks this year, all of next year's picks and the year after that and the year after that to the teams directly below the Jags this year. Take all of the top five players this year and watch them develop! The fans would be happy and Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke could star in his own version of Draft Day!
That wouldn't make everyone happy. Nothing ever does.