O-Zone: Wish it would rain

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA

Please stop the band-aid approach. Think long term and draft Haskins!

I have received many versions of this statement in recent weeks – i.e., people wanting the Jaguars to select Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins at No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft even after the team signed quarterback Nick Foles as an unrestricted free agent last month. While this makes sense considering the Jaguars’ long-standing quarterback issues, fans wanting Haskins likely are operating from a different premise than the team. If the Jaguars thought of Foles as you do – as a “band-aid” – they indeed could be tempted to use a Top 10 selection on a quarterback, therefore perhaps solving their quarterback position for the long term. But the Jaguars not only signed Foles to what is essentially a two- or three-year deal, they made clear upon signing him they believe he will be their franchise quarterback for at least four years. Therefore, they don’t see him as a band-aid at all. I have written often that I would be fine with selecting Haskins at No. 7, but that’s because the old-school guy in me just can’t let go of the idea that franchise quarterbacks are more often drafted in the Top 10 than signed as free agents. But I don’t expect the Jaguars to take that approach later this month.

Tom from London, England

I disagree about our need for a pass rusher/defensive line in general. Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus are aging and expensive, Taven Bryan is unproven and behind Yannick Ngakoue, we don't have a lot of speed.

Who are you disagreeing with?

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL

With all these free-agent signings, do you believe we are positioned to move up in the draft?

I suppose, but the Jaguars’ free-agent signings aren’t specifically about positioning for potential draft-day trades. They’re about the Jaguars positioning themselves to draft as much as possible without worrying about need. And yes, they have put themselves to do that as well as imaginable considering their needs and salary-cap situation entering the offseason.

Scott from Jacksonville

It has been three months since the season ended, and you are only just now doing your SECOND mock draft? Pathetic!

You’re right. I suck. Is this news?

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

It makes sense that the best chance the Jaguars have at trading down is for Haskins or Kyler Murray of Oklahoma to be available at No. 7. Since none of the teams picking immediately after the Jaguars seem likely to take a quarterback, however, wouldn’t a team trading up for a quarterback be more likely to trade with another team? You never know for sure, but it seems like Cincinnati at No. 11 would be the next team to consider a quarterback, and it would be less costly for a team to trade up to No. 9 or 10 than to trade with us at No. 7.

Teams trade up in the draft not only to get past teams selecting ahead of them, but to get in position to stay ahead of other teams that might be trying to move up. Sure, it would be less costly for a team to move up to No. 9 or 10, but there also is a risk of another team moving to No. 7. There are no guarantees in this, but the Jaguars’ best chance of being able to trade down is if there are coveted quarterbacks available when they are on the clock at No. 7.

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

Your Norv Turner answer was hilarious. It beat the Joke of the Day!

Take enough swings, sometimes one goes out.

Steven from Duval

Just a thought on drafting a quarterback early. It’s a small gamble, but Will Richardson may be starting quality and the other guy we signed is average so take Haskins or Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in case Foles doesn’t play as well as we hope. If he plays well, then someone will trade for the rookie, maybe a pick and really good player. I would rather play it safe for quarterback than right tackle. I don’t mind tight end or left tackle/move Cam, but right tackles in college are usually not the freakish talents left tackles are. I know they're more important than they used to be, but Cam is a better prospect than Taylor at any offensive line position. Thoughts?

I do have a couple of thoughts. The Jaguars signed Foles assuming he will be good, which I believe means they won’t take a quarterback at No. 7. Also, I don’t know that Cam Robinson is hands-down, no-questions-asked a better prospect than Jawaan Taylor “at any offensive line position.” Robinson was a second-round selection and Taylor almost certainly will be at worst a Top 15 selection.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

Just looking at last year's draft: Are you suggesting that the Browns adding Baker Mayfield, the Los Angeles Chargers adding Derwin James or the Indianapolis Colts adding Quenton Nelson didn't impact their win total? Very bold, try again.

Nah. I’m good. So was the answer. Actually, the answer was really, really good.

Bill from Hawthorne Woods, IL

I’m finally getting to an opinion about how the early part of this draft will play out. It has taken a while and quite a bit of reading, but I think the No. 7 pick will be along the defensive line. The talent there at the top of the draft is just too good to pass up and Calais won’t play forever. The depth added in recent free agency at offensive line and running back makes going defensive line possible. The only position of urgency is tight end, and I would expect that to be the second-round pick (Irv Smith Jr. of Alabama, please). I see you mocked Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, but I can’t see him dropping that far. He might be the best overall player in the draft. So, how about Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat in Round 1, Smith in Round 2 and offensive line and wide receiver with the picks in Round 3?

That could happen.

David from Oviedo, FL

Zone: The biggest reason our offensive line will improved will not be because of Taylor. It will be because of Foles, running a balanced offense and getting the ball out on time. Do you agree that a quarterback can make an offensive line better?

Yes.

Jason from Yulee, FL

What are the possibilities of trading for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens? He might encompass a compromise of two schools of thought – acquiring a veteran but having some youth of a recently drafted player. Could he be the next Jimmy Garoppolo? His stock seems to be rising.

The Jaguars already signed Foles this offseason. I don’t anticipate them spending draft capital to trade for a backup.

Josh from Harrisburg, PA

I read two days ago of one of the first documented flights of a Russian spy plan overflying restricted flight areas IAW The Treaty on Open Skies. This aircraft documented many of our bases but most importantly they spent extra time over “birthplace” of Gene P Frenette Area 51. Has the legend of this Northeast Florida sports writer made it to the Kremlin?

I have been told it’s best for all parties if I don’t address this matter.

Brian from Independence

Hi, O: With the recent running-back signings, it is strange Corey Grant hasn't resigned. I've not heard any other team showing interest in him, either. I personally thought he was a great third-down back and special teams player. Was his injury so bad as to be career-ending?

His injury was serious. Whether it was serious enough to be career-ending remains to be seen.

Keith from Palatka, FL

OK, John: I am officially flummoxed. We have four potential right tackles on the roster: Cedric Ogbuehi, Josh Wells, Will Richardson and Leonard Wester. Does this mean Taylor might not be the draft choice and they may be targeting a defensive lineman?

I’m sorry you’re flummoxed, but I wouldn’t assume that the Jaguars aren’t going to select right tackle in the draft. While they possibly could just open the tackle position to the four players you mentioned, none of the four have remotely proven themselves to be starting-level right tackles over the course of a 16-game season.

Drew from Redding

Any idea who the Jaguars are bringing in for their draft visits? Should any of this matter? Are most of these just for last minute evaluation or smoke screens?

I don’t yet have a comprehensive list of the Jaguars’ pre-draft visits. This is something the team has revealed some years and not revealed other years. How much the pre-draft visit list matters varies. It can at times give a glimpse into some players the team is strongly considering late in the draft. It is less informative about who a team might be considering in the first round.

Travis from Who Cares?

Why does it always rain on me? Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

Probably.

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