JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ben from Jacksonville
Why does everyone keep talking about Tanking for Trevor? I thought this next year was a prove-it year for Doug and Dave to keep their jobs? Why is this organization so content with losing? Dave would never have survived the failed Bortles experiment with any other NFL franchise, not to mention all the first- round picks that are no longer with the team.
First things first: No one inside the Jaguars is talking about "tanking" for anything. Still: I have received multiple emails along these lines recently, with a recent uptick since reports over the weekend that the Jaguars were open to trading running back Leonard Fournette. Because the Fournette news came shortly after the Jaguars traded veterans such as defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and quarterback Nick Foles for draft selections, there now is a perception around the league – and among Jaguars fans – that the Jaguars are "Tanking for Trevor" Lawrence. While this perception is understandable given the circumstances, it's not reality. Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell understand the urgency to win, and they're trying to structure the roster and organization in a way to improve their chances to do so – for the short-term and for the long- term. Will there be "tanking" questions and theories about the Jaguars in the coming months? I don't doubt that. But that won't be the aim of those coaching, managing and playing for the Jaguars.
Steve from Duval
Why would a team trade a first-round pick and then pay Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue $20 million when they can sign free-agent edge defender Jadeveon Clowney for maybe less money and not lose a draft pick?
Good point. So far, no team has wanted to do that.
Diego from Tierra Del Fuego
When selecting the best left tackles in the draft, would it not make sense to choose those who protected the top quarterbacks in college? Except for Tua, the rest of the quarterbacks are right-handed and owe a lot from protection they got from backside. Seems to me that is most important way to evaluate.
The quality of quarterback a player protected in college has little or nothing to do with how that player will fare in the NFL.
Tom from Jacksonville
"Stay Strong and Fight On!" That's what Marqise wrote on a football for my nephew's high school team after he died suddenly from a heart ailment at 15. Marqise was my nephew's favorite player. His team cherishes that football and displays it at games. And we are grateful for Marqise Lee. Stay Strong and Fight On Marqise!
James from Salt Lake City via Jacksonville
If the Jaguars have the No. 1 pick next year, and I'm Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. I think I'd stay in school another year. Just saying!
That might be very silly. The Jaguars by then will have had the 2020 NFL Draft to add a slew of young players to a core that already includes players such as edge Josh Allen, right tackle Jawaan Taylor and wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. They also will have a '21 draft that already includes nine selections, meaning the addition of more young talent. Lawrence would in your scenario have a chance to be part of a promising, young core of players on a team set up well for the future. Just saying.
Fabian from Dominican Republic
Sup John, I know you're not going to confess that the Jags are tanking, but the team's front office seems to be doing otherwise. In the past six weeks we have traded away Bouye, Campbell, Foles and are on the verge of trading Ngakoue and Fournette. It seems to me that the Jags are gonna stick with quarterback Gardner Minshew II this season with the hopes of acquiring a high pick in the 21' draft ... do I hear #TankforTrevor??
Sup, Fab. I don't "confess" things here in the O-Zone, and – perception aside – the Jaguars aren't tanking.
Tom from Shanghai, China
Surprised at the negative reaction to "maybe" trading Fournette. He's been good, not great and when you're drafting a running back in the Top 5, that's a big miss. We're not going to pay him next year, so if we can get a fourth from a win-now team, I'd take it.
I think the Jaguars would, too.
Raymond from Orange Park, FL
John: If Fournette plays well this year in his "contract year" and leaves in free agency, wouldn't the team be eligible for a compensatory pick (depending on other free agency departures and additions). If so, why not potentially get a good year out of an above-average running back? It would seem the compensatory pick would be about when they hope to get for him this year. I suppose one theory that a third or fourth rounder this year might be used in a package to move up?
Maybe they just want to trade Fournette.
Gary from Centerville, OH
I know a lot of trades this time of year look more like something on Madden than reality, but was wondering what you thought of this one: Trade Yan, Fournette, our number 20 pick, and our second rounder to Washington for their second overall pick. Would either team do that trade? Would you?
I have no idea if the Redskins like Ngakoue enough to pay him what he wants, and what he wants appears to be market-setting money that would be a major drain on the salary cap. Do the Redskins consider Ngakoue that sort of player? That's the first domino in any discussion regarding a trade involving Ngakoue.
Charlie from Jacksonville
Hey John, I had not a lot of respect for Ngakoue's questionable strategy to get his big payday last year when he left all that money on the table trying to play hardball with virtually no leverage. But now he has outdone himself with his display of animosity toward Tony Khan. He's cutting off his nose to spite his face, which is decreasing his chances to be traded. It's classlessness like this that makes me more eager to see him gone.
So … one not fer Ngakoue, I guess.
Mark from Prescott, AZ
Hi, John. As it stands right now, do you think the current roster Is better or worse than 2019's?
The Jaguars have traded a lot of veterans for a lot of draft selections this offseason and they have yet to use those selections, so the roster currently is not as good as it was last season. I don't believe the difference is as pronounced as many observers believe.
Josh from Jacksonville
What makes a player like Taylor a prototype right tackle?
Height. Weight. Overall build and body type. Style of play.
Daine from Previously Section 311
KOAF: What are the chances Caldwell tries to outsmart everyone by using a third-round pick on a small-school guy that draft analysts have ranked so low they don't even have video available to show on the guy, then that player subsequently struggles as mightily as everyone else in the football world believed he would? That would never happen, would it?
The Jaguars weren't the only team that liked linebacker Quincy Williams last season. He didn't play well last season. His career isn't over yet. We'll see what happens.
Jason from Salem, OR
It is concerning for me as a Jaguars fan that the team has had a rash of "big babies" in the last few drafts. Is it just bad luck? Or something else?
Whatever it is, it needs to change.
Paul from Apalachicola, FL
You raised an interesting dilemma with Minshew in 2020: in essence, he's good enough to win some games, but is not Curtis Painter-bad to ensure the top pick in 2021. If that's the case, and the Jaguars see Tua Tagovailoa/Justin Herbert as good as Trevor Lawrence/Justin Fields, why not trade up in 2020 and get their new quarterback?
I don't think that's what the Jaguars will do Thursday. But considering the deficiency at quarterback in recent years, you also can't rule it out.
Pete from a basement in Boulder, CO
O-Man, the rotation last year at left guard was so puzzling to me. The offensive line must have continuity more so than any other group on any team. Pro Football Focus said that Will Richardson Jr. was far behind A.J. Cann in his play at the position. What was the point of it? Initially I thought the staff was trying to see who would rise up, but an entire season of it made no sense to me. Do you think that was a Tom Coughlin-based idea, or was it Marrone? Please tell me we won't be forced to see something like that again next season.
This was Marrone's idea. The head coach makes personnel and game-day decisions, and that was the case last season. I don't know if the Jaguars will rotate Cann and Richardson at right guard again. I expect that to depend on how the two play during training camp and the preseason.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Looks like our 2020 roster is going to be young compared to 2019.
Yes, it does.