Let's get to it . . . Lloyd from Jacksonville:
Teams may not be able to trade compensatory picks, but it makes it a lot more palatable to package that third-round pick you already have when you have the extra one already in your pocket.
John: Yes, it does. That's why it's considered compensation. You can't use a regular third-rounder and a compensatory third-rounder to move up a few spots in the first round, but you can use your regular third-rounder to move up. That's the nature of the process.
Josh from Bowling Green, OH:
Although I do believe that Gabbert will develop into a good quarterback, one question yesterday had me thinking. The question about if Tannehill is available, would we possibly draft him? Makes me think back to a point Vic often made... we drafted Byron Leftwich, which caused us to pass on Ben Roethlisberger the next year. What if we would have drafted quarterbacks back to back years and had Big Ben playing for us?
John: Then the Jaguars without question would be in very good shape at quarterback. Now, does that apply to Tannehill? That depends. If he's available when you're selecting and you feel strongly that he's a franchise quarterback, then it's your responsibility to take him. A franchise quarterback with elite talent trumps just about every other player you can imagine. If you don't feel he's that, then you pass on him and take the best available player at a position that makes sense to select at that point.
Brian from Jacksonville:
So, if we all agree not to send in any questions on one particular day, would that mean you would have to take the day off? I say we start a movement to give you a much-needed break! All of us Jags fans must be driving you crazy!
John: I appreciate the thought, but I assure you if I wanted a break, I'd take it. The fans don't drive me crazy. It's answering questions about football. I'm not digging ditches or welding steel here.
Ron from Jacksonville:
I'll agree with you college teams could never play with NFL, MLB, NHL and a lot of other professional sports, but the NBA is the one where I disagree. A third of the draft in the NBA is high school kids that can make pretty dramatic impacts on their team. The NBA is notorious for playing half-hearted defense, while the college game is more of a team sport. I'm not going to say a college team would definitely beat a bad NBA team, but I honestly can't say I'd be surprised if it happened.
John: I wouldn't be surprised, either. I'd be shocked. This conversation stemmed from a tweet by my friend, Matt Hayes, from the Sporting News, Saturday. He tweeted that the worst NBA team would beat Kentucky by 40 points. I tweeted that I agreed. Several people agreed with you – that Kentucky or a great college team could possibly compete. Watching the Final Four Saturday should certainly confirm the idea that it wouldn't happen. Kentucky is a very good college team – the best this season – but the Wildcats' best players are freshmen. Even if their two best players were rookie-of-the-year candidates that gives them two decent players and three who aren't ready to be significant contributors in the NBA. Every NBA team by definition has players ready to play in the NBA – bigger, stronger more mature players. We had a similar discussion about the NFL in the fall and I get that it fascinates people, but the worst NBA team would beat Kentucky. And it wouldn't be close. Think of it this way: Kentucky is very, very good, but if the Wildcats could compete in the NBA why were they in a nip-and-tuck game with Louisville in the second half? And why did they lose in the SEC Tournament?
Jason from Mims, FL:
I always find it kind of funny when someone says, 'Why can't (insert team,) see that their current QB won't do it?' What are the Browns supposed to do? Who's out there that's better than McCoy right now? As Rick used to say, "Should I go to the quarterback tree out back and just grab another one?" Everyone wants a Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger. That's just six guys, though. That means the other 26 teams are still searching, too. That means 26 more guys that aren't as good as the Top 6. You are always looking for one, but obviously they are not very easy to find. If the average teams starts with 2.5 QB's on their roster (some carry two, some carry three), that's 80 quarterbacks on rosters. Six of them are known to be high quality. They are just not easy to find... But they're even more difficult to find if you don't keep looking. I hope Blaine one day approaches that level. You can't know until you let it play out, though. A whole lot about finding football players is easier said than done.
John: Finding an elite quarterback certainly is about the toughest task.
Marc from Jacksonville:
I know it's still a ways out but what do you think the opening day starting lineup will look like this season?
John: I'll tackle this with the caveat that it's hard to determine anything until this coaching staff gets a chance to work with these players, but here's how it looks on offense: QB Blaine Gabbert, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, FB Greg Jones, WR Laurent Robinson, TE Marcedes Lewis, LT Eugene Monroe, LG Will Rackley, C Brad Meester, RG Uche Nwaneri, RT Eben Britton and WR TBD (perhaps a rookie). Defense: DE Jeremy Mincey, DT Tyson Alualu, DT Terrance Knighton, DE TBD (perhaps a rookie), LB Daryl Smith, MLB Paul Posluszny, LB Clint Session, CB Derek Cox, S Dawan Landry, S Dwight Lowery, CB Rashean Mathis.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
I don't have a problem with drafting Coples. In my personal opinion, he has proven to have the most potential, at the very least, of anyone at his position in the draft. Perhaps he has not risen to that potential consistently, but when it comes to the ceiling, I believe his is higher. From there, I'd contend that ignoring him for another player isn't a knock on him as a player, but a knock on the coaching staff as bringing out his full potential and raising his work ethic falls mainly on them. Don't get me wrong, some players don't want to be coached, and if that's the case, then I don't blame the coaches. However, in many cases competent coaches can set a player up to reach his potential and improve his work ethic. Otherwise, play-calling notwithstanding, what's the point of a coach? I believe our coaching staff capable of achieving this, and therefore I think so long as Claiborne isn't on the board, I'd prefer Coples. From reading your posts, I doubt you agree, but players, especially at such a young age, can be taught. So if we're going by potential talent, I'll take Coples.
John: I don't have a problem with them taking Coples, either. One of the things I try to do in the O-Zone is explain why things might or might not happen. Many Jaguars fans understandably agree with you – that Coples may be the most-talented pass rusher in the draft. Many analysts believe that's true, too. For a team needing a pass rusher, it's obviously tempting and it's also tempting to say, "We can coach him. We can change him." I always use the husband-wife analogy here, that if a woman marries a man knowing he loves to spend Sundays with a cooler of Bud Light and DirectTV whose fault is it if she's unhappy in the fall if she doesn't like him spending Sundays with the cooler and the remote? Yes, you should have confidence in your coaching staff to work with a player. But don't mistake confidence for arrogance. If you don't believe a guy gave effort in college when his future is at stake you better know a good reason that's going to change.
Jesse from Hilton Head, SC:
I couldn't quite understand why Melvin Ingram couldn't play DE in a 4-3 scheme. Can you enlighten me?
John: It's not that he couldn't. He probably could. What many in the NFL don't think he will be is a premier pass-rushing 4-3 end, and if you're taking a player at No. 7, you want him to be elite. My understanding is the main reason for this is his arm length. He has short arms, and short arms make it difficult to rush the passer because offensive linemen can get their hands on you and you can't get your hands on them. Ingram impressed athletically during his Pro Day, but most of the things he did impressively were linebacker-oriented attributes. I'm not saying the Jaguars won't take Ingram. He may be the best player there at No. 7, and if he is, you find a place to play him. I'm just outlining the reasons it might not happen.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
In addition to other meanings, I believe "ignorance is bliss" covers what you were attempting to convey.
John: Good point.
Outlining the reasons
Let's get to it . . . Lloyd from Jacksonville: