The Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell is heading into his fifth NFL Draft as the Jaguars General Manager and he had some time to catch up with Jaguars senior writer John Oehser while attending the NFL's annual Owner's Meetings. They touched on several subjects including the upcoming NFL Draft that is now less than a month away. On the topic of the draft Caldwell was very candid:
"Write now we don't have a lot of concerns. We'd like it to get here sooner than later."
Johnny - O and Caldwell also touched on the much talked about, and in some circles criticized Jaguars offensive line. On the offensive line Caldwell had this to say:
"It's kind of a work in progress, we feel pretty good about some of the young player's we've got, guys like Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann. Jermey Parnell had a good back half of the season. You add a guy like Branden Albert, so you got one spot on your left guard that is open for competition. "
Caldwell made it clear that every position on the offensive line is locked in except for left guard. That seemingly means that AJ Cann, who entered the league as a left guard and was switched to right guard will likely be staying at right guard. This also means the Jaguars will probably be selecting a guard in the first three rounds of the draft. In my estimation the Jaguars starting left guard will most likely be taken in the second round of the draft.
On whether or not Dante Fowler will be used as a linebacker in 2017 Caldwell made it pretty clear that the Jaguars believe that Fowler, like Yannick Ngakoue, is a pass rusher for the team:
"Dante will be used as a pass rusher like he was last year as our defensive end"
1st Round Preview
Caldwell was also asked about second year linebacker Myles Jack and if he would be seeing the field more in 2017. Here are his thoughts on that matter:
"That's the plan right now (for Myles to be on the field more), but Myles has to step up too, and we feel good about where he was last year and he's in really good shape right now, especially in passing downs you can see where he can make a difference."
Caldwell's answer is a little bit two sided. On the one hand he says the plan is for Myles to be on the field more but on the other hand he mentions a specific phase of the defensive game that he like Myles in, not the entire defensive game plan, so keep an eye on Jack as we move through the offseason program.
While all of these issues are important for the Jaguars moving forward the biggest take away from what Caldwell had to say is that he believes:
"This is the year that all three phases of the game come together"
Caldwell has always given off an aura of confidence, but this year it feels real. We've all said and read that in the past, but maybe, just maybe, this is the year the all of three phases of the game - offense, defense, and special teams - can at the very least be competent. If so the 2017 season is sure to be an exciting one for Jaguars fans.
Stay tuned for more and make sure to keep an eye on all of these hot button issues as Summer 2017 quickly approaches.
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Ep. 23: Californication
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