JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ray from Alexandria, VA
Now that we've filled the glaring holes, we need some playmakers. Our No. 1 pick is obvious, but without the need to draft a corner, left tackle or running back, do you expect us to go for more of the best available player? Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer wanted to focus on speed, and I can see this as an opportunity to get a wide receiver like Kadarius Toney of Florida – or another pass rusher. Of course, there could always be that player in the late first or second round that is too good to pass up ...
I expect Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke to focus on adding offensive playmakers – at tight end, running back and/or wide receiver. That could be in the draft or what remains of free agency, but the draft is the best place for NFL teams to find front-line players at any position; teams typically don't want to let front-line veterans leave. The Jaguars currently have five selections in the Top 65 of the 2021 NFL Draft. All would be considered premium selections where you're drafting potential starters. I therefore wouldn't be surprised at all if a couple of those five selections were offensive playmakers.
Jared from O-Town
Hey, John-O. It has been a while since I was this excited for the new League Year to officially start – and, like so many others, I was a touch underwhelmed with the Jaguars signings during the tampering period. I still have hope, though, that this staff is competent. I have hope still that they are doing their due diligence and doing so more than any other staff in the league. Do you think there's a chance that the front office didn't see the top targets in this free agent pool as being worth what they would be warranted and are waiting on the wave of players about to be released? Would you agree that good times are built with the talent curve more flattened than top heavy? Shouldn't raising the floor as high as possible on top of a more solid foundation be the first step in a rebuild?
I find it amusing people are ready to deep the new regime incompetent hours into free agency. Would it not be fair to at least wait until two games are played? Or three? Or at least a preseason game? Look: The Jaguars' new regime clearly looked at this roster and believed additions were needed in a lot of areas – and acquiring experienced, capable players who fit what the decision-makers want all around the roster took precedent over making a few splash transactions. The Jaguars also went into this offseason with an eye on value and spending to the salary cap over a three-year period as opposed to spending to it for one season. Their goal absolutely is to raise the floor as high as possible. But they want to do it in a sustainable way that builds a complete team rather than one with a notable name or two.
Sage from Wiseland
DUH! Quality>>>>>>>Quantity. Running back Carlos Hyde? Wide receiver Marvin Jones? Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett? Safety Rayshawn Jenkins? Baalke is a moron (except the cornerback Shaquill Griffin signing).
So, he's a moron – except when it comes to a decision you like. Got it.
Mac from Jacksonville Beach
Is Tyson Alualu going to be listed as a DT or fullback?
Tyson Alualu – who spent his first six seasons with the Jaguars, who spent the past four with the Steelers and who has agreed to terms to re-sign with the Jaguars – will be listed as a defensive tackle, essentially the same position he has played consistently and well throughout 11 NFL seasons.
Jarret from Crosby, ND
In honor of the angst, panic and outrage generated by this year's free-agency period, I feel compelled to resend my post from long ago, February 1, 2014: The ardor and frenzy for big-name free agency spending never dies. Are no fans capable of learning from the experiences of other teams who followed that dismal road to ruin? It appears they all must follow the same mirage and yearn for the same Dead Sea fruit that turns to dust and ashes in their mouths. Free agency is the opium of the fans.
Seven years later – and you're still out here spittin' truth.
Liam from Cartagena
JO. What are our college scouts doing during free-agent happy hour deals? Do they adjust a big draft board based on the Jags bringing in the new free agents?
The draft board isn't built on needs; it's built on grades the team assigns players. Scouts, in fact, pay comparatively little attention to free agency because how they approach their job doesn't change based on players who have been acquired. Now, it's certainly possible – and even likely – that the decisions Meyer and Baalke make during the draft will be influenced by free agency and team needs. Teams ideally draft with as little attention as possible on need, but it's unrealistic to believe need is never considered.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
Looks like Josh Oliver got traded after all. Too bad we could not parlay that into a bid for another top 15 pick, Pitts would be a nice addition at TE.
The Jaguars indeed reportedly traded tight end Josh Oliver to the Baltimore Ravens for a seventh-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. It seems as if you're implying the Jaguars should have used Oliver to move up in the first round. He has played four games in two NFL seasons. He was a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Whatever his future, whatever his potential, he doesn't have that value now.
Jordan from Mandarin
What is the plan at tight end?
Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico
It appears to me they are using free agency primarily to build the bottom-half of the roster with experienced depth and situational players, kind of like having a delayed draft with mostly players 26-27 years old. Coupled with the fact they drafted 12-13 players last year, I don't see how another 10 draft picks make the team this year (not counting No. 1 for Trevor Lawrence). Maybe they think they can turn those 10 picks into three or four higher ones in the first two days and have those more experienced players back up potential rookie stars and our promising first-year players. This way, you don't have raw rookies or walk-ons backing up rookies like last year, which spelled disaster when injuries hit us. Do you think this might be what they're thinking?
The Jaguars drafting 10 rookies who make the 2021 roster wouldn't be an untenable situation, and you certainly don't want to squander the equity the team has in the form of five selections in the Top 65 of the 2021 NFL Draft. But yes … there certainly has been an element thus far in free agency of a so-called "delayed draft." And it definitely appears this regime doesn't not want to be too rookie-centric next season. You can skew too young, even if you believe you're in a rebuild. The Jaguars clearly did not want to do that this offseason.
Holger from Zurich, Switzerland
Serious question: Do you think Collin Johnson could play tight end?
I understand the premise because Johnson – a receiver selected by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft – is a physically impressive player, particularly for a receiver. But he strikes me as a receiver, and I would be a little surprised if he moved to tight end.
Jason from North Pole, AK
We just signed one of the highest-rated defensive tackles (7th overall) by Pro Football Focus in Tyson Alualu for peanuts. What is it about him that makes him so underrated? One for Baalke for bolstering the defensive line depth without breaking the bank.
Alualu is underrated primarily because he doesn't get many sacks and he plays a position with few statistics to verify level of play. All he has done in 11 NFL seasons is consistently play well, be phenomenally reliable for a defensive lineman and set great examples for those around him. So, yeah … one fer Baalke and Meyer for this one.
Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124
I'm looking forward to another season spent listening to announcers talk about Tyson Ah-LOOO Ah-LOOO.
Bob from Sumter, SC
Probably in the minority opinion in thinking that Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry were overpaid for their value. My guess is the Jaguars like James O'Shaughnessy and Josh Oliver and will use a high draft pick for a tight end they really like.
It certainly was a seller's market for the top tight ends this offseason, and there's every possibility the Jaguars were unwilling to go past a certain number for certain free agents. Baalke talked extensively before free agency about value – and if you're conscious of value in free agency you must know when to walk away … and know when to run.