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O-Zone: Thou shalt not chill

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Marc from Jacksonville:
Mr. O, in the VERY unlikely event that the four players (Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey, DeForest Buckner and Myles Jack) you suggested would be good selections for the Jags at No. 5 are off the board, who would you select? I have seen a few mocks that predict Bosa going to Cleveland.
John: I agree that your scenario is very unlikely, and I actually agree enough that I nearly used CAPITAL LETTERS in my response. But IF (see that!) your scenario were to occur, I could see the Jaguars possibly selecting Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil No. 5 overall. If they don't select Tunsil, could Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky be a possibility? Yeah, maybe.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
Since Leo finally won an Oscar, I predict the Jags will finally find an All-Pro LEO pass rusher. That's how these things work, right?
John: I'll check.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
With the recent talk about possibly moving Brandon Linder to center, help us fans understand the skill-set demands for playing center versus guard. Is it more mental than anything else, because for most teams doesn't the center have to read the defense and call the line protection – or is that the quarterback's responsibility?
John: There are subtle differences in the physical skill-set demands between center and guard – at times. Guards are sometimes asked to pull more and be a bit more athletic, but that's not always the case and it's not always across the board. The biggest factors are indeed mental and the ability to execute the snap – either shotgun or under center – then to get in position to execute the play. Centers usually can play guard if needed, but guards can't always move to the middle in the NFL; it's difficult to make the move professionally if you've never played it.
Chris from Herndon, VA:
O … Reston, Virginia? You're not one of those South Lakes punks are ya? Go Hornets.
John: In an answer that likely will interest only Chris … nah, my family moved from Reston, Virginia, when I was still a chubby – albeit, of course, strikingly good-looking – five-year-old.
Damian from Appleton, WI:
What are your reasons NOT to draft Bosa if he is there at 5?
John: If there's someone I like better.
Mike from Section 238:
I thought DeForest Buckner looked more athletic than Joey Bosa this weekend. Did you hear any "scout talk" about that in Indy? It also seemed like there were A LOT of athletic-looking defensive tackles that could play the three- or five-technique spots. The defensive line could have a major influx of talent this year if Diamond Dave wants it.
John: Scout talk sort of goes back and forth on players, but it's hard to say Bosa wasn't as athletic as Buckner during the combine. I don't plan on turning the next 10 O-Zones into a comparison of combine measurables, but Bosa ran the three-cone drills faster than Buckner (6.89-7.51 seconds) and broad jumped further (10-0 compared to 9-7). Those are measurables used for athleticism, and Bosa graded extremely well in those … for what they're worth. Overall … yes, no doubt this is a good year for defensive tackle in the draft. If the Jaguars indeed take a defensive lineman or edge rusher in the first round that certainly doesn't mean they're done drafting on the defensive line.
D from Centreville, VA:
One fer Northern VA!
John: OK.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
I remember the Jaguars picking up a talented wide receiver to be the No. 3. I believe he had a number of injury problems as well during his first couple of years in the NFL. I think his jersey number was No. 82, I think there was a running back, too, that had some early injury problems countered by a high ceiling of talent. I think the number was No. 28. Point being, if the coaches feel Marqise Lee has an elite level of talent, why would we want to move on from him? Wouldn't you want to wait until he recovers 100 percent first?
John: You're right about No. 11 – and yeah, you don't give up on talent like that until you absolutely know it's not going to work out. And then a lot of times you wait a little longer. The Jaguars aren't close to giving up on Marqise Lee because … well, why in the world would they?
Steve from Nashville, TN:
In what round of the 2016 draft will the Jaguars select their first offensive player?
John: This is really contingent on free agency, but best guess: fourth.
Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
Hey John, Keith Marshall could be one of the steals of the draft. I watched him play for UGA before he got hurt. He had a larger average-yard per carry than Todd Gurley before he got hurt. He says he is finally healthy. I know we need players on defense, but if Marshall is available in the later rounds, do you think the Jags would even consider a running back? Denard Robinson and Bernard Pierce really haven't been all that great as backups.
John: I do think the Jaguars could go running back in the later rounds – if they don't sign a complementary back to T.J. Yeldon in free agency. So … sure, why not? One fer Marshall in the later rounds.
Art from Drexel:
I watched film is code for I watched YouTube.
John: Well, yeah.
Doug from Jacksonville:
I can hold my tongue no more. Highlights on YouTube watched on an IPad is not watching film. Match-ups, situations, how a player fared against better linemen, blocking schemes, etc. – coaches film is not highlight reels. Please to the armchair GMs: understand what you are doing is not watching film.
John: Well, yeah.
Zane from Orlando, FL:
Noah Spence's storyline seems familiar. Almost every year there is a supposed "best defensive end in the draft" after the college season (Bosa, Jadaveon Clowney, Da'Quan Bowers, Quinton Coples); over time, questions arise while a new "best pure pass rusher in the draft" becomes anointed. The latter group all seem of the same style and build – with projected more than statistical evidence of success (Spence, Dion Jordan, Randy Gregory, Barkevious Mingo, Bruce Irvin). It seems that style gets overvalued. In build and athleticism, Spence looks like those guys. Statistically speaking at Eastern Kentucky, Spence looks like those guys. Throw in red flags, and I have my reservations about him at No. 5; I think Caldwell should too. Fans and media get caught up trying to find a perfect pass-rushing specimen and roll the dice to find Von Miller. Meanwhile, guys like Watt, Mack, and Ansah, who had questions about their pure pass rushing abilities, end up leading the league in sacks.
John: There is some merit to your point; pass rusher indeed is enough of a priority that teams often reach in a similar way to how teams reach for quarterbacks. I wouldn't put too, too much stock in college statistics; even when it comes to pass rushers, statistics just aren't a good barometer for NFL success. And Spence certainly has the athleticism, background (began career at Ohio State) and look to be selected in the Top 10. Is he a risk? Sure, but most draft selections have an element of risk. It's a percentage business, drafting NFL players. No one bats 1.000.
Preston from Oakville:
O-Man, I just read an article about a college basketball player who intends to work out for NFL teams. Would this player be eligible for the draft? Could he potentially sign as a free agent?
John: He would be eligible for the draft. He could sign as a free agent if he weren't drafted.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, can we please stop talking about taking Myles Jack No. 5 overall? First, we don't need linebacker as badly as we need other positions. Second, but for his injury Jaylon Smith would be the best linebacker in the draft (by far). Jack may be the next best (though I'm not sure why Reggie Ragland is not getting more love), but since the Browns will take a quarterback, we will get either Bosa, Ramsey, Tunsil, Buckner or Hargreaves. We are not taking Myles Jack unless we trade back, and I don't know why we would do that for a position that's not top three need or for a player who isn't best available.
John: I wouldn't bet my house that the Jaguars select Myles Jack, but if Jack is the coverage linebacker people believe – and if he is the above-the-Xs-and-Os player people believe – well, let's just say there would be worse selections.
Catherine from Jacksonville:
On what date does official Free Agency Tampering begin?
John: March 7.
Dave from Jersey City, NJ:
As of now, is the worst-case scenario come draft day that Ramsey, Bosa and Jack are all selected in the Top 4?
John: No. The Jaguars' worst-case draft scenario is that no one from the team shows up on draft day, or that the guys turning in the cards decide to "Netflix and Chill" rather than man the tables. To ensure that scenario doesn't occur, the team does not allow Shadrick to go to the draft.

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