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O-Zone: Statistically speaking

JACKSONVILLE – All pass rush all the time? Yeah, pretty close.

Let's get to it …

Josh from Statesboro, GA:
Sugarcoat it how you want. Be as snide as you want. I really don't care. But John Idzik? Ha, Let's add to the combined record of our current coaching staff. (If you don't get my humor, I'm adding 12 losses to our current loss column).
John: I don't know if I get your humor; I do know I don't get your point, but that's OK – getting things is often a bit overrated. Look, there's no reason to sugarcoat this because it's not an overly significant issue in terms of anything on the field. Idzik – the general manager of the New York Jets the past two seasons -- reportedly is being hired by the Jaguars as a salary cap consultant and will not have a role in player evaluation. With that being the case, I'm trying to figure out why people would have much of a reaction over this one way or the other. Oh, wait … because Internet.
Les from Fort Walton Beach, FL:
I have been nothing but pleased with the moves the Jags have made in the Khan/Caldwell/Bradley era, but this alleged Idzik move takes the cake! That guy all but singlehandedly burned the Jets to the ground and deserved to get fired! So what do my beloved Jags do?? Hire him!! I'm sure you won't print this, because it's critical of the move, but that's fine; I'm still going to speak my mind. What's next? Jags hire Gene Smith as a consultant? C'mon Man!!!
John: Again, the only reason I can think that this would bother people is if they don't understand the nature of the move. Wait, I can't print this …
Jared from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Didn't David Caldwell let the secret out at the very beginning when he talked about quarterback, left tackle and elite pass rusher being the positions that we needed to grab while still picking at the top of the draft? We have the first two boxes checked, so why can't people see that Caldwell is getting exactly what he wished for with this draft?
John: Caldwell did indeed say that, and that's valid insight into his approach to building a roster. There are times to vary from any plan, particularly if elite-level talent is on the board at the top of the draft. Anyone in charge of any building process has to be able to adjust to circumstances if that's necessary. At the same time, considering the pass-rushing talent available at the top of the draft, and the way the building process has played out so far, you're right that a strong class of pass rushers pretty much is an ideal scenario for the Jaguars this offseason.
Sebastian from San Antonio, TX:
As far as projections go, do you think trading our third overall pick to the Browns for the 12th and 19th picks – if they're interested in Mariota – and picking up Brandon Scherff and Vic Beasley with those picks could be a possibility? Would it be worth passing on Dante Fowler or Randy Gregory if Williams is already a Titan?
John: Anything's possible, but I would be surprised if this happens. One reason is pre-draft scenarios are rarely what teams are actually thinking, and it's very rare that as specific a scenario as the one you present would actually play out. A more pertinent reason is I don't think the Browns will make a risky move to acquire a quarterback this offseason. They have invested a lot in the position in recent years, and you just wonder if trading two more selections for a quarterback from a spread offense is a direction they would go right now.
Chris from Sarasota, FL:
You, among others, have mentioned us getting a right tackle in free agency that could start right away. I'm familiar with Bryan Bulaga from Green Bay, but all signs point to him staying with the Packers. Who else might the Jags really pursue?
John: Don't sleep on Doug Free and Joe Barksdale.
Clif from Gaithersburg, MD:
Had a disagreement the other day with a fellow Jags fan who said they wouldn't trade the No. 3 pick for any one player. Those players included JJ Watt and Justin Houston. Hypothetically, if the Texans offered Watt for our No. 3 pick, you would absolutely take it right?
John: Yes.
Sean from Philadelphia, PA:
I don't think a trade down with the Eagles will happen. The most comparable jump up that has ever happened in the draft was when the Falcons traded up for Julio Jones. They moved up from 27th to sixth by giving up that year's first-, second- and fourth-round picks, then the following year's first and fourth. That was for a wide receiver, not a quarterback. I think that fact that it would be for a coveted quarterback makes the third pick significantly more valuable. With that being said, I'm just curious if you would take the Eagles first and second round selections?
John: I would, and I'd need a whole lot more – something similar to what Atlanta gave up to get Jones. Would the Eagles give that up? Doubtful, which is why I spend more time writing about the possibility in the O-Zone than I do actually considering whether it could happen.
William from Jacksonville:
What kind of players are the Jags looking for in the offseason and are they going to go for a name like Frank Gore or Ndamukong Suh? And are they going to solidify the offensive line like they did the defense last offseason?
John: I doubt they go after Gore or Suh, but I think they'll go after players such as Julius Thomas, Bryan Bulaga, Randall Cobb – not all of them, but a player or two like that. And yes, I do think they'll solidify the line by adding at least one starter (right tackle) and a player capable of pushing for a job on the interior.
Mark from Green Bay, WI:
What are the chances the Browns will take a quarterback since theirs isn't turning out like they expected?
John: I think there's a good chance they take one, though I doubt they'll give up two first-round selections to move up to get him.
Christian from Titusville, FL:
As many have said, thanks for all you do and how well you do it. This may be obvious to you, but are we correct to assume that all the talk about a pass rusher with the No. 3 pick means we plan to supplement the offensive line (right tackle primarily) in free agency? Sorry if this has already been addressed.
John: No apologies necessary. And while the Jaguars haven't and likely won't lay out their plan for all to see, I do think they'll pursue a right tackle in free agency.
Jon from Trinidad and Tobago:
With regards to our pick in the draft, I'm thinking it's either Williams at No. 3 or trade. Thoughts?
John: Your question makes the assumption that many make, and it is often an assumption made in error. Your assuming that if the Jaguars don't select Williams at No. 3 they automatically can pick up the telephone and make a trade. That's easier discussed than executed.
Zac from Orange Park, FL:
I have just been wondering why Vic Beasley isn't a Top 3 guy? With the production in college, speed, and strength all in the combination to the size he put on, shouldn't he be an option? With that being said, I like Fowler more, but was curious why Beasley isn't considered as highly?
John: Beasley had an impressive NFL Scouting Combine, so he probably will start being discussed in this light. Top 3? I doubt it. We'll see.
Sebastian from San Antonio, TX:
O, hope you can find the sense in this. Possibly the most important piece missing from our defense is an elite-level game changing pass rusher. We have a solid line with good players mostly on the interior of the line, but no real defensive end that threatens every play besides maybe Chris Clemons, who is past his prime now. Why draft Leonard Williams? His biggest trait is his versatility to play as a tackle or an end and be really good anywhere you put him on the line; he's not hands-down the best pure pass rusher, will we find ourselves drafting for the same need next year even if we take Williams this year?
John: I understand your concern, and it makes some sense. I like the idea of Williams at the top of the draft if you think he's the best player in the draft, and you think he's an impact guy on a significant level. A majority of draft analysts – Greg Cosell being an obvious exception – think he's that.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, here's an interesting fact: in the 20-year history of the Jaguars, we have drafted only one defensive end (Derrick Harvey) in the first round. That's an incredible stat, considering how long the pass rush has been a major concern.
John: Yes, it is.

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