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O-Zone: Survey says

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. Looking like the first pick in the draft comes down to O-line vs. D-line. Protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence or rush the opposing quarterback. Historically, the possibility of a premier edge rusher would be the priority. But doesn't the longer the offense is on the field directly affect the performance of the defense? Are philosophies changing?

I continue to get multiple versions of this question, and my answer continues to be that you can't base a No. 1 selection in a draft – or any draft – solely on history. Or only on positions. Or only on theory. While an edge rusher theoreticallymightbe the approach over offensive tackle, that only makes sense if you think the edge rusher is a better player than the offensive tackle. Too many Round 1 selections fail – yes, even Top 5 selections – to assume an early-drafted player will be great for that reason alone. As far your question … I don't get the idea philosophies are changing that much in this area. Those two remaintheoretical high-value positions. Quarterback is the NFL's most important position, and you must protect that position. You also must disrupt the position while on defense. They're sort of different sides of the same critical coin. It's not-so-gradually reaching the point where you must have a third side of that coin for the guy who catches passes, but that's a different discussion.

Nick from Palm Coast, FL

I asked this before but has Evan Engram been to Jacksonville since he signed? Have you been able to interview him yet? Would love to hear why he wanted to be here in Jacksonville.

Jaguars tight end Evan Engram indeed has been to Jacksonville, and he spoke during the press conference to announce the team's 2022 free-agent class last month. He cited his primary reasons for signing with the Jaguars as Head Coach Doug Pederson and Lawrence, and he was particularly excited about playing for Pederson considering Pederson's reputation for working well with tight ends. I didn't interview Engram individually when he was in town, though I anticipate doing so at some point. I expect Engram will be in Jacksonville for the offseason program and I expect you will hear more from him then.

Ben from Jacksonville

Can the Detroit Lions at Pick No. 32 purposely stall to draft a player, allowing time to expire at the end of the first round, in hopes of fielding possible trades? As a result, holding the Jaguars' pick at 33 hostage until the following day? Thank you and I look forward to your answer.

No. The Lions will have 10 minutes to make the No. 32 overall selection of Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft – the same time all teams have to select in Round 1.

Nathan from Utah, US

OT Zone, "length of game, safety issues, no perfect scenario." Yes, there is. No overtime! Imagine how much more competitive the game would be. Especially the fourth quarter. Why not go this route? Is it really just money?

I don't know that that would make games more competitive. Maybe I'm wrong. I've been wrong before. I think. Maybe.

Kenneth from Jacksonville

John, if you could match up two teams from any era of football to play a game against one another, which two teams do you think you would choose? I have a hard time between choosing two high-powered offenses or one high-powered offense and one really good defense.

There are so many possibilities it's hard to pick just two, but let's go with the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers and one of Tom Brady's New England Patriots teams from the 2000s or 2010s. That would be an intriguing matchup between two generational teams. Comparisons between the two are impossibly unfair because the rules changed between eras – and because players now are bigger, stronger and faster. My guess is if you gave those Steelers teams – and great teams of any era – the same access to lifetime and year-round training, they would be just as big and strong and fast as modern players. Whatever the circumstances, it's hard to argue there were much better teams in NFL history than those 1970s Steelers teams. But it would be an interesting matchup. I'd click on that.

Leon from Austin, TX

Zone. Do you feel Jags will make a play for DK or wait and develop from the draft?

I believe the Jaguars will select a wide receiver No. 33 overall – or so – in the 2022 NFL Draft. I would be surprised if they trade for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf because a trade involving that sort of capital/draft selection always is surprising.

Chris from San Diego, CA

I don't see any scenario where the Jaguars take Kyle Hamilton No. 1 overall (or even trade down to draft him). What impact did Bob Sanders have on the Indianapolis Colts and do you think they would have made it to the Super Bowl without him?

I also would be surprised if the Jaguars selected Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton No. 1 overall and I don't anticipate a trade down. Sanders, an All-Pro safety, had a huge impact on the Colts. I don't believe they would have won the Super Bowl following the 2006 season without him. I also don't believe they would have won that Super Bowl without quarterback Peyton Manning, tight end Dallas Clark, wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison or defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

Amy from Orange Park, FL

Hey, O. What is a Players Leadership Council? Who's on it? And what is their function/responsibilities? Thanks and GO JAGS!

This question references Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson saying last week during the NFL's 2022 Annual Meeting that he plans to have a players leadership council. Many coaches have a version of this, and it's typically made up of team leaders with the idea being to ensure the head coach has open – and meaningful – communication with players. Pederson said he plans to get to know the players through the offseason and establish a leadership council closer to the regular season.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Longtime Jaguars fans will remember the narrative from well over a decade ago around the Jaguars being a team on the move and out of Jacksonville. Low ticket sales, blackouts averted at the last moment, tarps over seats and whether they would be called the Los Angeles Jaguars were the main discussion topics. During Owner Shad Khan's ownership of the Team I don't recall any significant consternation over these topics. I think we should appreciate being an NFL city with no other major pro sport league in town. Jacksonville is the only NFL city with a singular major sports league footprint with consideration of Green Bay's proximity to Milwaukee and unique legacy.


Keith from Miami, FL

Do you expect Matthew Wright to be the Jaguars' kicker in 2022? Do you think the Jags could also draft a kicker in the late rounds, which would be the first time they draft a kicker since Josh Scobee in 2004?

I expect Wright to compete for the kicker position with Ryan Santoso, who recently signed with the Jaguars. I would be surprised if the Jaguars selected a kicker in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that's mainly because it's always a little surprising when a team drafts a kicker. So I guess I would be mildly surprised. Or not all that surprised. Maybe they will. Or won't. I don't know.

Kevin from Jacksonville

I think you and David from Ada, OK are both raging idiots. I wanted you to know that.

David from Ada, OK, is not a raging idiot.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Much of the talk this offseason has been about giving Lawrence better tools and protection. The Jaguars have been doing exactly that in free agency, and hopefully that will continue in the upcoming draft. Some opine that it isn't enough. But giving Trevor tools is only part of the equation. If he is truly the generational talent many believe, and if he indeed takes a step forward in his second season, won't he elevate the talent around him? Isn't there the potential for Trevor to make a pretty good receiver group into a top-ten group?

I don't know how much, exactly, Lawrence will elevate the Jaguars' receivers. But yes … a quarterback playing at a high level can help all those around him.

Russ from Jax

I notice a lot of teams are starting April 4. Why didn't the Jags take advantage of the extra time like the other new head coach teams?

Because Pederson has been a head coach in five previous NFL seasons and knows how much time he needs in an offseason program.

Randy from Duval

Twenty-five of the 32 NFL teams have had a losing season in the last three years.

Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.