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They all target

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

Rob from Jacksonville:
In your Saturday blog you mentioned wanting the Jaguars to have some compensatory picks so they could trade up. I just wanted to point out that you can't trade comp picks. I agree on wishing they had some comp picks, though.

Vic: I'm well aware that you can't trade compensatory picks, but they allow you to trade your own pick in the same round and still have a pick in that round. Compensatory picks are one of the draft advantages enjoyed by teams that aren't afraid to let players go in free agency. Teams that do that have confidence in their ability to draft and develop and that causes a snowball effect of more compensatory picks that allow for more draft picks that allow for more players to be let go in free agency that allow for more compensatory picks and so on and so on. I like that philosophy a lot.

Carlos from Bakersfield, CA:
First of all, long-time reader of your column; read it every single day and have Vic withdrawal on weekend. Anyway, good decent draft of the Jaguars. I mean, we did have pretty low picks. So we just added more young depth to the roster. All I have to say is thank you, Texans. The AFC South will sleep better knowing Bush will not be there. Your thoughts?

Vic: The other three coaching staffs in the AFC South all had smiles on their faces when the Texans didn't pick Reggie Bush. Mario Williams is a great talent and could become a dominant pass-rusher in the NFL but I have questions about him: Why didn't the light go on until after his coach at N.C. State got in his face at the midway point of last season? How much of what Williams did last season is the result of playing with two other big-time linemen? Most college offenses just don't have enough personnel to effectively block three guys. Reggie Bush was never anything but great at USC. He never had a bad season, a bad half season or, as far as I know, a bad game. He has never been anything but a dominant player. Williams was made the first overall pick on the strength of half a season. I don't think that's logical.

Scott from Woodbridge, VA:
Drafting Lewis at TE is a great pick but does this mean Kyle Brady's days are numbered?

Vic: Kyle will be in his 12th pro season this year. I think it's safe to say his days are numbered.

Steve from Kensington, MD:
I've heard before, possibly from you, that it takes three years to accurately grade a draft class. So let's hear it. The Jags 2003 draft class was Leftwich (1), Mathis (2), Manuwai (3), Wrighster (4), Toefield (4), Brandon Green (6), David Young (6), Marcus Ogden (6) and Malaefou Mackenzie (7).

Vic: Grading draft classes three years later is very easy. In 2003, the Jaguars were good early and bad late. That's obvious.

Steven from Tampa, FL:
I am again impressed with the drafting of Jack and Shack. In my opinion, this is one of the best overall drafts in Jaguars history, especially when one takes into account how late in each round we were picking. We were even able to obtain mid-round value in the seventh with Webb and Wyche. Drew represents true lightning-in-a-bottle ability of the Tavian Banks variety. What is your opinion of this strategy utilized by the Jaguars in crafting such an excellent draft and do you feel it has the potential to be our finest draft?

Vic: I would describe this draft as "workmanlike." The Jaguars only had six picks and they were all low, so, my expectations weren't real high. I'm OK with this draft class. The Jaguars did their homework and the draft fell pretty much as they expected. I've considered other two-man options: LenDale White and Abdul Hodge, for example, and I'm OK with Marcedes Lewis and Maurice Drew. The thing I think the fans are going to like about Lewis is that he's going to become Keenan McCardell. Jaguars fans have complained for years about the team cutting McCardell. Well, Lewis is a younger, bigger version of McCardell. Lewis adjusts to the ball beautifully, just as McCardell did. When I watch Lewis I see a big McCardell. Lewis is going to become Byron Leftwich's possession receiver. Lewis is going to move the chains just as McCardell did. I think Lewis will become the Jaguars' best receiver. I don't think anyone will complain about that.

Michael from Gainesville, FL:
I watched Maurice Drew's highlights video. Do you think he's a steal for a late-second round pick?

Vic: I wouldn't describe him as a steal late in the second round because that's where he was projected to go. I also dismiss any notion of Drew in an underdog role. Second-round picks are not underdogs. When you're 5-7 and you're selected in the second round, your talents have been recognized and flattered in a big way. You don't draft punt-returners in the second round. You don't draft for roster depth in the second round. My expectation for Maurice Drew is that he will become, in time, a featured ball-carrier on this team.

Jonas from Jacksonville:
The Jags say they had six targeted players and they got three of them. Any idea who the other three were?

Vic: I don't know who the other three were. I think it's safe to say that had DeAngelo Williams not gone to Carolina at 27 the Jaguars wouldn't have made the Marcedes Lewis pick with eight minutes left on the clock. I think it's safe to say there might've been eight more minutes of conversation. I believe without question that Lewis, Drew and Ingram had all been targeted by the Jaguars. I believe that because that's the way teams operate in today's draft system and in some cases the information gets out as to who teams are targeting. Brian Sexton can tell you that as we were sitting in the radio studio waiting for the Jaguars to pick, I said to him, "This is where the Steelers trade up." At the time, the Giants were on the clock at 25. He asked me who the Steelers wanted and I said, "Santonio Holmes." Within seconds, Paul Tagliabue announced the trade and the pick. That's the way it is these days. Teams target players. The concept of picking the best available player isn't as dramatic as it once was because teams decide in advance of the draft who they want to pick and they fit themselves in the order so that when they pick the guy he's the best available player.

Marjorie from Jacksonville:
Your blog and recaps on the picks? I had to work and was quite busy, so, I had no opportunity to hear word on the draft. I came home, logged in around midnight and there you have it, just like I was living it real time. Thank you for taking the added steps, providing the analyzing and balanced reporting and making this website other teams will investigate and seek to emulate. Superlative! You and your website team make us proud.

Vic: Fans really like the blogs. I'm thinking about a daily blog concept for next season. When I come to work in the morning, I'll start the daily blog and I'll type in little notes throughout the day. If a coach stops in the office for a little conversation and something is said that intrigues me, I'll share it with you. Wadda you think of that idea?

Derek from Fleming Island, FL:
I like the Maurice Drew pick; very, very excited to see him play. Was he the one who made sports news for changing his number or something?

Vic: Maurice Drew told reporters on Saturday that he will include the name Jones on the back of his jersey, as he did at UCLA, as a tribute to his deceased grandfather, who raised Maurice.

Darren from Conneaut, OH:
How bad was the Buffalo Bills draft?

Vic: I like the Bills draft. I think John McCargo, Ashton Youboty and Ko Simpson are outstanding values. There's only one thing the Bills did that I don't like: They didn't fit the pick to Donte Whitner. Whitner is obviously a guy they targeted and there's nothing wrong with that because he's an outstanding player. Number eight, however, was too early for Whitner. He doesn't fit there and that means the Bills surrendered too much value at number eight without being compensated for it. That also means they're going to overpay for Whitner. They had to find a way to trade down and they didn't. I give them low marks for not being able to move down, but I give them high marks for the talent they acquired.

Will from Jacksonville:
As a Jag fan you got to like the Texans passing on Bush and the Titans taking too big of a risk in Young and White.

Vic: The Texans had an absolutely sensational draft. DeMeco Ryans, Charles Spencer and Eric Winston are phenomenal values. Mario Williams has Julius Peppers-like ability and this could be a draft that puts the Texans right into the AFC South mix. This draft, however, will always be remembered for the pick the Texans didn't make. Time will tell. The Titans draft leaves me cold. I don't understand why the Titans felt a need to make such a risky pick at number three. I see Vince Young as a player who represents far more downside risk than upside reward. I see Young as a player who is going to require a major investment of time and scheme. I also see Young as a player who is going to divide the leadership of the Titans because Jeff Fisher didn't want him. When you're picking number three overall, you're clearly in a long-term rebuilding phase and when players as safe as A.J. Hawk or D'Brickashaw Ferguson are available, you pick one of them and move on to the next phase of your recovery. As it stands, the Titans won't know for a long time if they took a step forward in that recovery by drafting Young. I could be wrong and I'll admit I was wrong if Young turns out to be the star a lot of people think he will be, but I'm not going to lie about my opinion on the pick right now. I think it was a mistake.

David from Jacksonville:
Any word on what number Marcedes Lewis plans to wear?

Vic: Lewis will wear 89 and Drew will wear 32.

Jonathan from Jacksonville:
I was a little concerned over the draft that Jacksonville did not address the need for a linebacker until the third round, so, to calm my nerves I re-read some of your columns and noted that weakside linebacker is not hard to replace, the Jags need a touchdown-maker and should draft the best available player. From all this information, is it safe to say Jack and Shack went into the draft knowing they were going to wait until the third round to get their linebacker?

Vic: They went into the draft knowing a linebacker didn't fit where they were picking in the first round. That became obvious to anyone who followed all of the hype leading up to the draft. These teams have become very good at predicting the order in which the players will fall. They targeted Marcedes Lewis because he was the top-rated player on their board according to how they predicted the players would fall. As it turned out, they were right on target. In the second round, I think the pick came down to Maurice Drew or Charles Spencer. A linebacker really didn't fit there, either. They had Clint Ingram targeted for the third round and when they got into the third round they started to get a little antsy about waiting for Ingram to fall to them, so, they made the deal with Dallas and according to the trade exchange table the Jaguars made out on the deal. Jack and Shack probably wouldn't have slept well Saturday night if Ingram had been selected right before the Jaguars pick. Trading up was a good move because it wasn't costly. When you have a guy targeted, go get him, provided it isn't too costly.

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