JACKSONVILLE – Back home after a pleasant trip. Pretty good little Saturday.
Let's get to it …
Duran from Rapid City, SD:
Why the cold shoulder on answering the questions regarding whether or not Justin Blackmon is attending Blake Bortles' camp or not? We know you've gotten a lot of emails about it.
John: No cold shoulder intended. Nothing to report. To my knowledge there's no reason he can't be there, but there has been no word that he will.
Joel from Jacksonville:
My thinking on trading down is it will work only if there is not a highly-rated player we covet and/or there is a player that possibly Oakland, Washington or Chicago wants that another team picking later would covet. I think the likelihood of trading down in this year's draft is slim. Does that make sense?
John: Your thinking does make sense. It's a big reason I haven't gotten too worked up or invested too much time thinking or talking about a trade. They're much easier to pull off in theory than in fact and if you go too far down you're significantly lowering the chances of obtaining a front-line player. But Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell is far more tied in than I am on this front and also has been in a few more draft rooms; he figures the quarterbacks at the top of the draft make a trade possible this year, and perhaps he's right.
Matt from Tampa, FL:
I have been seeing a lot of questions on here about Ndamukong Suh. If we are happy with Marks why would we try to get Suh? Don't he and Marks both play the same role at defensive tackle?
John: Yes, Suh and Marks play essentially the same role, but Marks is coming off an anterior cruciate ligament tear and Suh is a good enough player and special enough talent that you can find ways to get them both on the field. Remember, it's OK to have more than one good player at a position. All of that said, I don't see the Jaguars going after Suh.
Cody from Jacksonville:
Is Kevin White the next great No. 1 wide receiver in the league? Would you draft DGB in the second round if he was there?
John: I have no idea if White will be great. I do know that he has tremendous ability and enough upside to be considered by many the best receiver in the draft. I also heard that he handled himself well at the combine. As for Dorial Green-Beckham, sure … if I thought he was the best available player there, I'd take him.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, do you think the refusal of Todd Gurley to allow the medical people to look at him at the combine is a huge red flag.
John: Not really. Gurley's torn anterior cruciate ligament injury was common knowledge well before the combine, and teams respect and listen to the opinion of Gurley's physician, renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, who recommended Gurley not undergo the combine medical examinations. Andrews' reason was he didn't want 32 teams prodding and pushing the knee this week. I imagine Gurley will undergo individual medical tests between now and the draft, and if those go well, I don't imagine the decision to skip the combine medical tests will hurt him.
Malachi from Santa Clarita, CA:
John, I found it interesting that David Caldwell said that Dwayne Gratz stood out to him last season. I thought we had heard last season that Demetrius McCray was the standout cornerback from the 2013 draft class.
John: McCray indeed was the standout from the class last season. When Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell this past week at the combine mentioned Gratz standing out, he was answering a question in which I asked if anything had stood out in recent weeks while reviewing last season. He mentioned rookies such as Luke Bowanko, Brandon Linder, Aaron Colvin and Telvin Smith. He also mentioned Gratz, a second-year cornerback, but I didn't get the idea Caldwell was reeling off an all-inclusive, categorical list. He was mentioning players on his mind at the time. Not mentioning a player doesn't mean the player didn't play well.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
So please tell me why this new Shipyards idea will succeed where the Landing has failed? This has been tried, John; perhaps you remember when you here before? The Landing was huge and new then, too; look at it now. Sorry, I don't see Jacksonville having a thriving, vibrant, bustling downtown. It is new and will be new for a while, then become The Landing 2.0.
John: C'mon, Greg. I was in my early 20s in the mid-to-late 1980s. As such, I drank my share of sweet, frozen drinks at Fat Tuesday's while sweating in crowded mobs and dancing to Rick Astley. I drank pitcher(s) at Hooters while planning a fantasy football team with my friend, Matt Hayes. My wife and I ate at L&N Seafood. We walked on the River by the Landing on one of our first dates (can I hear a collective, "Awwwwwwwwww??!)" Perhaps the Landing may even have been when she realized to her chagrin that I was the man for her. In other words, I knew the Landing when the Landing was cool. And indeed its prime has long since passed. But that was almost 30 years ago. Is Jacksonville never to try anything new? Is it better to let the Shipyards sit undeveloped and make no effort? This is a potentially really cool thing for Jacksonville – a game-changer of stunning proportion. To compare it to a three-decade old project from another era is to miss the point a bit.
Zach from Knoxville, TN:
Who are we leaning towards in the first round in this year's draft John?
John: I'm guessing defensive end/pass rusher, and because I think the Tennessee Titans are drafting Leonard Williams at No. 2, I'm guessing Florida defensive end Dante Fowler at No. 3 for the Jaguars.
Ryan from Dearborn, MI:
Everyone talks about a team trading up with us for a quarterback - but everyone knows that the Jags and the Raiders … neither one are interested in a quarterback. I see more potential for a team wanting to trade up for a wide receiver like Amari Cooper to try and nab him before Oakland picks. Do you think 'Skins or Jets would be willing to make such a move?
John: Anything's possible, and with Kevin White and Amari Cooper each available there could be teams trading up for a receiver. But I think you're missing the point a bit on the issue. First, teams trying to trade up for a quarterback are often willing to give up more because of the value of the position. Second, teams usually don't try to trade with teams with early picks who have quarterback needs; they trade with teams without quarterback needs to secure the earliest possible selection. On that front it would seem the Jaguars could have a chance to get added value from the No. 3 overall selection in April.
Mark from Manchester, UK:
In Dave Caldwell's press conference, when asked about Storm Johnson he let slip that the Jags were reviewing the Ravens game to look at some free agents. Torrey Smith? Forsett? If the plan is to build through the draft, maybe Owen Daniels for a year to let a rookie tight end grow into the role? The triumphant return of Aaron Ross?!? Thoughts?
John: My guess – and this is strictly a guess – is you may be looking at the wrong side of the ball. Maybe Pernell McPhee? Also, it's probably pretty safe to assume the Jaguars looked at many, many teams in recent weeks when perusing the free-agent market. Smith makes sense, but I'd be surprised if the interest is in Forsett. While the Jaguars liked Forsett there was never a feeling around here that releasing Forsett was any sort of a colossal mistake. He played very well behind a very good offensive line last season, but it's a stretch to think he would have done the same with the Jaguars.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
Just checking in to see if you have made any leeway on the front office convincing them to send Bortles and the 3rd overall pick to Tampa for Jameis???
John: Leeway … I don't think it means what you think it means.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
For the second year in a row the Jaguars did not finish last in their division, a distinction they have accomplished only three times since the 2002 realignment. The legacy of Jaguar futility is overstated by the media.
John: Yeah, maybe … but while the Jaguars haven't finished last often they also haven't been competitive enough. The national media gets plenty wrong when it comes to the Jaguars and Jacksonville, but to say the media is wrong to say the Jaguars have been weak on the field … no, I can't say that.
Doug from Jacksonville:
Khanville seems like too big of a change. Maybe Jackhanville. Shadside instead of southside, Khanpark instead of Orange Park. Shaddington instead of Arlington. Khanport could work. Im in.
John: I Khant believe you're serious. Or maybe I Khan.