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O-Zone: Something out there

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jonathan from Jax

Hi there, fella. So, you don't think Lloyd was drafted to rush the passer and Muma drafted to be a green-dot linebacker? I'd bet we see more disguised 5-2 than any other formation with one of them dropping into coverage on certain downs. We now have two guys with relentless motors to anchor the linebackers with solid depth already at the position. K'Lavon Chaisson will either play well as one of those rotating backers or be in another uniform.

I think the Jaguars drafted Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd No. 27 overall in the 2022 Draft because he can do multiple things well defensively – including rush the passer – and I think they selected Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma in the third round because he can do multiple things well, including play interior linebacker and call defensive signals. I also think they signed linebacker Foye Oluokun as an unrestricted free agent from the Atlanta Falcons because he can do multiple things well, including lead the NFL in tackles last season and call defensive signals. I expect all these players to play extensively next season and matter very much in different roles – and I absolutely think there will be many disguised looks for the Jaguars defensively, including a lot of 5-2 schemes. I think Chaisson will have to earn his way into the rotation. I think overall the Jaguars are going to use varying schemes and personal packages, particularly in nickel situations – and I don't think good, productive players are going to have trouble having roles in this scheme.

Don from Marshall, NC

Our coach and GM would never have done what the Lions did. Rushing their pick did what? Did it boost the confidence of their guy? I just think it was odd what is your take? Go Jaguars!

You're referencing the Detroit Lions acting more quickly than usual when selecting linebacker/defensive end Aidan Hutchinson No. 2 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. I wasn't watching the draft at the time. The Jaguars moments before had selected outside linebacker Travon Walker No. 1. I therefore was "otherwise disposed." I suppose maybe the Lions acting so quickly was perhaps "a little for show." If so, that's OK. The draft is a show and the NFL is entertainment. If they knew who they were selecting, why not act quickly? And give the fans a bit of a show?

Richard from Jacksonville

Zone, We might not quite be "there" yet on defense this year but we are going to be big and nasty where we need to be and athletic, fast and intelligent everywhere else. We are going to get to the ball with a thump and in a hurry. This should be fun to watch. If Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence really takes a legit step forward, let's just say somewhere around .500 is possible. Since that is now mathematically impossible, just goes to show you how crazy I really am.

One fer crazy – and fer .500.

Russell from Oceanway

Hey, O-Zone. I was listening to podcast May 4 about international players coming over through this program.  I was under the impression from what I've read if they don't make the regular team and go to the practice that they cannot be called up to play in same year. Am I wrong? On the podcast it was said about how wonderful it was for teams to have extra player to call up when you need. Which is which? If they cannot be called up to play, then why waste a spot on practice squad? Thanks!

The Jaguars this past week added defensive back Ayo Oyelola to the roster as part of the NFL's International Pathway Program. Players in this program can be signed to an "extra" practice-squad position, so teams don't "waste" a practice squad spot by participating in the program. Those players also can be called up to the active roster from the practice squad.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I dislike you more since the draft than I did before. That's surprising, because I disliked you a lot before.


Carl from Doncaster, UK

Hi, John. Have you heard anything on a uniform update for 2023?

The NFL allows teams to change uniform designs every five years. The Jaguars indeed can change their uniforms in 2023, having last changed uniforms in 2018. I have heard nothing official on this front, through history tells us it's absolutely possible.

Taj from Alexandria, VA

If memory serves me right, the Jaguars' opponents had the longest time of possession per game. Are we really surprised they focused on defense in the draft?

Not really.

Nathan from Utah, US

Post Draft Zone, I'm sorry, but if this team is anywhere near as good as it is on paper, then the AFC South title is in reach. No?

I believe contending for the AFC South title is probably a year away for the Jaguars, so I can see it in happening in 2023. To go from 3-14 to the postseason, most major offseason moves need to work perfectly. That's possible for the Jaguars, but not likely. I do believe the Jaguars will be a lot better in 2022 than they were in 2021, with a chance to push for .500. We'll see.

Michael from Columbus, Ohio

Mr. O, I'm seeing a league (Jaguars included) beginning to transition at wide receiver and possibly the quarterback position as well. These $100 million deals won't last long. Teams will begin drafting receivers, placing them on five-year rookie deals and then transitioning them out after three-to-four years (trade or release) and re-drafting the position. We witnessed more receivers drafted the first two rounds of this year's draft than previous drafts. It's not a coincidence and it's not because of 'need' per se. Owners have put veteran receivers on notice! You see this?

There's definitely something to your theory. The Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs did this with wide receivers Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill, who are now with the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins, respectively. The Tennessee Titans did it with wide receiver A.J. Brown, now with the Philadelphia Eagles. There certainly will be teams wanting these No. 1 receivers enough to give up money and draft equity and sign them to their "second" contracts at salary-cap-crippling rates. But there's no question some teams are taking the approach of allowing players to leave rather than signing them to megadeals -- not only with quarterbacks, but with wide receivers, too. Draft, develop, then do it again. If you do it well, it's a sustainable model.

Dan from Ormond Beach, FL

On Monday's Zone you answered a reader's question regarding your opinion on a front seven rotation. DaVon Hamilton's name was noticeably absent. Was this an oversight?

Somewhat. Hamilton, a third-year veteran nose tackle, likely must perform at a higher level than he did last season to be a key part of the rotation. He is capable of that. Stay tuned.

Whydoistilllovethejags from Abingdon, VA

I'm not a fan of several picks the Jags made during the draft, but I'm sick of reading different complaints about the same subject. Can we try to move forward already?


Daniel from Jacksonville

Hey O! Isn't the draft kinda like baseball? The best hitters have some homers, triples, doubles and lots of RBIs. But they are stilled called OUT two thirds of the time. I'm kinda dumbfounded by all these alleged draft experts. I bet they do real well in the stock market and gambling since they can predict the future!

The draft is a percentage game. Personnel types work year-round, taking into account measurables and off-field issues to minimize risk. No general manager hits 1.000. All have misses. All have passed on great players to select players who didn't make it. It's part of the gig.

David from Ada, OK

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin A nuclear era, but I have no fear 'Cause London is drowning I, I live by the river.

I was there, too.

James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

O man. I don't care how good our defense is. When they're on the field the whole game because we still don't have a real number one receiver. I don't see anyone on our team. That puts fear in the defense's heart. Oh well wait and see.

Not having a No. 1 receiver doesn't have to cripple an offense. The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl following the 2017 season under current Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson without a "WR1." You would like one. You can also win without them.

Darius from Piscataway, NJ

Not really a question? But really ETN, 2WR, TE, CT, RB, G that 7&7 on defense sound about right to me what do you think?

I think you're right that it's not really a question. I'm not sure it's actually anything at all.