Chasing The Lombardi 04/25/2013

Welcome to the Draft Day Edition of Chasing the Lombardi!

Sorry about the delay on the column. You fine readers were sure to be chomping at the bits for this new feature and we'll do our best to push it out as often as we have enough questions. Feel free to ask us questions about the draft for next week's column. Jones and Sonnen questions/comments are also welcome (Go Chael!). On this column, we just have myself and Adam, enjoy!

To start us off, another quote from Vince Lombardi himself:

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.

-Vince Lombardi

BAM!

FeelTheTeal on BCC: The way the roster sits right now, the Jags need to get a minimum of 4 starters out of this draft to field even an average team. They need: a right tackle, 2 outside corner backs, and a strong safety, unless another starting quality free agent is signed. And with two players who fit the LEO mold in Babin and Branch already on the roster and another one, Chick, is probably coming back, where do you rank the need for another ? More specifically if Caldwell goes with a QB or another position in the first and therefore misses on all the elite prospects( Mingo, Jordan, Ansah, Carradine?) do you think that they should or will draft a second or third tier player for the LEO position, or do they draft bigger needs in the top half of the draft?

Adam: There's a lot going on with this question, but I think the short answer is yes I think they target LEO early and yes I think they perceive it as one of their biggest needs. Babin (who turns 33 soon) is a fit, but Branch hasn't shown me anything to make me think he'd be successful in the spot. I wouldn't count on Chick to come back or contribute much if he does either.

I wouldn't panic too much about the team needing to find starters at CB, SS and RT. I think they'll be content to let late-rounders push for starts and fill positions they didn't get in the draft with free agents after the fact (cough cough Tyson Clabo cough)

CCHemi01 on BCC: Great.job with the column thus far. My Q: How much turnover is there in the jaguars scouting department with the hiring of a new GM. I know its wise to keep some staff because they’ve already done almost all the work on the 2013 class. That said, the talent evaluation has not produced a single pro bowl player in the last five years. I know the ultimate blame probably lies with Gene Smith and now Caldwell will have final say, but should I be worried about our holdover scouts whispering in his ear?

Adam: See, here's the crazy thing...I don't think the Jaguars scouting and player ranking was that far off from very competent. I think the failings that led to Gene Smith's firing had to do with several factors outside of simply rating bad players too high and good players too low.

Smith lost a few trades and was seemingly awful at the gamesmanship of the NFL Draft, which is something that Caldwell has appeared to excel at so far. He also spent the majority of his pre-draft visits on late-rounders, while Caldwell has used them on top-rated player. I think these philosophical changes are going to make the bigger difference than anything else.

GAJag on BCC: If the Jags don’t select a QB at #2, aren’t they essentially saying that they are rolling with Gabbert and are waiting until next year to address the QB situation if needed? And if they don’t address the QB situation with the #2, then why would they use a draft pick on a second tier talent in the 2nd or 3rd round? Wouldn’t it be better to use that on a possible starter at some other position? or would a 2nd or 3rd round QB just be part of the draft til ya hit philosophy?

Adam: I completely hear you. When it comes to the quarterback position, I'm all about addressing it with the top guy and not crossing my fingers that I stumble across a Russell Wilson or Tom Brady. That said, you have to evaluate from a year-to-year basis and this year might be a better time to settle for a "2nd tier" talent in the 2nd day considering many believe the talent in the 1st round is "2nd tier," as well.

I personally believe Geno Smith is about even as a prospect as Ryan Tannehill was last year, so I wouldn't classify him as 2nd tier, but my opinion doesn't matter when the Jaguars go on the clock. Ultimately though, I think Caldwell and Bradley came from teams that found franchise guys and will look to go with the "hit til you miss" type of mindset until the get a guy they can really work with.

Jags85 on BCC: (Directed at best poker player) If you had to play against/across the table from Caldwell in Poker, what do you think your chances would be of winning?

Adam: I guess the correct answer here is that I'd have no shot against The General, but I'm confident enough in my poker skills to say I'd have a shot.

Jags85 on BCC: Are there any "Sleeper" picks for the Jags in the first 3 rounds? Either guys rarely mentioned or never mentioned?

Adam: Well we're trying not to allow that to happen here at BCC, but maybe a few that aren't talked about too much here are Tyler Wilson, Michael Buchanan, Corey Lemonier, Jamie Collins and Reid Fragel.

NoChorus on BCC: Between Eric Winston and Tyson Clabo, which one do you think the Jaguars are going to be more aggressive in pursuing?

Adam: If the Jaguars are choosing between the two post-draft, I'm definitely thinking it's Clabo.

M.W.Bassett on BCC: Honey Badger...What round does he go, and how good is he, really?

Adam: Mathieu is a 3rd-4th round guy to me and I like him a lot. I don't think he's a match for the Jaguars and doesn't offer much in the secondary that the Jaguars don't already have with Mike Harris. He's a slot cornerback and he has return ability, but that's not enough to make him a legitimate target for the Jaguars.

@Adepofi on Twitter: Who do you think we take at 2 and 33?

Brandon: I'm still in the small portion that believe Geno Smith will be the pick. I think the "draft experts" that you read about and see on tv seem to think too hard every year and invent a puzzle to solve. Geno is a top QB and I think the Jags take him at 2. However, a lineman is a real possibility, but I wouldn't look offensive. Monroe is elite and any offensive tackle would be a surprise.

At 2, I would look defensive. Most mocks have Miss State CB Jon Banks. Speaking in regards to a player from my Alma Mater (I had to get that in), I believe he will be gone long before the pick. Look for Banks to be taken in the first 25 picks, though the Jags will most likely look defensive--they have serious needs.

JimWade on Twitter: Branch is identical to Chris Clemons physically speaking. Why do fans not consider him a Leo option despite his rookie year?

Brandon: I think it's wise to temper expectations for a rookie defensive lineman, ends especially. I had no hope that Branch would be an impact player during his rookie campaign and it seems as though his sophomore effort will be made exponentially better than I originally thought by him lining up wide in the LEO. He has, at minimum, the same chance of becoming a good player as a certain other player with "all the measurables".

X-Money on BCC: Are there any late round picks or small school guys that will go in the later rounds (4th-7th) that could can possibly earn significant playing time on this team this year? Say a B.J. Webb from William and Mary or a possible like Ray Ray Armstrong?

Brandon: I will keep this generic because I don't consider myself informed enough to discuss the 5th-7th rounds in the detail I would want to hear, though I will try. I can mention positions of dire need that probably won't be addressed. I would like to see the Jaguars select backup interior linemen and defensive backs with maybe some linebackers. AKA special teams people sprinkled with value lineman.

@RyanDeen on Twitter: Why were Blackmon/Shorts better with Henne rather than Gabbert? Or were they?

Brandon: If you're asking, that should tell you that you saw something. I will validate that. They were much better, and some of it can be attributed to their own development, QB aside. However, Henne did seem to aid in their production increase much more than Gabbert. Henne doesn't fix anything, but with his better play certain questions must be raised. Did he Henne show he can bring more? Gabbert is really the darkhorse in terms of immediate difference making skills.

@RyanDeen on Twitter: What's the status on the practice dome for the #Jaguars?

Brandon: Last June they were debating on a "bubble" vs a metal facility. They will probably start discussing it more post-draft.

Look us up on twitter:

Adam Stites @AdamBCC

Brandon Clark @BCCBrandon

If you want a question in the next column, then simply ask under this article or post on twitter with the tag #JagsColumn .

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