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O-Zone: Wait! What?

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL:
Why not trade away next year's draft picks to get three or four guys you really want this year? If the Jags are 0-6, I think Coach is gone and Caldwell by end of season.
John: Oh, Limo Bob, Limo Bob, Limo Bob … where to begin? After all, there are so many, many reasons to not trade away one entire draft to swing for home runs in another. The biggest reason is the draft is a percentage proposition, and no one really knows for sure if a player is going to be as good as a general manager or coach believes upon the player's selection. Swinging for the fences in the fashion you suggest dramatically reduces the number a team's number of selections, which in turn reduces a team's chances of procuring talent. Because a general manager is responsible for an organization's long-term growth and development, such an approach would be categorically irresponsible. As far as your reasoning for doing it, you must remember: that line of thinking doesn't enter the equation. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley and General Manager David Caldwell aren't thinking about 0-6; they're thinking about preparing a team for a season and building a roster that can win and be competitive for the long term. They're certainly not operating from a place of desperation, which essentially is the starting point for a team that trades away an entire NFL Draft.
Ken from Fort Lauderdale, FL:
Why not trade up for Laremy Tunsil? I agree with you that you MUST have a good franchise quarterback to win – and yes, I think pass rush is huge. But you know what else is huge? A player that can stop pass rushers from hitting your franchise quarterback. Aside from center (and that's up in the air), our O-Line is not a good unit. It would be a shame to have the Allens' and Lee's talent go to waste because Bortles is constantly under pressure. I know you would give up two-to-three first-rounders for a quarterback like Brady; but what is your value on a perennial left tackle? Do you or analysts think Tunsil could be the guy? What would you be willing to give up to snag him at 1?
John: I would not trade up from No. 5 to No. 1 for an offensive tackle – even a franchise left tackle – because it has been proven repeatedly in recent seasons you don't need an elite player at the position to win. I agree that the Jaguars' offensive line must improve, but I expect signing Kelvin Beachum and moving (likely) Brandon Linder to center to be the major moves made to address that this offseason.
Dan from Jacksonville:
Percentage chance that Dave Caldwell tries to move up to No. 3 in the draft if Cleveland doesn't pick a quarterback? Over-or-under 50 percent?
John: Thirty-seven point four.
Scott from Jacksonville and Section 409:
I remember during the offseason the year we drafted Blake Bortles there was sooo much talk about how Chad Henne could succeed if he had a strong supporting cast. Then, we saddled him with nine rookies and second-year players to start a vast majority of games. No quarterback could be expected to perform at a high level under those circumstances, and I can't help but think Henne would look like a completely different quarterback if he had to play with our guys now. Hopefully, we don't have to find out one way or another. One fer both our quarterbacks.
John: I agree that Henne would play better with these players than he did with the offense that played in the first two or three games of the 2014 season. Henne would be prepared and he would have the confidence/trust of teammates. He wouldn't be as good as Bortles and that's why the Jaguars are starting Bortles, but if your point is that the Jaguars are in good shape at backup quarterback … yes.
Matt from Jacksonville:
While many of us are excited about Dante Fowler Jr., it's worth remembering that we were pretty hyped about Derrick Harvey before he played his first NFL snap. Hopefully, the outcome will be much different.
John: I imagine most Jaguars fan hope Fowler has a better career than R.J. Soward, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Jones and Reggie Williams, too. No fan hopes first-round selections disappoint.
Jared from O-Town:
Hey John-O. I think it's a touch unfair for anyone to predict a win total. Would it be fair to say that the Jaguars are completely in the running to win the AFC this year? It seems like there's no clear-cut front runner coming into the 2016 season so far.
John: Considering the Jaguars finished 5-11 last season, I can't in good consciousness write that they're the front-runner for the 2016 AFC South title, but if the offense and Blake Bortles continue to improve – and if the defensive offseason moves work – then, yeah … they can be in it.
Paul from Jacksonville:
The atmosphere around this team suggests that the players, both returning and new, have a lot of confidence in each other, Bradley and his staff. I keep having the feeling that it's a team that could get hot and play above its perceived potential. If that happens, we're in for a fun, fun year.
John: The players on this team undoubtedly believe in Bradley and the direction of the franchise. It's a remarkable thing after three consecutive losing seasons and it speaks to the culture he and the coaches here have built. But yes, confidence is high.
J.Smoove from Atlanta:
O-man, trades get me more excited than free agency. As a Jags fan from the beginning I can't remember one exciting trade. Who's the best and worst player received in a trade by Jaguars? Who is the best and worst player the Jaguars traded? And why haven't we seen more trades?
John: Wow, if trades excite you, then you're following the wrong sport. It's not just the Jaguars who don't make player-for-player trades often in the NFL; it's pretty much most teams. The salary cap makes trades tricky, and teams also are reluctant to give up serious equity for veteran players in a league where careers are notoriously short. The best trade in Jaguars history has to be Rob Johnson for the first-round selection that became Fred Taylor. The worst … well, trading up for Blaine Gabbert comes to mind. That wasn't the sort of trade you're referencing, but it sure wasn't good.
Bill from Palm Beach, FL:
OK, this is probably the dumbest question you'll get about the draft, but could you see the Jaguars drafting Ezekiel Elliott? I think he's one of the best running backs to come along in some time. I'm not entirely sold on Yeldon being a feature back.
John: I would be very surprised if the Jaguars take a running back in the first round of this year's NFL Draft. I would have been surprised anyway, but the acquisition of Chris Ivory as a free agent would make such a selection even more surprising.
Jim from Middleburg, FL:
It seems the Jags have had fewer incidents in recent seasons than other teams with players charged with crimes. I think Justin Blackmon and a couple of others were miscues. How do David Caldwell and Gus Bradley separate bad apples from the good apples before they get in the barrel?
John: They do as much research into a player as possible, talk to as many people as possible, then make the best decision possible.
Mike from Section122 and Port Orange, FL:
The giving away of a home division game cheats the fans and Mr. Khan could care less. He wants his bottom-line money. When the league gives enough incentives he will give away another game just as quickly! He may like Jacksonville the City but he likes London more and making more money even more. Please stop writing the same thing – that it is good for the franchise. Just say it is good for Mr. Khan and the fans are just out luck.
John: I understand that there are people who believe this because I get emails like this quite often. Still, this line of thinking – that Khan somehow on a daily basis plots ways to be selfish and hurt the city of Jacksonville – is bizarre to me considering his actions since purchasing the team. Look, the bottom line is this: London is good for the franchise and its fans. It's especially good for fans who like having a stable franchise in Jacksonville. I could write something different, but it wouldn't be accurate – and I do strive to be accurate now and again.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
I am beginning to wonder what is difficult to grasp about the London games. Right now, the exchange rate is 1.4 dollars to 1 pound. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so the price of everyday goods are more expensive. If you have a product to sell, wouldn't you want to sell it to more people than just the people in one small-sized US city? Also, wouldn't you want to sell that product to some of the more affluent individuals in the world? This is an intelligent and creative solution to having revenue issues because you are in a small market. Increase the size of your market.
John: Yeah … but!! But!!! But!! Aaaaarghhh!!!!

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