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O-Zone: Total confusion

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Aidan Hutchinson obviously can rush the passer. How is he against the run? (We still have to play Henry or Taylor four times a year).

Hutchinson, an edge defender from Michigan that many analysts project will be the No. 1 selection by the Jaguars in the 2022 NFL Draft, is generally considered a good run defender. Remember: He is impressive physically at 6-feet-6, 265 pounds. This is not a scrappy guy. He is not undersized. He is not a speed-only, get-around-the-edge player. He is a player who can hold up against the run – and he shouldn't be a liability against running backs such as Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans and Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts.

Hank from Toms River

Just a comment on the draft. As far as addressing the offensive line, Brandon Scherff might be an All-Pro but he also missed 22 games in recent years. Center Brandon Linder, who was solid, is gone. Cam has been good at times and not so good. They should use the first pick on North Carolina State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu, trade up with the second pick and get the Iowa center, and trade Cam Robinson. Finish the job so quarterback Trevor Lawrence can live up to his potential. That's it.

Just a comment(s) on your comment. The Jaguars believe left tackle Cam Robinson is an ascending player; I expect they will sign him to a long-term contract this offseason and that he will be their starting left tackle for the foreseeable future. I doubt they will select Ekwonu or any offensive tackle No. 1 overall, though selecting Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at No. 33 overall increasingly feels possible. We'll see.

Sean from Jacksonville

Complete what if... What would be a mascot you'd like to see for any current or possibly new team? I like the Werewolves just so it would be awesome to see them play in London. Warren would be happy.

Ah-ooooooo!

Hugo from Albuquerque, NM

If the argument is that infractions, penalties or rules violations happen on every single play and that officials pick and choose when to call these infractions, one could very easily be making the argument that officials are in fact NOT good due to the fact they miss calls on every single play. Just saying.

I suppose one could make that argument. It would be a silly one, and it could be argued that the person making the argument was perhaps being argumentative. NFL officials are generally very good at a job that's far more difficult and thankless than most people discussing the job care to understand or admit.

Matty from St. Augustine, FL

Hell, yeah!!! The draft is next week. Bring on the Pain!! Keep doing what you do, KOAF. You are appreciated!

So, one fer the draft, one fer KOAF – and one fer pain, I suppose …

Tom from Shanghai, China

Former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer might be the worst head coach to ever work the NFL. He might have overseen one of the biggest self-lit dumpster fires in the history of the league. No individual has done more to hurt this team from within. As far as I am concerned, any mention of Meyer's name that skirts these facts is conciliatory.

… and one very much not fer Meyer.

Matt from Section 133

Since it's now that time of year … In your opinion, as someone "on the inside," is "Draft Day" starring Kevin Costner one of the dumbest movies ever made? It seems to me that if you went into a sports bar and grabbed the loudest, most opinionated NFL fan in there (preferably after he played Madden all day and won the Super Bowl in franchise mode) and told him, "Write a screenplay based on how you think the NFL draft goes," that dude would crank out "Draft Day."

Many, many movies and television shows overdramatize the reality of a given profession. I worked in newsrooms for the first part of my career, and typically find movies or television shows fail to accurately depict their reality. This is because newsrooms are often far less dramatic and exciting than the movies. My guess is this is true of most lines of work – and it struck me that Draft Day fell victim to the same tendency. As for the movie itself … I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. It was what it was, but was it a little cliched and expected? Yeah. You could say that.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, when it comes to personnel decisions on our existing roster, is the "tape" enough for the new coaching staff to make the decisions so far regarding who is released, traded, etc? I would think seeing and speaking to those players in person should matter somewhat regarding existing personnel.

For new regimes, "tape" has to be enough in their first offseason. But remember: General Manager Trent Baalke and much of the personnel staff was here before this coaching staff, so it's not as if all involved in the decisions had no working knowledge of the roster before the offseason began.

Steve from Nashville, TN

I know each year's draft is different, but with the NFL assigning many of the compensatory picks at the end of the third round … that is traditionally the line where the talent level drops off with any year's collegiate draft eligible players. With the Jaguars having eight picks on Saturday of next week's draft, is the talent level in this year's draft any deeper for those later rounds or in any particular position?

It's considered a very good draft at many positions throughout all rounds – at least in part because many of the players who returned to school for an extra "COVID" year in 2021 are now in the draft. It's considered a deep draft for offensive line and wide receiver, but remember: Even if a position group is considered deep, players selected after about the fourth round usually are developmental players. Teams generally can't count on Day 3 players to contribute/start immediately.

Russell from Jacksonville

_Thank you sincerely for answering my question on hierarchy and final say. My really only concern in the draft. It was what I hoped you'd say and the way I hoped it was. I guess I as a common fan, I got caught up in the onslaught of negativity surrounding the general manager's past. As long as coaches I trust have  input, I can get behind any choice. _

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson will have input into personnel.

Genuinejag13 from Duval

What are the chances edge rushers and defensive linemen in this year draft will face offensive fronts in the NFL better than any college offensive front they have faced?

One hundred percent. It will happen Week 1.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, you seem to be pretty much dismissing the idea of a tackle at No. 1. The organization tagged Cam a second time and didn't get a long-term deal done with him. Maybe the writing is on the wall that they will draft a tackle and move on from Robinson because they didn't get the deal done?

I indeed am pretty much dismissing the idea of an offensive lineman No. 1 overall. That doesn't mean I know it won't happen, but it does mean I would be really surprised if it happened. I believe the Jaguars want to get a long-term deal with Robinson and there's no reason they won't get it done this offseason. I expect that to happen.

Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

With team visits to pro days, prospect visits to teams, combine interviews, etc. being public knowledge, how can draft day subterfuge really work? Do teams really think they can convince other teams to draft different players, trade picks, or keep a coveted player secret? What if the Jags thought safety Kyle Hamilton was their pick at No. 1? Would they not interview him or attend his Pro Day just for the smoke screen? To what degree will teams make misinformation for the sake of the draft?

The reporting of team interest in draft-eligible players ranks among the most worthless NFL "news" possible. Who teams interview at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine is of little value when determining interest in a player. A team being represented at a Pro Day means nothing, though a head coach or general manager attending is more meaningful. Who teams bring in for prospect visits tells you a team is interested enough for an extended interview, but how much it actually predicts a team's selection is open to debate. Remember: All teams at some point will meet with pretty much every draft-eligible prospect. This breathless "reporting" of a team talking to and meeting with a prospect at the Senior Bowl or combine might make "interesting" Twitter fodder, but it doesn't mean much.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I don't get it.

Me, neither.

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