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Ranking the defensive tackles

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

Lou Nussbaum from Jacksonville:
It appears likely the Jaguars will go after a defensive tackle in round one. There are clearly four elite players at this position and all tend to have different strengths and weaknesses. Although it's possible Minnesota and Kansas City may grab two of these players and make the Jags' decision easier, in what order do you rank John Henderson, Ryan Sims, Wendall Bryant and Albert Haynesworth? In other words, who would best meet the needs of the Jaguars at this time by playing alongside Marcus Stroud?
Vic:
My understanding is that Albert Haynesworth has taken the lead among those four candidates. Ryan Sims has moved up behind Haynesworth, and John Henderson's draft stock has fallen hard due to concerns about the health of his back. Wendell Bryant's intensity has been questioned, but he seems to be holding his spot in the top half of the first round.

Steve Phillips from Graceville, FL:
I am very upset that Tony Boselli is gone, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Jags. In the upcoming draft I see a lot of holes. I know Patrick Johnson is a good receiver, but I don't see him being a guy to be doubled. Will the Jags go after a middle-round or early-round WR to help the offense?
Vic:
Yes.

Evan Wilko from Layton, UT:
The mistake I saw made in years past was losing James Stewart and Bryce Paup. They could have done a lot better with those deals. Then, I also believe the next year re-structuring the Brunell deal hurt the cap badly. I guess because of the cap situation that has occurred now they have to rid themselves of the old and bring in the new. So what I want to know now is, is there going to be a high draft pick for running back if Taylor goes out again? Without the running game, there's no game. To me the talent pool we have now is not that great; after watching them play, they are average. I believe when it comes to running backs, they have to have the talent. What do you think?
Vic:
Nobody believes in the value of the running game more deeply than I do. I expect the Jaguars to draft a running back, but the running back crop is horrible. You can't fix it all in one year. Why waste a pick?

John Wagers from Jacksonville:
I am a true diehard, bleed-teal-when-I-am-cut type of fan. My question to you is, with all the whining and crying Fred Taylor has done, do you think we will try to trade him for additional draft picks? I mean, after all, he is a good running back when he is healthy, but he can never stay healthy.
Vic:
The trade market is not good for recovering anything close to Fred Taylor's true worth.

Paul Dillard from Yulee, FL:
Can you give us an update on Kevin Hardy? Who is interested in him and is the injury cloud hanging over him legitimate?
Vic:
Dallas has been the latest to express interest. Kevin Hardy underwent a sophisticated "microfracture" surgical procedure on his knee late last season. It's a surgery intended to stimulate the growth of new cartilage. It's a new, cutting-edge procedure and nobody is quite sure about the recovery period. Andre Wadsworth underwent the procedure and has yet to recover.

Lane Baker from Orlando, FL:
I applaud the offseason overhaul the Jags front office has administered. I don't share other fans' pessimism for the future. They weren't winning with the players they had and it was time to start over. It's always easier getting to the top than it is to stay there. I think the free agents they've signed will prove to be valuable yet inexpensive. If they have a successful draft, I think the future is very bright in Jacksonville. Do you sense the same optimism from Wayne Weaver and Tom Coughlin?
Vic:
There is a sense of genuine relief that they are on the path to salary cap recovery.

Devin Brown from Jacksonville:
How big of an impact player will Bobby Shaw be to the team, and who will start at the second and third spot?
Vic:
Bobby Shaw is a possession receiver whose career is in distinct ascent. In the Jaguars' offense, he can post big numbers, and he knows that, which is why Shaw signed a one-year deal at minimum wage. He believes he will have a big season in 2002, which will be the impetus to a rich contract next spring. I believe he has an edge over Patrick Johnson in the battle for the number two wide receiver job.

Ronnie Gordon from Jacksonville:
All this talk about picking the best available player when we all know the Jags are looking at the offensive and defensive lines with their picks in the first couple of rounds. What happens if Joey Harrington is sitting there at the ninth pick? You can't pass this guy; you just can't. What are your thoughts?
Vic:
He would be passed.

David LeHire from St. Petersburg, FL:
I have been reading people talking about drafting a defensive lineman for round one, instead of an offensive lineman, which, in my opinion, they need much more badly then a defensive lineman. The Jags already have Brackens, Stroud and another young name, Larry Smith, with Spicer, who can fill in at left end. What do you think?
Vic:
The Jaguars have lost three of their starting four defensive linemen since the end of last season. The defensive line, in my opinion, is their area of greatest need, however, if either Bryant McKinnie or Mike Williams is available when the Jaguars select, Tom Coughlin will have a difficult decision to make.

Jon Kurland from Jacksonville:
I think the signing of Chris Naeole is the best move this team has made in three seasons. Having said that, does this all but make it a certainty the Jags will go defensive tackle with the ninth pick? Also, having now filled a glaring need at right guard, does that cancel the theory of going with an offensive lineman in the second round? And if not, do they now focus on a tackle or center in the second round?
Vic:
If they start playing that fix-it-all-in-one-year game, instead of picking the best available player, they'll likely face the same circumstances next year. Just pick a good player. Who doesn't need a good player?

Sean McKnight from Jacksonville:
You keep saying the fans need to move on about Keenan McCardell. Aren't we the people who pay for the seats and probably your paycheck? I don't mean to sound like a jackass, but Keenan McCardell is part of the Jaguars and, more than that, part of the fans. So, my question to you is shouldn't we have a say? I mean, would we even be talking about this if there were no fans?
Vic:
Most successful teams do not take their direction on personnel moves from their fans.

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