Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Patrick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Is there any chance Gene Smith would agree to open with the Saints as the Thursday night game?
Vic: I heard he was trying to get The Citadel for the opener, and that he's trying to find a way to play the whole season in just three states: Florida, Tennessee and Alabama. The Alabama part is gonna be tough.
Kent from Oak Harbor, WA:
I certainly agree with the idea of defensive tackles to be able to stay low, but isn't the ability to get high to get in the face of the QB and maybe even knock down a few balls getting to be more important in this new, pass-happy league?
Vic: In today's short drops, quarterbacks throw between on-rushing line. They're literally throwing under the linemen's arms, in the lanes. Playing with leverage is still the number one trait for which scouts look in a defensive tackle and I'd have to believe it'll be even more important should the league outlaw three and four-point stances.
Andrea from Robecco Sul Naviglio, Italy:
Looking back at the defensive ends drafted in the first round in the past 10 years, and excluding the players taken in the last two for the reason they might still be in development, it seems to me like there's only four hits among them: Mario Williams, Shaun Ellis, Will Smith and Dwight Freeney. Seems like it would be better to avoid taking a DE early, much in the way it is for wide receivers. Do you agree?
Vic: You're missing some good defensive ends, some of which became rush-backers in 3-4 defenses in the NFL: John Abraham, Justin Smith, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Demarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman, Tamba Hali, Mathias Kiwanuka. Your point, however, is understood. The road is littered with more misses than hits. Look at the 2007 first round: Gaines Adams, Jamal Anderson, Adam Carriker, Jarvis Moss. Count up that first-round money. So why do teams continue to overdraft pass-rushing defensive ends? Because you can't win without one. You must pressure the quarterback to play winning defense. There is no other way.
Matt from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Is the best case scenario on draft day for either Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford to fall to us at the 10th pick?
Vic: Yeah, it's very similar to last year when we hoped Mark Sanchez would fall to the Jaguars at eight. That would've given the Jaguars the chance to either pick a player they really liked or entertain trade offers with the idea of acquiring even more value than the pick was perceived to be worth. Either Bradford or Clausen would do that for the Jaguars, but I wouldn't hold your breath. No position is as overdrafted as quarterback is.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
Have there ever been any players picked with a compensatory draft pick that became major impacts, either immediately or later on?
Vic: Tom Brady's been a pretty good player. He's had some impact.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Part of the reason games are exciting at the end is because nobody on either team wants to go to overtime. Why would they want to change that rule? It would, in my opinion, be one of dumbest things ever. There is no fair chance in overtime and it needs to stay that way or the game will suffer. The focus should be to win the game because anything can happen in overtime. Football is not always fair.
Vic: You're absolutely right. More importantly, in my opinion, is the tradition that'll be lost. As I've said, if it was good enough for Johnny Unitas, it's good enough for me. Hey, wasn't that "The Greatest Game Ever Played?" Why wouldn't you want that?
Bryson from Atlantic Beach, FL:
New York is bidding to have the 2014 Super Bowl held in their new outdoor facility. This would be the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl. How do you feel about this and do you think New York will win the bid?
Vic: I don't think fans, especially the high-roller types that attend Super Bowls, will enjoy sitting in freezing temperatures. I think it'll be one and done. Forget about how it'll impact the play on the field. Cold weather isn't nearly the obstacle it was during the "Ice Bowl" generation. The players have heated everything nowadays. Now they've got technology that literally blows heat or air-conditioning up out of the ground so that it heats or cools the entire sideline. In this case, it's about the fans and I don't think they'll enjoy sitting in the cold.
Carl from Jacksonville:
Do you see the Jags having any prime-time games this season?
Vic: Another Colts-Jaguars prime-timer would make sense.
Tanner from Springfield, MO:
Here's a blast from the past: Vernon Law. Please tell me a story about him.
Vic: He was a 20-game winner on the 1960 world-champion Pirates; he was the National League Cy Young Award winner that year. It was also the most important summer of my young life. All kids have a team that steals their heart, and that's the one that stole mine. I can still recite the batting order. I refer to Gene Smith as Gino, but he doesn't know it's because the star pinch-hitter on the '60 Pirates was an outfielder named Gino "That's a ma boy" Cimoli. Cimoli was a free spirit and, if my memory is correct, it was Cimoli who caused Law to suffer an ankle injury in the Pirates' locker room celebration after having clinched the National League pennant. Law pitched on the gimpy ankle in the World Series against the Yankees, which required that he alter his pitching delivery. As a result, he sustained what amounted to a career-altering arm injury. He was never the same.
Jermaine from Jacksonville:
Is it true Jacksonville only received a sixth-round compensatory pick? Why is it that Jacksonville has never received higher than a fifth and never more than three in a year? We have lost many good names year after year: Fred Taylor, Mike Peterson, Marcus Stroud, Donovin Darius.
Vic: Out of that group, only the loss of Peterson qualified for consideration in the compensatory pick awards. To qualify, the team's rights to a player had to have expired at the start of free agency. Taylor and Darius were cut and Stroud was traded. The reason the Jaguars only got one compensatory pick this year is because they signed Sean Considine and Tra Thomas and lost Peterson, Khalif Barnes, Gerald Sensabaugh and Pierson Prioleau. Weighing the gains against the losses, the NFL decided the net was worth a sixth-round pick. Frankly, I'd rather have a sixth than two sevenths.
Adam from Bridgewater, NJ:
Going off this idea of "eight months to pick," tell me why it takes teams so long to pick when they are on the clock? If Gene and company were going by BAP, couldn't they have just seen Monroe was at the top of their board and sent in the pick?
Vic: You use all of your allotted time to work the phones and attempt to acquire the most value for the pick. As I've said over and over, the draft is all about value. You know who the player is at the top of your board and your rep in New York has that player's name on a piece of paper and the rep is standing at the podium waiting to turn it in. While he's standing there, go ahead and see what you can get in the way of a trade offer from another team. Why not use the time you're allotted?
Nate from Tallahassee, FL:
Is it safe to say the Jaguars can thank Reggie Williams and his untimely arrest (at the start of free agency) for their only being awarded one compensatory pick in 2010?