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Perfectly New Englandesque

Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Would you say Larry Fitzgerald is a possession receiver? If the Jaguars can trade up to get him, wouldn't it be a mistake to draft him at number two?

Vic: You're asking a question that would be the big concern in drafting Larry Fitzgerald. He is not a burner. He ran well at his pro-day workout, but that was also the result of Pitt having moved his workout to a fast surface, and there are people who believe Fitzgerald is not as fast as his pro-day 40 time. So, you can't help but worry that, if you trade up to draft him, you might be spending all of those picks on a possession receiver. But there are also people, and I have no doubt "Shack" Harris is one of them, who believe Fitzgerald is special. The only criticism of the kid is that he doesn't have burner speed. Nobody adjusts to the ball as naturally as he does. He's a touchdown-maker whose speed would seem to be borderline; somewhere between Roy Williams and Mike Williams. I guess I can't answer your question, but I acknowledge the risk/reward. There are more conservative paths to follow. When you're in the top 10, you should be able to find a top player without resorting to drastic measures.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
Now that Mike Williams is not eligible for the draft, do you see the Jaguars making a strong push to move up to try to take Larry Fitzgerald or do they stay where they are and take Kenechi Udeze with the ninth pick and select a WR in the second round?

Vic: It's not that easy. All of a sudden there are rumors about Kenechi Udeze having a shoulder problem that might require surgery, and whether he does or he doesn't, those are the kinds of draft-week rumors that can have a dramatic impact on where he'll be selected. In other words, these rumors aren't helping him. They'll probably scare off a couple of teams, which could lower his stock and make it possible for a team to draft him later in the first round. There are rumors Tommie Harris has a shoulder problem, too, and that those rumors have lowered his stock. All of a sudden, there are players falling and that means other players will be rising, and all of the mock drafts of the past month become somewhat meaningless. As far as the court ruling that denies Mike Williams eligibility for this weekend's draft, I don't think the Jaguars were interested in Williams, but his absence will also have an effect on the draft order. What does it do for wide receivers such as Lee Evans, Reggie Williams and Rashaun Woods? You have to believe their stock just went up, right? It's a domino effect, and the Udeze, Harris and Williams dominoes will probably have a significant effect on the first-round order. As far as the Jaguars are concerned, I think all of this is good reason to stick with the "best available player" philosophy. Don't allow rumors and late-breaking news to send you into a panic. You have the ninth pick of the draft. A top player should be available to you.

Jason from Orange Park, FL:
I asked this question several weeks ago and I'll ask again. With the recent decision that Maurice Clarett and Mike Williams would be placed in the supplemental draft, how does the NFL decide who gets who? If all the teams picking in the first round of this year's draft submit an offer of a first-round pick for Williams, do the Chargers automatically get Williams since they hold this year's number one overall, or is there a different method the NFL uses to even the chances in the supplemental draft?

Vic: Jason, I answered this question a few weeks ago, but I'll do it one more time. The supplemental draft order will be the same as this weekend's order. Teams submit supplemental draft claims for a player according to what pick they would use to draft that player. Teams submitting claims must possess the corresponding round pick in the 2005 regular draft. The team submitting the highest claim in the order acquires the rights to that player, and loses their corresponding round pick in the 2005 regular draft. It's very simple stuff. The only inconsistency is that a number nine pick in the supplemental could turn out to be a number 25 pick next spring, or vice versa.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Isn't it impossible for Mike Williams to be forced to go back to the NCAA since he has an agent?

Vic: That's not the NFL's problem. Mike Williams chose a very aggressive path to the NFL draft, and he knew the NFL would exhaust every means available to it to defend its eligibility standards.

Randall from Orange Park, FL:
I have just returned from Bischkek, Kyrgyzstan, where the US Air Force sent me to do my time in purgatory. Your column was a real morale booster and has helped keep me in touch with the Jags. My question to you is now that Mike Williams cannot enter the draft, will we possibly package Donovin Darius and maybe third and fifth-round draft choices to trade up with Oakland and take a shot at Larry Fitzgerald?

Vic: Welcome back, Randall, and thank you. Recently, I was asked what it would take to move up to number two. I can't say for sure what it would take, but if you apply the numeric table teams use for making trades, the Jaguars would have to give their first-round, second-round and both third-round picks to get the Raiders' first-round spot. It's difficult to figure how many points Donovin Darius would be worth. Maybe he would allow the Jaguars to recover one of those first-day picks.

Fred from Philadelphia:
I've heard for a long time the Jaguars are considering drafting Udeze, but I've heard nothing about us looking at Ohio State's Will Smith. A lot of rankings I've seen have him higher than Udeze. Does Smith lack size or speed or something specific the Jaguars are looking for?

Vic: If Will Smith is available when it's the Jaguars' turn to pick, he will be a prime candidate. Smith is a cat-quick defensive end who might work out real well playing next to two big defensive tackles that are very good at occupying blockers. I could see Smith being used in concert with Marcus Stroud and John Henderson; twists and stunts. Smith is also capable of dropping into coverage, and he's a tough Ohio State Buckeye who knows how to play the run. He's a top player. The only knock on him is his height, 6-2.

Fred from Portland, OR:
You've praised the Patriots as being a role model for NFL teams. So what do you think about them trading their second-round pick for Corey Dillon and his $3.3 million salary?

Vic: Your salary figure is incorrect. Corey Dillon's salary for this year was reduced to a $1.75 million base, with incentives that could take it back to $3.3 million. So, from a salary cap standpoint, the deal makes perfect sense because all of Dillon's amortization ($4.2 million) stays in Cincinnati, and nearly half of his salary has been incentivized. The Patriots have almost no salary cap risk. They can cut Dillon in training camp and not have spent a dollar. The real issue is whether or not Dillon can focus his effort to Bill Belichick's satisfaction. Belichick obviously met with Dillon and came away believing Dillon has new resolve to become the team player he wasn't in Cincinnati. Of course, Belichick will have all of training camp to push Dillon and decide if he, in fact, has what it takes to be a Patriot. If Belichick is able to re-claim Dillon's career, the Patriots will have gotten the running back they desperately need for a second-round pick that was one of their many extra picks in this year's draft. If Dillon doesn't pan out, the Patriots will have wasted a second-round pick, but when you consider that this year's running backs crop is not real good, the trade makes sense. It's perfectly New Englandesque; low in risk, high in reward. By the way, the Steelers got Jerome Bettis from the Rams for a second-round pick.

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