JACKSONVILLE – No one said this would be easy. Or pretty.
Or even very logical.
We did say that Day 11 of the jaguars.com 2014 reader mock draft would move quickly, and even if the day turned out a little cumbersome and clunky at times, it accomplished a significant goal.
Overall, we pushed this process forward significantly.
And we’re five selections closer to the end of Round 1 than we were a day ago.
That may not be the noblest of pursuits, but it was our pursuit on Day 11, when the rapidly moving pre-draft calendar forced the reader mock to switch gears, abandoning its plodding, one-selection-at-a-time format for the whoa-is-that-lightning? pace of five or six selections a day.
Hey, the draft is nearly upon us. We need to finish Round 1, do six selections of Round 2 and pick for the Jaguars at No. 39. And as the senior writer’s Uncle Enus used to say to him, “Time’s a wastin’, odd-looking kid who I see once a year at Christmas.”
As might be expected, there was a little discontent among at least one reader mocker over the new format, with reader/mocker Brian L. Jones writing, “five-a-day mocks are like two-a-day practices.”
“Ugh,” he wrote.
“Ugh” is right, but J-School Corby summed up the reasoning behind the move while noting that he’ll always be a fan of one selection per day.
“Do you remember how slow it got towards the end that first year?” he wrote, harkening back to the distant days of 2011. “Only a dozen or so comments a day, if memory serves. O-Man must've had all kinds of fun milking an article out of that.”
He then added, curiously, “That's why he makes the big bucks.”
While the senior writer digested that comment, the reader/mockers dove bravely into the revved up pace, and the day started off pretty much to form with UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr getting mocked to the Tennessee Titans at No. 11.
“Is there anyone who doesn't have the Titans taking Barr?” reader/mocker Chris Walker wrote.
Well, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron got some mention at No. 11, as did Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr also got some support, though that was ridiculed quickly and didn’t compare to the overwhelming support for Barr.
While Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan went to the New York Giants at No. 12, it was a close vote and Ebron got support there, too. Meanwhile, the mocker/drafters mocked Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the St. Louis Rams at No. 13.
That was no joke, and it wasn’t close, either.
“I can already envision Gregg Williams pounding on the desk in the Rams draft room for a single-high safety,” Walker wrote, again flexing his commenting muscles. “(Clinton-)Dix is that kind of an athlete, and many experts note a dynamic safety is where most of a defensive coordinator's creativity can come out.”
At No. 14 overall, the reader/mockers projected Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald to the Chicago Bears. Donald had received consideration earlier in this draft, and while the consensus in our mock was that Donald is the best player at his position, Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III and Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan got mention here, too.
J-School Corby theorized that the Pittsburgh Steelers might take the draft’s top tight end, mocking Ebron there, but while Ebron got plenty of mentions on this day he didn’t get enough to be selected because the consensus at No. 15 was the Steelers selecting the top remaining cornerback.
“Pittsburgh takes Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State,” reader/mocker Scott Ennis wrote.
Reader/mocker Tymothe Connaughton agreed.
“You're going to need a young buck to go against A.J. Green, Josh Gordon, and Torrey Smith for years to come,” he wrote.
Indeed they will, and that means through 11 days and 15 selections the jaguars.com 2014 reader mock looks like:
1. Houston | Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
2. St. Louis | Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
3. Jacksonville | Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
4. Cleveland | Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
5. Oakland | Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
6. Atlanta | Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
7. Tampa Bay | Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
8. Minnesota | Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
9. Buffalo | Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
10. Detroit | Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
11. Tennessee | Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
12. New York Giants | Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
13. St. Louis | Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
14. Chicago | Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
15. Pittsburgh | Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
That brings us to Nos. 16-20, and we’ll offer up Jernigan to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 16, Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 17, Ebron to the New York Jets at No. 18, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley to the Miami Dolphins at No. 19 and Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 20.
Got that? Good. Because time’s indeed a wastin’, and the two-a-day version of this here mock? Well, that time is indeed at hand.
Have at it.
The Reader Mock Draft is presented by Turner Pest Control.
Register for the Jaguars' 2014 Bud Light Draft Party presented by PRI here: http://www.jaguars.com/draftparty.