JACKSONVILLE – One day more.
The 2014 NFL Draft is at long last at hand. This mock draft – jaguars.com, v. 4.0 – will post Wednesday. With the draft being Thursday, we are by any measure less than 36 hours or so out, and here’s what’s striking:
No one has the first clue how this thing’s going to play out.
After three weeks of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney being the consensus selection to go No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans, a slew of media reports this week say that may be significantly less than a sure thing. Khalil Mack, “the other elite pass rusher” in the draft could go No. 1 to the Texans, more than one report says.
And after that? Well, that’s anyone’s guess, too.
There are reports that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel could go No. 2 overall to the St. Louis Rams, and there are reports that he won’t go in the first round. There are reports that Greg Robinson of Auburn could be the top left tackle and the Rams’ selection at No. 2, and there are other reports they like left tackle Jake Matthews of Texas A&M.
The Jaguars at No. 3? Unlike last year, when the Jaguars seemed in the days before the draft to be leaning toward left tackle, the tea leaves have left us pretty clueless about the thoughts of General Manager David Caldwell.
He’s open to trading back. And up. And the Jaguars like enough players that they could comfortably trade back out of the Top 10. That’s vague pre-draft stuff, but that was about the extent of what Caldwell was sharing at the team’s pre-draft luncheon last Friday.
So, what of mock draft, version 4.0? What direction?
We’re going to mock Clowney once again to the Houston Texans, but the reports about Matthews to the Rams are intriguing enough to mock him there for the first time in our series of mocks.
To the Jaguars at No. 3? We’re going with Watkins because … well, because we’ve been projecting Watkins there for pretty much the last couple of weeks and he makes as much sense as any. A warning, though: mocking Watkins to the Jaguars in your own mock draft may cause you to tear it up on draft night.
Then again, you get the idea a lot of mocks are going to get torn up early on draft night. That’s the case every year, but particularly so this year.
This year’s draft as wild, crazy, unpredictable and shrouded in secrecy as any draft in recent memory, and that’s not even the best part.
The best part? It’s almost here.
So, less than 36 hours out, here’s mock 4.0, for your viewing, projecting and arguing pleasure:
Selection. Team| Player, Position, School
1. Houston | Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2. St. Louis | Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
3. Jacksonville | Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
4. Cleveland | Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
5. Oakland | Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
6. Atlanta | Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
7. Tampa Bay | Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
8. Minnesota | Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
9. Buffalo | Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
10. Detroit | Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
11. Tennessee | Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
12. NY Giants | Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
13. St. Louis | Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama
14. Chicago | C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
15. Pittsburgh | Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
16. Dallas | Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
17. Baltimore | Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
18. NY Jets | Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
19. Miami | Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
20. Arizona | Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
21. Green Bay |Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
22. Philadelphia | Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, Louisiana State
23. Kansas City | Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
24. Cincinnati | Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California
25. San Diego | Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
26. Cleveland | Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
27. New Orleans | Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
28. Carolina | Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
29. New England | Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
30. San Francisco | Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
31. Denver | Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
32. Seattle | Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
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