JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ron from Asheville, NC:
The one thing I wanted more than anything from the combine was for Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota to really shine. All indications are they both did real well on the field and in the classroom. This bodes well for the Jags because if one of them is still there the Jags should be able to have quarterback-needy teams wanting to trade. If both are gone that means they land Leonard Williams, so it's a win-win for the Jags. Would you echo my thoughts or do you think otherwise?
John: I sort of think otherwise. I do believe it benefits the Jaguars if Mariota and Winston are highly coveted – and for exactly the reasons you say. If they can get a good trade, great for them. If they get Leonard Williams, great for them, too. But I'm not convinced that the results of this past weekend will have too, too much effect on the quarterbacks' draft status either way. The pre-combine buzz had the Buccaneers taking Winston No. 1 overall, and it would be surprising at this point if it doesn't happen. And while Mariota performed well at the combine, most observers expected him to thrive in that situation. It won't likely change much about how he's perceived, and the storyline between now and the draft will remain his ability to play a pro-style offense after playing a spread offense in college.
David from Jacksonville:
The future looks bright. Just hope I live long enough to see all of the improvements and be able to enjoy them.
John: Me too.
Fred from Naples, FL:
The thought of Leonard Williams playing in the same division as us for years to come gives me an early headache. What would it cost the Jags to move up one spot to get him and do you think that is a possibility? The difference between him and Ray, Gregory and Fowler is huge.
John: I think it's a pretty slim possibility, actually. With a top-five selection and a lot of needs, I doubt the Jaguars will give up draft selections to move up one spot just to keep a player from being in their division. And I'm not sure it's right to say there's a huge difference between Williams and the other three, especially Fowler. First, you never know for sure how a player is going to adapt to the NFL. The league is full of players who are significantly better than players who went a few spots before them in the draft. Also, the impression coming away from the combine is that while Williams is the best player, Fowler is very good. Maybe very, very good.
Strbiker from Dothan, AL:
"Fans gonna fan. Naysayers gonna say nay." Best Oehser quotables.
John: Zone gonna Zone.
David from Durban, South Africa:
Please, 'O, please … Tell me that signing Brennan Williams was not Caldwell's idea of upgrading the right tackle position in free agency? Mercy!
John: The Williams signing certainly was not all the Jaguars will do at right tackle this offseason, but who said it was? A move made in mid-February before unrestricted free agency and the draft is not at all a move that defines the offseason. Williams has ability, having been a third-round selection by Houston 2013. He has been severely hampered by injuries, having had microfracture knee surgery as a rookie. If he works out, great. If not, there's no risk.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I don't think Blake Bortles will be great; I'd love to be wrong. But he couldn't throw a well-placed screen pass. I would think that play would be a relief when called to one of the most-sacked quarterbacks in the league. One step, set your feet and make the throw … If he couldn't even do that, why would this franchise act like he is definitely the future? That seems, well, stupid. I sure hope they draft another quarterback. General managers drafting one quarterback sure hasn't worked here in ten plus years. I would like to see a general manager actually adequately address the most important position on the field. I can't help but feel if Bortles busts the next four to five years of this organization is lost. That's ridiculous. Stop the madness, pursue quarterback until you have one that can play at a high level in this league. Thanks, Go Jags!
John: You didn't specify that you wanted Caldwell to draft a quarterback in the first round. If that's what you want, I can promise you'll be disappointed. And while I understand the trepidation about Bortles after his rookie season, you hear a lot more positive buzz about him in league circles than anything else. I also know that it does a lot of good to draft a player you don't believe has a chance to be better than him. If, for instance, Jameis Winston was available, I could make at least a semblance of an argument for drafting him. I wouldn't expect the Jaguars to do so, and I wouldn't argue it very vehemently, but I could understand the logic. He appears to have prototypical, big-time ability – much like Bortles did coming out of college last offseason. I think Winston has a chance to be special. I don't see the same skills in Marcus Mariota, so it would be tougher to get excited about that selection. All of that said, a quarterback at No. 3 wouldn't and won't happen. Now, could the Jaguars draft the position in the later rounds? Will Caldwell address that position in the later rounds every few years to develop the position behind the starter? Yeah, that's always a sound approach, particularly as the rest of the roster develops.
Matthew from Clermont, FL:
I Khan't believe you've opened these floodgates.
John: Yeah, it is getting sort of Khantagious.
Tucker from Nashville, TN:
John, I'm hoping the Packers sign Randall Cobb and let Bryan Bulaga walk. If we sign Thomas, it's signing a receiver at the tight end position. Jags will overpay but our cap is healthy. I also agree with you on draft prospects. The only wild card is Cooper if we stay at three. What are the chances of Wagner hitting free agency in Seattle?
John: Wagner? Free agency? No, and I think your Packers' scenario could go the other way; either way, I'd be a little surprised at this point to see Bryan Bulaga in Jacksonville. I wouldn't be nearly as surprised to see Thomas there, though there are other tight ends that make sense, too. As for your last question, I understand that Cooper is intriguing. I understand he played at Alabama and was on television a lot. I understand that people want a wide receiver. I don't believe the Jaguars are going to take a wide receiver at No. 3, and I don't believe it's much of a wild-card or a possibility. I believe people should get used to the idea of a defensive-front/pass rusher there, because it just feels like that's what's going to happen come late April.
Andrew from Los Angeles, CA:
Let's say the Titans take Leonard Williams at No. 2. If you were Caldwell, would youconsider taking wide receiver Kevin White at No. 3 based on his combine performance? Mike Mayock even compared White to Larry Fitzgerald. A Bortles-White combo would be fun to watch don't you think?
John: I do think that, and I would consider that. I think that there's a lot I like about White and that there are a whole lot of people who see him as the best receiver in the draft and a game-changing player. I don't think Caldwell will go that direction.
Matt from Duval:
Clearly, it's Shadsonville.
John: Shad gonna Shad.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Okay, John I got your point. While you were gone for 20 years, I was here. I watched the decay of the Landing and all the money the CITY has sunk into it to try and keep it alive. Have you been in the Landing since you returned? It is a sad shadow of its former glory. I suppose my concern is Shad Khan putting up these grand Shipyards and in 30 years seeing the same thing of the city trying to save them.
John: I was gone 10 years, and I saw the Landing decline before I left. I also have seen it since I returned. I understand your concern. I also understand if you keep not doing things because something not particularly similar didn't work before you're never going to get much done.
Stephen from Belfast, Ireland:
O-man, please not another Florida defensive end. I'm only just getting over Der........ I mean Derri......... I can't even bring myself to type his name.
John: A not-so-great, admittedly-sad man once said this, and I quote: … "If you keep not doing things because something not particularly similar didn't work before you're never going to get much done."
Jim from Jacksonville:
Why do sportscasters and writers say things like: he throws "like a Peyton Manning" or we need players "like a Leonard Williams? Just say "like Peyton Manning". Say what you mean! Stop the wishy washy madness!
John: And sportscasters gonna sportcast. Sportswriters gonna sportswrite … or something like that.
O-Zone: Things sportscasters do
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ron from Asheville, NC: