Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
John Andreoli from Orange Park, FL:
First, your opinion on the Naeole signing? Secondly, the best available player theory? If Stallworth is available at nine and Henderson is available too, who do you draft? Henderson is a bigger need, but Stallworth is a better athlete? How do teams make their decisions?
The Chris Naeole signing provides high upside at very little risk. How can you not like it? I don't know who the Jaguars have rated higher, Donte Stallworth or John Henderson. All I can tell you is that most teams attach a first-round premium to the big guys because you can't get them in the later rounds; wide receivers, you can.
John Rezsonya from Jacksonville:
I understand there are a couple of players going into this year's draft without an agent. This means they can return to college if they think their pick in the draft is not high enough to meet their needs. Does picking a player in the draft who subsequently returns to college give the team the right to the player later after college (similar to the Cowboys picking Herschel Walker when he was playing for the USFL)? If not, why would a team take a chance on drafting someone if they have not committed to playing in the NFL?
A team owns the rights to the player they drafted until the next year's draft. If they have not signed that player to a contract before the next year's draft, that player goes back into the draft pool. The circumstance you've presented is an NCAA rules proposal.
Ed Gribbin from Orange Park, FL:
After Jonathan Quinn embarrassed us in Pittsburgh last year by fumbling three times, it appears the Jaguars are going to let him walk. I wouldn't feel uneasy about seeing two rookies like Patrick Ramsey, Kurt Kittner or George Godsey backing up Mark Brunell. What are your thoughts about this critical position?
The Jaguars must begin grooming a young quarterback to be an immediate backup, and with the idea that one day he will compete for the starting job. Patrick Ramsey has that kind of potential, but he may require using a second-round pick. Kurt Kittner would seem to have the skills and command of the game necessary to develop quickly into a competent backup, but me may not have what it takes physically to become a team's future at the position. George Godsey is among a group of productive major college quarterbacks who have a specific physical deficiency that clouds their pro futures.
Rick Davis from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Why don't football teams trade players as do basketball and baseball teams?
The NFL salary cap is a major obstacle to trading a player, since a player's bonus amortization remains with the team that traded him. Baseball does not have a salary cap. But even before the advent of the salary cap, NFL teams were reluctant to trade players for other players. Trading players for draft choices was common, when it involved a productive player who was being pushed out of a job by a younger player. But generally speaking, most coaches didn't want other team's mistakes. That philosophy was advanced by the short career-expectancy of an NFL player. It's a young man's game. By the time a player has been discovered to have been a mistake, he may already be past his prime. The careers of baseball and basketball players are considerably longer than those of football players. The bottom line is that, in the NFL, draft choices are considered to be worth more than players.
Jim Golder from Jacksonville:
Nothing would make me happier than seeing Fred Taylor running up and down the field next season and lead the league in rushing, as he has predicted. However, considering his injury-prone nature, what is the latest on Stacey Mack? Has he gotten any interest from other teams? What do you think are the chances he will be a Jaguar in 2002?
Stacey Mack hasn't drawn much serious interest. At this point, those teams in need of a running back may try to find their man cheaply in the late rounds of the draft. I think the Jaguars have a better than even chance of keeping Mack, as long as he isn't offered much more than the $563,000 the Jaguars have tendered.
Joe Peters from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Do you see the Jaguars taking a placekicker in the sixth or seventh round? I think Jeff Chandler from Florida is probably the best kicker in the draft this year. Do you see the Jags taking a kicker or did the disappointment from punter David Leaverton last year make it almost certain the Jags won't pick a kicker in the draft?
The Jaguars have three seventh-round picks. I wouldn't complain too much if they used one of those picks on a kicker, but this team's needs go much deeper than the kicker position. I would rather see the Jaguars focus on finding another Marlon McCree.
George Leroy from St. Augustine, FL:
After the defensive and offensive lines, what is the next category for the Jags that isn't looking too good? And what do you think they plan to do about it?
In my opinion, linebacker is the next desperate need area. Unfortunately, the linebacker crop in this year's draft is horrible.