JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
I understand why "he who shall not be named" had such a cult-like following; Manziel, I don't get. To me, his personality traits seem to be opposite of the other golden boy. Other than a better throwing motion, it seems all the questions surrounding HWSNBN I see in Manziel – down to the cult-like following, which can be trouble for a team. So, I see him dropping to the bottom of the first round – and then some veteran team taking full advantage of some foolish young general manager wanting to trade up into the first to get him. I am just hoping it's not us.
John: I get why you make the correlation, but I honestly don’t know that I see Manziel’s following being as much cult-like as people really enjoying the way he plays – and I can relate to that. It’s exciting. It’s fun. He has a knack for making something out of nothing and doing the unexpected and people like that. The thing about Tebow that was absolutely unique was how the debate around him took on a personal tone – and how discussing him at times felt as dangerous as talking politics or religion. I just don’t know that you’ll see the same level of passion over Manziel.
Eric from Boston, MA:
O-Man, are you going to be at that first-night draft party? First several pitchers will be on me.
John: The first night of the draft is one of those times when my job as jaguars.com senior writer calls for me to write and talk about the Jaguars. As hard as it may be to be believe for those who regularly listen to what I say and read what I write, it’s necessary for me to be coherent when doing these tasks.
Roger from Valdosta, GA:
John, if none of our draft picks are traded, what are the exact numbers of our picks? Not rounds, just pick numbers... as in, our first pick is No. 3.
John: I Googled this, then went on any number of websites that contain NFL information. I learned that he Jaguars have the following 11 selections: Round 1 (No. 3), Round 2 (No. 39), Round 3 (No. 70), Round 4 (No. 105), Round 4 (No. 114), Round 5 (No. 144), Round 5 (No. 150), Round 5 (No. 159), Round 6 (No. 179), Round 6 (No. 205), Round 7 (No. 222).
Trent from Jacksonville:
In the 2014 Reader Mock Draft, the fans have mocked LB Khalil Mack and QB Jimmy Garoppolo to the Jaguars. Considering many analysts and fans argue the level of competition these players have encountered, do you think the Jaguars actually take the risk on two players from smaller schools so early in the draft?
John: If they’re the best players there, yes.
Aaron from Seattle, WA:
While I understand what "game-ready" means, I think it's asinine to draft a quarterback based on if he's "game-ready." Most quarterbacks coming out of the draft are never "game-ready." Andrew Luck is the only "game-ready" quarterback to come out of the draft in the last 10 years. The last three teams who have won a Super Bowl have all contained quarterbacks who were not considered "game-ready" coming out of college. Here's one for anti- "game-ready."
John: Yeah, I never said don’t draft a quarterback if he’s not game-ready. I did say that the Jaguars might not draft a quarterback No. 3 overall if they don’t see him as a difference-maker because there are difference-makers. That’s pretty much the reasoning behind not going quarterback at No. 3. The game-ready stuff was a different part of the discussion.
Mike from Tallahassee, FL:
While I’m anxious to see who we select, I'm just excited that no matter who falls into our laps, we've got a playmaker. I didn't feel the same way last year.
John: There’s sound reasoning for your excitement. There do seem to be enough playmakers in the Top 10 that there’s a very good chance of the Jaguars drafting one whether they stay at No. 3 or trade down.
Jack from London, England:
John have you ever had a row with the law, or have scrapes with some guy?
John: I can’t talk about it. I also can’t be out downtown after sundown in Laramie.
Jesse from Jacksonville:
Do you think David Caldwell is worried that passing on a quarterback at No. 3 may mean passing on the only time in his career to get "his" quarterback? If we draft Garoppolo and he becomes Andy Dalton 2.0, we may be stuck at 10-6 and the 20th pick for the next 15 years. Garrard, Dalton, Romo, Fitzpatrick, Henne and Schaub are all successful second-round-or-later picks, in terms or records and careers. But none have done anything for their teams but make the average. If Garoppolo works out (as much as a second-rounder not named Brees does), we will not be drafting in a position to get an elite quarterback for a long time.
John: Wow, you think Andy Dalton is going to be playing for Cincinnati for a loooooong time. I don’t think Caldwell is worried about that at all. If he were worried that passing on quarterback at No. 3 would mean never getting a chance to get a franchise quarterback, you know what he would do? He would take a quarterback at No. 3. I think he’s far more worried about taking a quarterback at No. 3 and having him not be worthy of that pick. That’s a bigger danger than getting a guy who’s “only” good enough to get you to 10-6 for the next 15 years. I, for one, wouldn’t mind having a quarterback that I know can get me to 10-6 every year. I get to 10-6 and I’ll take my chances that I can go win some games and get to the Super Bowl a few times during that period. I’d also take my chances that if I keep drafting or searching for a better quarterback I may eventually be able to develop one.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
It's interesting...the people who reason that we don't need a "stud" quarterback to win a championship always mention Gannon and Dilfer as their examples. Those were 11 and 13 years ago, respectively. The game has changed since then. But, if you're dead set on making that argument, maybe use Eli Manning and Joe Flacco. Both good quarterbacks, no doubt, but I don't know if they'd fit into the category of "stud" and they've at least won in the last decade.
John: First, I’d say Flacco and Manning each played like studs during their Super Bowl seasons. Second, your chances of being good year-in and year-out improve dramatically if you have a stud quarterback. Teams like having a chance of being good year-in and year-out. Teams that are good year-in and year-out have this funny habit of making the playoffs, which is one of the prerequisites for winning the Super Bowl.
Greg from Jacksonville Section 233:
I am not Roger Goodell's puppet! I want the draft and I want it now!
John: Thanks for checking in.
Brett from Ridgeland, MS:
Hypothetical. You have the top pick and know in the future that there is a running back available who will be a legend the level of a Hall of Fame back (Smith, Payton, or Sanders). He is the only HOF level player in the draft. Do you take that back or a solid but not great premium position player (ie, QB or DE).
John: In your hypothetical, I take the Hall of Fame running back, because if he’s in the Hall of Fame I presumably have been able to put enough of a line in front of him to get him to the Hall of Fame. You, of course, can’t guarantee a Hall-of-Fame career for any draft pick, so if you’re talking about drafting an extremely talented running back versus a solid quarterback or defensive end, I certainly take the quarterback and maybe the defensive end.
David from Durbin, South Africa:
If Teddy Bridgewater starts to slide towards the end of the first round, do you think the Jaguars would contemplate moving back into the first round to select him?
John: Would they contemplate it? Probably.
Steve from Jacksonville:
I don't know if it qualifies as 'hate' but a local sports media person said Toby Gerhart
's playing behind Adrian Peterson was no excuse for his production numbers. I think it's a pretty good reason, not an excuse.
John: Well, if a local media guy said it …
Tommy from Jacksonville:
John, with Joeckel missing a large part of last season do you foresee this year to be similar to what a typical first year would be for him in terms of production? Or does a year of NFL strength and conditioning plus access to coaching give him an opportunity to make a normal transition into Year Two?
John: I’d lean toward it being a more “normal” transition into Year Two, but there could be some adjustment early. Remember, he played just one quarter at his natural position of left tackle, so some of the learning-curve things that might have happened in the final 12 games will have to take place next season. But the benefits from being in an NFL weight room and having two years of familiarity with the Jaguars’ coaches and schemes are real, and Joeckel will have done that.
Kevin from Richland, WA:
John, let's say that I am a free agent and I have the option of going to any of the teams in the NFL. What is it about the City of Jacksonville that would attract me enough to want to relocate my family there? Thank you.