JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Steve Day 1 season-ticket holder:
Why is “more” better? Given the depth of the talent in the draft, why trade back in the second round, pick No. 33? We stand to get what I believe is the equivalent of two first-round picks. We can't afford to miss in the first round, and by trading back to gain more picks in the later rounds the level of talent diminishes.
John: That’s one way to see it, and in some years you would be right. The general consensus on this draft, though, is the level of talent is pretty similar from selections No. 2 through about 35 or 40, and that it is a pretty deep draft through about Rounds 4 or 5. That means the more players you can add in those ranges the better, and it means that in theory you’re not sacrificing a great deal moving back a few spots in Rounds 1 and 2. That’s all theory, of course. As with any draft, history will show there were good and bad players in all rounds. Still, you must plan a draft strategy and the talent in this draft says a wise strategy may be to try to move back early and pile up picks late.
Brandon from Salt Lake City, UT:
O-Man, an NFL source recently critiqued a college receiver saying, "Running routes, he doesn't know how to do any of that stuff." Is route-running difficult? Isn't this like saying Oehser is a really good writer, but he doesn't know how to form complete sentences? I don't compare physically to NFL receivers, but I can run a good route. It's just following directions. What am I missing?
John: I have no idea what you were asking. I stopped reading at, “Oehser is a really good writer.”
Matt from Manassas, VA:
What is it about the media and fans about Gabbert? It almost feels like after Leaf and Russell, they are searching and hoping for the next flop.
John: Yes, it does feel that way sometimes, and the perception of Gabbert isn’t going to change until next regular season. Fans and media like to see things in simple, black-and-white terms like “failure” or “success” or “boom” or “bust,” and they like to assign full credit or full blame to players, particularly quarterbacks. While the terms aren’t always fair or accurate, it’s the nature of the NFL and the nature of the quarterback situation. Does this take into account play around Gabbert? Or coaching? Or the chaotic situation around the team at times in the last two years? No. If Gabbert comes out and plays well, the media will write it as a great overcoming the odds story, and Jedd Fisch will be lauded as a miracle worker. If not, the media will pile on and write off Gabbert. He knows this, and it’s the nature of the position. Fairness doesn’t always come into play. This week, for instance, Gabbert appeared to struggle at times early in the week, and he had one of the best practices I’ve seen him have on Thursday. Those in the media who believe Gabbert a bust will play up the struggles and ignore the positives. Those who believe he has a chance will emphasize the strong days. This is just the way it is.
Josh from Tallahassee, FL:
This year, we're hearing a lot about tempo and energy of practice. We heard a lot about the tempo of practices last offseason as well. How do they compare so far?
John: There was a lot of tempo and a lot of energy last offseason. There is a little more this offseason. I’m not naïve enough to think the tempo and energy alone will make any more of a difference this season than it did last, but for Gus Bradley, tempo and energy is part of an overall philosophy and mindset he’s trying to establish. A lot more has to go into it, but that part of it seems real and the players seem enthusiastic about. There’s a long way to go, but for now, that’s a positive sign.
Dallas from New York, NY:
We don't need Tebow to sell out the stadium, what we need is a BYOB policy. I'd buy two seats: one for me and for my keg.
John: Get this man a corner office.
Josh from Waunakee, WI:
John, if we manage a trade back with, say, Miami and take Xavier Rhodes with our first pick, what do you think of Bjoern Werner with our second pick? I see him slipping in most mock drafts now, but I believe he represents incredible value at pick No. 33. We can use the second- or third-round pick we get from Miami to address OL\QB help at that point, but DE and CB are our top priorities.
John: Yes, that’s a decent scenario. I haven’t seen Werner slipping to the second round in many mocks, but getting cornerback help and a pass rusher would be one of the first/second-round scenarios that make sense.
Jimmy from Gainesville:
Mr. O, I can picture you rocking an earring in years past. What was it: a stud, pirate hoop, or something like only the young Barry Bonds could pull off?
John: I indeed rocked the earring in years past – and coincidentally, rocked it in Gainesville. This was the mid-1980s, remember, so I rocked the gold loop, the stud, and of course, the dangling earring to the shoulder that would have made that guy from INXS envious.
Malachi from Lebec, CA:
Speaking of dreams, I had a nightmare last night that I was on the field watching the Jags play in their new uniforms. The uniforms were jaguar-print footy pajamas with a pull-over print hoodie for a helmet. Please tell me you don't think that's cool, and you don't like it?
John: I had a dream that Shad Khan hired a guy to stand outside my office and bang on my door during naptime, so yeah, Malachi – Welcome to my Nightmare!
Christopher from Callahan, FL:
John: “I think we’re a long way from that, although I may be able to talk someone into some Dropkick Murphys." Love your column, read it daily, but this has put you in a whole new level in my eyes! I'm thinking "Worker’s Song" or "God Willing." What say you?! You obviously have great taste for both beer and music! You are to be applauded! For practice, your choices are perfect.
John: I’m partial to “Dirty Glass,” but not necessarily for a competitive situation – at least not competitive football. And as for your final line . . . well, yes . . . yes, I am to be applauded.
Eddie from Orlando, FL:
What do you think about selecting Lattimore? Not with the No. 2 pick but maybe in the second round.
John: I’m all for selecting Lattimore. The top of the second round would scare me, because there’s no guarantee he returns from the injuries he has sustained. My guess is he goes in the third or fourth rounds. It’s difficult to say where a team should select Lattimore, because the public doesn’t have the same information teams do about him. If a team sees its medical report on Lattimore and believes he will return to play at a high level, then the team should take him. If the team has different information, it’s a far different scenario.
John from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I was carefully watching the videos of practice today and it sure looks like Posluszny may have cut his hair. Am I correct on that? Sure hope it doesn`t Hercules effect! Thanks!
John: I wish you read the stories on this website as carefully as you watch the videos. Thanks!
Dane from Jacksonville :
With the signing of Chris Banjo
do you think we as fans should... fret? Perhaps he will strike a... chord with his teammates? Or maybe he just thought the grass was... bluer in Jacksonville? Or was he hand... picked? (Are these doing anything for you? I've got more...)
John: (I don’t doubt that you do).
Zach from Jacksonville:
I know we shouldn't put too much stock in mock drafts, especially yours, but landing Jordan in the first and Cyprien in the second would be a pretty good haul, would it not?
John: I assume you’re referring to the 2013 jaguars.com reader mock draft, which isn’t really “my draft” as much as it is the readers. But yeah, it would be perceived as a good draft. Jordan is a quality pass rusher, and many believe Cyprien is a first-round value. As with anything, time will tell if it would indeed be a good haul. But from what we know now, that would look good.
Stan from Bluffton, SC:
John, do you expect any further Jag free agent activity prior to the draft.
John: No. The Jaguars are focused on the draft and collegiate free agency. Once next Saturday rolls around, I’d expect the Jaguars to readdress some areas in low-priced veteran free agency, but for now, it’s time to see what the collegiate ranks bring.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
Do you ever get tired of yourself?
John: You have no idea.