Brett from Ridgeland:
Either in a trade back in the first round or at No. 7, would Fletcher Cox be on the Jaguars’ radar? I know he played defensive tackle, but he is a high-motor guy who makes things happen and I think he could be a young Mincey-like player on the edge or at defensive tackle in spot situations. Thoughts?
John: He would have to grade out substantially higher than anyone else available at No. 7 for the Jaguars to take him, I would think. If they are able to trade down, I think they’ll take a pass rusher or a wide receiver in the first round because the value of the available players there makes sense.
Shannon from Albuquerque, NM:
Big Osh! I am one of the only huge Jaguars fans in New Mexico and I just want to let you know the love of this team is all over the great USA. I am proud of the office and what they have in store for 2012. Blaine the Insane will rock. Mark my words!! Go jagz!!!!
John: I feel you, Shannon. I feel you.
Roger from Section 132:
Do you see any chance of the Jaguars trading up to get Blackmon? We need a star receiver and I see no one better.
John: I don’t get a sense that the Jaguars are looking hard to trade up for a wide receiver. I also don’t get the sense that most people around the league think there is a big enough difference between Blackmon and other receivers to merit giving up what would be necessary to move up a spot or two to get him. I’d guess it’s far more likely the Jaguars will trade back. Whether they’ll be able to find a partner to do that we’ll probably find out sometime after 9 p.m. on April 26.
John from Tampa, FL:
Do you think Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football really made the image of Blaine being scared? Here’s something people don't understand with young quarterbacks: when they are new to an offense and don’t always make the right read, they sometimes bail to get into a more backyard scramble drill roll where it’s easier to make a play. That is what Blaine was doing, not being "scared" and for people who want to take Jon Gruden’s opinion of a young quarterback: he never developed one! He ran them into the ground, and if anything he proved why in his assessment that night.
John: The comments of someone famous certainly can shape public opinion. That seemed to happen with Gabbert after Gruden’s comments this past season. What you’re saying has a lot of merit and jibes with a lot of what you hear about Gabbert in the pocket. I saw too many instances of Gabbert doing things on the field last season that took courage and guts to think that he is scared on the field. I personally believe that while Gabbert has a lot of improvement to make in a lot of areas, the idea of him being “scared” is a huge misconception and just not realistic. I don’t know that Gruden’s comments prove anything about Gruden as a coach. Analysts don’t always get it right, and on the topic of which you speak, this is one of those cases where I just think the analyst didn’t have it quite right.
Jake from Winter Park, FL:
I’m a fairly new fan. I started following the Jaguars in ‘05, and was wondering when a new team forms, say in LA next year, do they just sign a bunch of free agents to start off a team? Or do they bring in their own players?
John: First off, everything you hear is that we’re quite a few years from any expansion team – either in Los Angeles or anywhere else. The specific rules for stocking a team have changed a bit depending on the expansion year, but generally expansion teams are allowed to hold an expansion draft during which existing teams allocate two or three players to make available. That lets the expansion team have enough veteran players to stock a roster. After that, the expansion team is allowed to participate in free agency as any team would. Then, the team participates in the draft with the No. 1 overall selection. Exactly how many draft selections the expansion team has depended on the year, but that’s the general stocking process.
Steve from Brunswick, GA:
Speaking of core players and how to attain them, you didn't mention wide receiver. I think there are a few really good wide receivers in the draft this year and I think a franchise can be built around an awesome wide receiver: Jerry Rice, Jimmy Smith, Michael Irvin; just to name a few. I watched Blackmon last year specifically in the bowl game against Stanford and he was very impressive. Don't you think Blaine needs a guy like that to throw the ball too if he is going to develop into a star QB?
John: I’ve answered this in a few different ways in recent weeks and I imagine I’ll keep doing so as the draft approaches, so I’ll get a little long-winded on this one. I didn’t mention wide receiver, because in many cases teams can build championship teams without using Top 10 selections on the position. The three receivers you mentioned, for example, were not Top 10 selections, though Irvin was selected No. 11 overall. Neither of the two Pro Bowl receivers I covered with the Colts – Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne – were Top 10 selections, either, and Smith and Keenan McCardell obviously weren’t first-rounders. You need wide receivers, but although the Jaguars obviously have struggled to find them in recent seasons, you don’t have to get them in the first round to find quality at the position. Saying that, the Jaguars do have a dilemma in that they need increased production at the position immediately and it’s hard to find that in a rookie who’s not a premier player along the lines of Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green. There doesn’t seem to be that level of receiver in this year’s draft. So, yes, Gabbert needs a guy like that to throw to. Is Blackmon that guy? There’s debate on that, and there’s certainly debate if he would be that guy immediately.
Bobby from Kingsland, GA:
Marcus Stroud said earlier this week on SiriusXM, "Right now, I was thinking about maybe trying to give it one more whirl." He was saying this about giving football another shot after sitting out 2011 with an injury. What are the odds he signs with a team? What are the odds the Jaguars give him another shot and sign him as depth and be part of the defensive tackle rotation? He will come cheap and is known to be a leader and hard worker. I don’t know about you O-man, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him come back, giving him a shot to prove himself, and retire as a Jaguar.
John: Never say never, but I’m generally a believer in looking forward, not back.
David from Monterrey, Mexico:
Keep the streak going! C’mon! I love my daily Ozone fix.
John: Keep the questions coming, and we’ll keep the streak alive for a while more.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Instead of BAP, I think it should be MVP, most valuable player. Some positions certainly hold more value than others.
John: That’s a good way of describing it. You absolutely take the best available player, but if that player is a punter, I’m just not convinced you’re pulling the trigger in the first round.
Peter from Kinston, ON:
Everybody seems to be focused on trying to put a square peg in a round hole with a wide receiver and defensive end at our first and second pick, when it's likely that no wide receiver or defensive end will be worth No. 7. It seems as soon as Vic left everybody forgot about BAP. There are several players rated highly who don't fit positions of perceived need - Trent Richardson, Fletcher Cox, Dontari Poe, Luke Kuechly to name a few. What are the chances we draft someone like that?
John: Maybe they’ve forgotten it because I don’t beat it daily, but yes, the Jaguars still would like to go best-available-player on draft day. I also think that somehow – be it by trade or by best-available-player selection you’re going to see the Jaguars select defensive end and wide receiver early in the draft.
Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL:
“Believing what you choose to believe is easier than understanding the truth." Is that an original of yours?
John: I believe it may be original. I don’t recall reading it anywhere else, but perhaps I’m wrong. The gist of it, though, isn’t any unique idea of mine. It’s just a lot easier to believe what you already believe than to hear facts and truth that doesn’t jibe with many others are saying and believing.
Troy from Panama City, FL:
What song do u listen to to get u amped up or inspired to release ur inner beast? #beastmode