JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Kevin from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada:
If two quarterbacks, Jalen Ramsey and Joey Bosa go in the Top 4, do you think there would be a market for teams to trade up with the Jaguars to No. 5 for Laremy Tunsil? If so, how far do you think Dave Caldwell would be comfortable moving back to still get a potential starter for his defense?
John: This is a scenario Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell could well face come Thursday night – and indications are it's one that will have been well-thought out before the draft. I do think Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil could be available to the Jaguars, although I think it's more likely that the quarterbacks, Ramsey and Ezekiel Elliott are the ones gone. In that scenario, I do believe there could be a trade market for the Jaguars, though I also think it's not out of the question for Caldwell to take Tunsil there. He indicated last week at the pre-draft luncheon that he has more than three players he really likes at the top of the draft. The length of that list will determine how far back Caldwell would trade. Remember, trading back is great, but you don't want to trade so far back that you don't get a player you like. My guess is Caldwell won't go back much further than 13-to-15, but that's just a guess and we won't know until we know.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
I think we are going to get Jalen Ramsey at No. 5 overall, but are we going to get any more weapons for the offense?
John: I'd be surprised if the Jaguars get Ramsey; I'm thinking more and more he will be gone at No. 3 to San Diego. And I'd be really surprised if the Jaguars put much emphasis on offensive skill players in the draft. I think there could be focus on the interior line and perhaps tight end or running back depth later in the draft. But a skill player early? Nah, I doubt it.
Garrett from Jacksonville:
O, one thing I had forgotten about is how bad this team was at tackling. Do you think this will be a point of emphasis with new defensive coordinator Todd Wash? We will see how it has improved in Week One with the team taking on the Packers and Eddie Lacy.
John: That will be a good test, and I do think tackling will be an emphasis this year under Wash. One thing to remember is that missed tackles in the NFL often come from players being out of position as opposed to a player just not being a good tackler. That's attention to detail and precision, and those were things Wash talked a lot about upon taking the position.
Graham from Dundee, Scotland:
O-man, being across the pond, the draft doesn't start till the early hours of the morning. Fortunately, I'm working night shift and will be able to keep tabs on what's going on, but I was hoping you could give me a rundown of timings for picks 1 through 5. Just to allow myself to take a break and watch the Jags draft our (hopefully) future star. The excitement I have is unreal and I don't want to miss out on the fun. Oh and by the way … GO JAGS!!!!
John: This is a tough one – so tough that it's actually impossible to answer. The draft will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, but after that, the timing depends on how long each team takes to select. All teams have 10 minutes to make Round 1 selections, so if all teams take all 10 minutes the Jaguars should be on the clock around 8:40. If all teams take one minute, the Jaguars will be on the clock at 8:04. So somewhere in between 8:04 and …
Kyle from Ohio:
Do you think there have been drafted players who were deemed busts who could have succeeded elsewhere, or players who may not have been that good but fell into the right system to succeed? Example, maybe a pass rusher was drafted to rush alongside someone like Michael Strahan and they just had success because of teams really focusing on Strahan and it made them look like a great player where maybe if they were on a team without that premiere pass rusher they didn't succeed. Or do you think that good players just succeed no matter what the circumstances, like would a great cornerback succeed even if the team's pass rush was one of the worst ever.
John: It varies based on the skill set of the players. For the most part, a Hall-of-Fame player is usually going to succeed at some level and a lousy player is not going to be great just because of his teammates. The reality is football is the ultimate team sport, and it's impossible to know how great or poor a player would have been in different circumstances. I always thought a player such as Fred Taylor would have been phenomenally good in Indianapolis' offense in the 2000s; with the spread-out defenses that the Colts' passing game would have created, I always thought Taylor could have pushed for 2,000-yard seasons. Then again, he was pretty great anyway, so maybe that's a bad example.
Trae from Where they Play the Players:
John, who do you think are the five most intimidating/scariest defensive players of all time?
John: Dick Butkus, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Greene, Jack Lambert and after that maybe Ray Lewis.
Josh from Green Bay, WI:
I'm cautiously optimistic about the offense this year. It seems lately a lot of young quarterbacks who have had early success haven't made a lot of improvement the next few years. RGIII, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford and Nick Foles come to mind. There have been others such as Big Ben, Cam, and Aaron Rodgers who don't follow that trend. Is this something you've noticed as well? If so, what do you think causes it?
John: There is a process young quarterbacks must go through. Part of that process is adjusting to how defenses defend you once you have had success. The great ones do it. The average ones don't adjust as well once defenses figure out how to take away what they do well.
Roger from Valdosta, GA:
No questions. My blood is pumping hard this week for the draft. Let's Go JAGS.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Can you tell us why you think the offensive line will play better this year?
John: I don't know that I've said I think the offensive line will play better, though I do think there's a good chance that could happen. The reasons? Experience … and the addition of Kelvin Beachum at either guard or tackle. And the return of Brandon Linder from an injury. All of those things could help.
Jordan from Little Valley, NY:
What do your Top 5 players on your big board in order look like?
John: My meaningless and undoubtedly incorrect Big Board looks like: Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, DeForest Buckner and Joey Bosa … because, whatever.
Tom from Jacksonville:
Bill from Jacksonville ask Denver if you can get into problems with the cap. Thomas, Jackson and Osweiler are all in different locations because of cap issues. Can't trade for Kapernick because not enough room. John am I wrong to think a team can still get into cap problems?
John: Yes, teams can still get into cap difficulty. But the Jaguars' decision to not pursue Josh Norman wasn't near as much about cap space as it was about not believing Norman was elite enough to merit the move.
Joe from Aurora, IL:
On the topic of scouts: I think you answered this question when Dave was hired, but I'm asking it again. Does a new general manager hire new scouts when he starts a new job, or do the scouts stay with a franchise even when a general manager is fired/takes another job?
John: It depends on what he thinks of the scouts. That's not meant as a vague answer, but it's not nearly as accepted that general managers must clean house the way it typically happens with head coaches. David Caldwell, remember, made some changes in the front office when he arrived but he kept much of the scouting staff in place. That made sense because they're good at what they do.
Travis from Like Oak, FL:
Why is it that draft boards are kept secret after the draft? I think it would be interesting to see how team's boards compared to the media's experts.
John: It would be fascinating, but very, very unlikely. NFL teams are secretive by nature, particularly when it comes to information. A look at a team's draft board might reveal how they thought, which might help some other team have some iota of insight into might happen in some future drafts … and yeah, it sounds a little paranoid. I guess what I'm saying is I wouldn't hold your breath.
O-Zone: They destroy ya
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Kevin from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada: