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Big Cat Country Q&A: 2020 NFL Draft edition!

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions about the 2020 NFL Draft!

Sam from Valdosta, GA

Q: Who would you have picked at No. 9 overall?

A: I don’t hate the C.J. Henderson pick. Truly, I don’t. He’s not elite, but he’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination. He spent three years at Florida and never allowed more than 20 catches or 390 yards in a single season. He can (and did!) match up against NFL-ready talent. He was first team All-SEC last year.

I think in the moment, I would have gone for Tristan Wirfs, but as the draft went on it was obvious that Jacksonville had a strategy to rebuild their defense... quite possibly for a shift to a 3-4 scheme.

Christopher from Trenton, NJ

Q: Reportedly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers called and offered the No. 14 overall pick, their third round pick, and their fourth round pick for the No. 9 overall pick. If the Jaguars made this trade, could they have still gotten C.J. Henderson?

A: No, because I think the Atlanta Falcons would have dumped whatever they needed to into leap frogging us.

Ryan from Chepachet, RI

Q: Why does Dave Caldwell refuse to address offense until the middle rounds of every draft? Yes we took Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette, but overall we only draft defense early. The last playmaker we drafted in the first round was Justin Blackmon. At what point does this front office start addressing the offensive side of the ball?

A: Because Dave Caldwell values defense. He sees a strong defense and a capable offense as a way to win in this league — and it almost worked in 2017. When you’re talking impact players at the top of the first round (and Caldwell has had a top-10 pick in seven of his eight drafts) if you’re not picking a quarterback, you can usually get the best or second-best player at any position. And there are just more positions on defense I’d rather invest a top-10 pick on. For offense, I’d only get an offensive tackle. But for defense, I’d get a pass rusher or cornerback.

Prodigal Pariah from Kershaw, SC

Q: What do you expect the Jaguars’ front seven will look like in base defense in 2020, assuming Yannick Ngakoue isn’t traded and plays? How might that look change if he doesn’t play?

A: The big change will be K’Lavon Chaisson getting more snaps. I think you’re going to see two of Abry Jones/Taven Bryan/Rodney Gunter in the middle (depending on situation), two of Josh Allen/Dawuane Smoot and Yannick Ngakoue/K’Lavon Chaisson on the edge. And then Joe Schobert and Myles Jack at linebacker. Chaisson will sometimes play linebacker and sometimes he’ll play defensive end... that’s when you’ll see Ngakoue or Smoot on the edge.

Brian from Tampa, FL

Q: If Gardner Minshew is good enough to get us to 5-11 or 6-10, but isn’t enough to show he’s a franchise quarterback, what will we do in terms of drafting a quarterback in 2021?

A: We’ll give up what we need to and pick Trevor Lawrence. We have two first round picks, remember?

Joe from Bradford, PA

Q: Which first round pick is going to have the more immediate impact and why?

A: C.J. Henderson because he’s the unquestioned starter at cornerback on the outside. K’Lavon Chaisson will wear multiple hats. He’ll make an impact, but he’ll have more varied assignments.

Kameron from College Park, MD

Q: While there have been several opinions and evaluations to various degrees of Gardner Minshew, what do you think his true ceiling is? What would be a player you’d compare him to if all the chips fall in the right place?

A: Mark Brunell, except without a knee injury or the locker room Bible studies.