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Big Cat Country Q&A: Is Taven Bryan really playing well?

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Tennessee Titans v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season!

Will from New Milford, CT

Q: What are Jaguars’ biggest draft needs now? Do we trust the Jaguars management to use the first rounders correctly?

A: The biggest draft needs on this team are cornerback, offensive line, linebacker, and tight end. And no, I don’t trust our current front office to handle those first round picks well.

Cole from Portland, ME

Q: Are we riding it out with Tre Herndon or will they make a move for a stopgap cornerback for the rest of this season?

A: Tre Herndon is likely the guy for the rest of the season, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. He hasn’t done as poorly as I thought he would. In his first game as the starter (and with Jalen Ramsey being a gametime decision) he got burned. But in the two games after that, he hasn’t been the reason we’ve lost games — that would be on the run defense and the offense. He’ll be someone to keep an eye on going forward because if he turns out to be a decent outside cornerback, it could really help the team going forward.

Mark from New Jersey

Q: Is Taven Bryan actually staring to play well or do my eyes deceive me?

A: He is absolutely starting to play well — not to the level you’d expect a first round pick to be playing, but good nonetheless. I’d like to see more bully ball out of him and consistent pressures, but he’s getting better. He’s already shown me more this season than he did all of last season.

Evan from Tallahassee, FL

Q: Where do you expect this team to finish realistically? Is it too early to start looking at mock drafts?

A: I expect an 8-8 record this year, but that would be hugely encouraging as a Jaguars fan going forward. An 8-8 record would mean that Gardner Minshew did more than enough this year to be considered our franchise quarterback moving forward. We could finally use draft picks to build around a quarterback instead of trying to figure out how to replace him or hide him.

Kasey from Arkansas City, KS

Q: Do we pay Yannick Ngakoue now, or trade him for another player/draft capital?

A: You pay him yesterday.

Ian from Jacksonville, FL

Q: What’s the deal with NFL pass interference reviews? I was at the game last week when Doug Marrone challenged a non-call pass interference. It was obvious from the stadium monitors, which are the largest in the nation, that there was contact before the ball arrived. What gives?

A: It’s because referees are people too and as people they have egos. They don’t like the increased scrutiny and second-guessing and they’re going to do everything they can to keep the challenges to a minimum.

Chris from Niagara Falls, Canada

Q: What are the odds that Dave Caldwell and Tom Coughin are making picks for the Jaguars in the 2020 draft?

A: I’d say the Jaguars have better Super Bowl odds in 2020.

Logan from Davenport, FL

Q: With one of our picks should we draft Isaiah Simmons?

A: Yes. When you watch Simmons play, it seems like the guy was built in a new era linebacker factory. He can stand up to the run but he’s fast, athletic, and smart in pass coverage. He, like Josh Allen, would be another wild card on the defense that can play several positions and several schemes seamlessly.

Patrick from St. Augustine, FL

Q: Who is more likely to have a big game this week — Leonard Fournette or Gardner Minshew?

A: Leonard Fournette. But I expect both to have big days.