JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Jason from North Pole, AK
I would STILL take an offensive lineman No. 1 overall. I love our free-agent signings, but we clearly don’t have elite weapons around quarterback Trevor Lawrence. What we can do is put an elite offensive line in front of him. Is the team really that high on Ben Bartch or will we likely be starting Jawaan Taylor at guard? Any chance at this point we draft Cam Robinson replacement and start him at guard for a year?
The Jaguars’ offensive line, even with last week’s signing of guard Brandon Scherff as an unrestricted free agent – and even after placing the franchise tag of left tackle Cam Robinson – still has something of a fluid feel. I expect Robinson to start at left tackle with Scherff at right guard. I expect Jawaan Taylor and Walker Little to compete to start at right tackle. I expect Ben Bartch to start at left guard and I expect Tyler Shatley to start at center if center Linder doesn’t return for whatever reason. I think Little or Taylor could move inside if the team thinks that would be an improvement over Bartch. I think the Jaguars could draft a center to compete with Shatley, and that could happen relatively early in the 2022 NFL Draft. That’s a scenario I see as possible. The offseason isn’t over yet.
Eddie from Section 104
Someone needs to tell Eric about where Joe Montana, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas ended their playing days. This is nothing new.
I assume this references multiple high-profile quarterbacks changing teams around the NFL this offseason. While I understand your point, this offseason’s moves feel different than the situations you cite. Unitas and Namath left the Baltimore Colts and New York Jets, respectively, when they were clearly past their primes and it’s hard to believe the San Francisco 49ers would have allowed Montana to leave had they not had a Pro Bowl-caliber player – Steve Young – ready to replace him. Russell Wilson going to the Denver Broncos and Deshaun Watson going to the Cleveland Browns are front-line quarterbacks changing franchises in their primes. And overall this offseason there clearly are more high-profile, front-line players changing teams than previously was the case. It will be fascinating to see if these transactions achieve their desired results. If they do, and if teams see immediate impact, it very possibly could change the NFL landscape for the foreseeable future. You likely would see most – if not all – franchises playing fantasy football each offseason with the idea that one or two “name” players indeed can change a franchise’s direction. Many within the league long have thought such an approach wouldn’t work. But the cliche that the NFL is a copycat league is true. If this works, the copycats will follow. Stay tuned.
Jon from Brentwood, UK
So Zone, after some of the negative comments about the price the Jags paid for wide receiver Christian Kirk, is there an argument to be made that they “saved some money” by getting that done before the blockbuster contract the Miami Dolphins gave wide receiver Tyreek Hill contract happened?
Dan from Munich, Germany
Hi, Zone. Do you think that there is a decision looming about a Josh Allen contract extension? Do you believe that he has earned a market-setting deal?
This unquestionably is something the Jaguars have considered regarding edge defender Josh Allen. The Jaguars have until May 2 to exercise the fifth-year option on Allen’s rookie contract, and I would expect them to do so. I would expect the Jaguars eventually will re-sign Allen to an extension, though it remains to be seen if either side would want that to happen this offseason. It’s entirely possible Allen would want to wait and see if he could drive his value up with a standout 2022 season. It’s also possible the Jaguars would want to wait and see how Allen performs with a new coaching staff to determine his market value and fit moving forward. Stay tuned.
Jim from Middleburg, FL
John. This looks real bad. Repeating past mistakes. Cam Newton backs up faster than some cornerbacks. He is not able to be the run-pass blocking machine of an All-Pro guard. Go ahead with band-aids again on the o-line. No one is impressed with these overpaid mid-end career guards we buy occasional and get minimal use from. This don’t look good. Cam Newton at left tackle in Super Bowl? No.
What the hell are you talking about?
Steve from Nashville, TN
I know we are still six weeks away from the schedule release, but curious as to how much input teams have with setting the schedule. For instance, the Jaguars’ 2022 home schedule has some teams whose fans are known to “travel well” (Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders). Would the owner see that as an opportunity to sell more tickets in Jacksonville or move one of those games to the “neutral” site in London that is probably already sold out and eliminate the view in the stands of the opponent’s fans outnumbering the home team?
Teams can communicate preferences regarding a schedule. These things usually involve timing of games and travel preferences. The league has 32 teams and therefore 32 different sets of circumstances to consider when setting the schedule. As far as how the Jaguars see home games, there are certainly opponents that travel well. The preference is always to have a sold-out stadium of Jaguars fans at TIAA Bank Field. The reality is that fans of teams that travel well – Cowboys, Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, etc. – often outnumber home fans when playing on the road against struggling franchises. This is a leaguewide thing, not a Jaguars thing.
Bradley from Sparks, NV
With quarterbacks Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals, Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns and even Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders with his weapons all in the AFC, doesn’t it seem imperative to draft the best pass rusher available?
If you think he’s going to be the best player for the longest time at a position of value, yes.
Tom from Mandarin
I was amazed to read your response to Arthur from Orange Park’s question about Jaguars Owner Shad Khan’s poor effort in selecting Urban Meyer as head coach. You responded, ” I don’t know how any owner is supposed to anticipate the level of dysfunction Meyer brought.” As someone that has hired many employees at many levels, I always found it my responsibility to review the candidate’s background and employment history. In the case of Urban Meyer, it was widely known that he had left scorched earth behind him everywhere that he had been. Just a little effort on Khan’s behalf would have disqualified Meyer before the interview process was ever started. John, all the cherries that you pile on top of this one won’t change the stink.
For whatever scorched earth former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer may have left at previous stops, he also won big at those spots. I didn’t write that hiring Meyer wasn’t a mistake. I wrote that I didn’t know how any owner is supposed to anticipate the level of dysfunction Meyer brought. Key word: level.
Bruce from Owensboro, LY, via Jacksonville
_If center Brandon Linder for whatever reason is not with the team this season, can you see a scenario where the Jags go defensive line with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft and then move back up in the latter part of the first round to grab Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum? I know we need a receiver, but I don’t hate this move if the kid is as good as projected. Plus, don’t you have to get the big guys early if you want elite? _
Yes, I could see that scenario.
Jason from Jax Beach
Knowing what you know about the draft, how many spots could the Jaguars realistically move up if they package picks Nos. 33 and 65 (or 70) to move back up into the first round for a wide receiver? Assuming they take edge defender Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan at No. 1 overall, they might need to get back into the early-to-mid 20s to get one of the top five or six receivers in the draft. The Chiefs and Green Bay Packers will both be looking for one now that they traded their respective WR1s.
They realistically could move to No. 22 or 23 doing that.
Tom from Jax
AH looks pretty good but maybe not what you would hope for at number 1. Isn’t there a difference maker available in all of college football?
It’s not considered a great year at the top of the NFL Draft. That’s an overall belief of analysts. Sometimes that sort of assessment turns out to be true. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Justin from NYC
I would die. Probably.