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Opinions aren't facts

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Kyle from Jacksonville:
You were right two years ago with Adrian Peterson being an awesome back, and last year you said Matt Ryan would be a good QB. Who do you see the Jaguars drafting that could make that kind of impact?

Vic: That's a lot of impact. Let's scale down our expectations a little. How about a player who can win a starting job in his rookie season and quickly establish himself as a long-term fixture at his position? I think that's a demanding, yet, reasonable expectation for the eighth pick of the draft, and I think Malcolm Jenkins could be that kind of a player for the Jaguars. He's a good-looking prospect who plays a premium position. He works out today and I will be very interested in the results. If he works out as I expect, he will become a leading candidate, in my opinion, for the Jaguars' pick.

Rod from Atlanta, GA:
Any chance the Jags have B.J. Raji high on their board? Will he be there at the eighth pick?

Vic: I can't imagine that the Jaguars don't have Raji high on their board, and he's expected to be available at number eight. At this point in time, he would be another player I would consider as a candidate for the Jaguars' pick.

Shaun from Jacksonville:
I think Andre Smith has really caused a lot of harm to his draft stock because of his display of immaturity at the combine. Do you think coaches will look at his poor decision as something they can fix or will he slip out of the top 10?

Vic: My instincts tell me he's likely to fall out of the top 10. His suspicious departure at the scouting combine might make him too risky for a top 10 pick. His talent, however, will make teams lower in the order willing to ignore the risk. The question is: Where is that line between too high to take the risk and too good not to take the risk?

Tom from Jacksonville:
I watched Pat White at the combine and saw an athletic, undersized QB with an average arm. Today, I am hearing about how well he did and that he might not be converted to WR. Your thoughts?

Vic: In the video I did with Gene Smith, I asked him to give me the name of a player in this draft class who can be a real difference-maker. I was expecting Gene to give me Matt Stafford or Chris Wells, etc., but he right away, without hesitation, offered Pat White's name. What does that tell you? White is a mouth-watering prospect because of the creativity he offers offensive coordinators. I don't think teams are thinking of him in terms of a true, drop-back quarterback. I think he's being scouted with the wildcat offense in mind. White can be a "slash" player and there's a big market for that kind of guy in today's game. On top of that, he has improved his passing enough to be regarded as a legitimate quarterback prospect, but it's his overall athletic ability and big-play potential that has piqued teams' interest in him.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL:
You said yesterday that if a guy runs slower than expected you should throw it out because he probably had a bad day, but in another column you said the Jaguars will probably not look at drafting Moreno or Wells due to their slower than expected times.

Vic: I said in "Ask Vic" that if a guy runs slower than expected, you should discard the time. "Ask Vic" is a column and columns are about opinion. It was in a "combine report" that I wrote that Knowshon Moreno's and Chris Wells' slow 40 times will likely cause them not to fit in the top eight picks of the draft. Combine reports are news stories, not columns, and are about what is believed to be fact, not opinion. The information in the combine report was acquired at a midnight meeting in a "Steak and Shake" with a source whose identity I would go to jail to protect. It cost me 18 bucks, counting the tip. I don't agree that a slow time should knock a guy out of the top 10, but I was told it's a fact that it will. Moreno and Wells will have a chance to improve their times in their pro-day and personal workouts but, for now, they have fallen as a result of their poor combine runs. Please, everybody, know the difference between news stories and opinion columns.

Dave from Jacksonville:
I have enjoyed your interviews at the combine. Is a center high enough value to be the BAP with our second-round pick? This seems to be a good group at the top.

Vic: You start thinking about centers and guards in the bottom third of the first round. The guy at Cal, Alex Mack, would be outstanding value in the second round, in my opinion, provided he's healthy.

Jim from Jacksonville:
Drafting the best possible player for a position that is needed seems to be a more logical way of selecting people out of college. What's the sense in drafting a top-rated quarterback if he's noted as the best player on the board when it's time to pick, when there might be a player a few slots down this subjective list that could truly fill a hole for the team?

Vic: So you would rather leave the better player for your competition to draft, and then play against that player for the next 10 years? Not me.

Brian from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if you could tell me a couple of unheralded prospects who might be around in the mid to late rounds that the Jags might take a chance on.

Vic: I'll give you one. Linebackers coach Mark Duffner is high on a middle linebacker named Scott McKillop. He's a tough, in-the-box tackling machine. McKillop is very bright and instinctive and is one of those classic get-it-done guys. He's not going to take on and defeat blocks, but he seems to know where the ball's going and how to get there against the least amount of resistance. When you're talking character, and the Jaguars are absolutely talking character, you start with McKillop. In Duffner's video, he raves about McKillop. For the linebacker interviews on Saturday, McKillop was the first player in the room, an hour ahead of time. It did not go unnoticed. The Jaguars, of course, have need for a young, developmental middle linebacker.

Gabe from Jacksonville:
So the Jaguars could go through this draft without drafting an offensive lineman and you are OK with that as long as they get the BAP?

Vic: Yes, I would be OK with that. In my opinion, that's the kind of discipline you have to have to execute the BAP philosophy. If you're not going to do it, then why bother having a philosophy?

Sal from El Paso, TX:
Deon Butler ran the third-fastest 40 for receivers but didn't place in the top 10 in the three-cone drill. How do personnel guys evaluate this when assigning an overall grade to a draft prospect?

Vic: I guess they have to decide which is more important, running real fast toward the goal line or running around in circles. I think I'd prefer the guy who runs real fast toward the goal line. Victor from Dresden, NC:
Back in the old days, what on earth did the general managers and coaches do without this great combine to attend?

Vic: They made costly mistakes on the players' medicals. For example, in the first training camp I ever covered, 1972, the Steelers' fourth-round draft pick, a defensive back from Missouri, arrived at camp missing a couple of fingers. It was not a new injury, but it was news to the Steelers. He was cut.

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