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'14 Reader mock: The No. 10 overall selection is …


JACKSONVILLE – Get ready to roll.

We arrive on this Monday – aka, Reader Mock Day 10 – at long last at the point where this mock draft is going to start moving along. Really, really moving along. That means the week ahead could actually be less about barbs – good-natured and otherwise – and more about maintaining the pace.

Such are some of the defining traits of the 2014 reader mock draft.

But there have been other traits, too, such as lively – read: heated – debate at many spots, and the No. 10 overall selection to the Detroit Lions?

Well, it definitely had that.

Not that we first didn't have to muddle through what reader mock historians often refer to as The Obligatory Day of Negativity.

The astute reader/mocker knows it well: A couple of weeks into the mock draft, one or two stunningly intelligent, irrefutably capable mock drafters take it upon themselves to cast a great big, "Psshaww" over the entire process.

In '14, it turned out Day 10 was that day.

"This mock draft is so messed up so far," reader/mocker Jags wrote.

Blessed by the input of so noted a visionary, and feeling guilty that we couldn't meet Jags' standard, we pressed on. And indeed, we learned Jags was far from alone in his assessment, with reader/mocker jaguar1019 still upset over Auburn tackle Greg Robinson sliding to the Buffalo Bills at No. 9.

"This is so stupid," jaguar1019 wrote. "There's no way Robinson slips this far."

But while jaguars1019 cares little about the feelings of the reader mockers, and while he may well be right about Robinson probably not sliding so far, the Day 10 task was getting a selection made for the Lions.

While most thought the Lions would make a move to improve a defense that has struggled at times in recent seasons, at least one reader/mocker thought the Lions would shock the draft world.

"I am going off the beaten path here," reader/mocker Jonathan Russell wrote. "Detroit is going to make a shrewd move and reach for some one that might have a few of you googling. The pick here is Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU. Why you might ask? Let's see…"

Russell then launched into an explanation of epic length, which may or may not have contained salient points but was certainly too much work to digest. Besides, he was the only reader/mocker for Benjamin, while defense got a lot more support.

One defender on the reader/mocker radar was UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, who received consideration earlier in the Top 10 and who makes some sense here …

"No trades/No (Sammy) Watkins/No (Mike) Evans leaves Barr as the logical BPA-for need-pick," reader/mocker ST.ORM wrote. "Book it."

… as does Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

"The Lions need to draft someone who can help shut down a part of the field," reader/mocker Scott Ennis wrote. "That means a safety, and the best safety is... with the 10th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Detroit Lions select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS, Alabama."

Really funny, but on this day, the selection eventually came down to Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert and a player who has been getting a lot of mention late in the Top 10 of this mock, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron.

While many theorized that the Lions need defense, there was a strong sentiment that in fact what they need more is an offensive talent to complement wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

"(Former Lions tight end Brandon) Pettigrew is about to sign a free-agent contract with the Jets," reader/mocker Fred Barnes wrote. "The Lions opt to upgrade his position by snagging Eric Ebron here."

Reader/mocker Chris Walker agreed.

"The Lions have been coveting a target opposite Megatron for so long," he wrote. "Ebron fits what they need. And he's pretty talented, too."

Indeed he is, but he'll wait at least one more day, because the consensus on Day 10 was that if the Lions can't trade up – and in this draft they cannot – then they will stay put at No. 10 for the player most consider the best corner available.

"They still need help on the corner," reader/mocker Brian L. Jones wrote. "Heck, they just resigned former Jag Rashean Mathis to a one-year deal. It's easy to see them selecting: Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State Cowboys."

Our old friend Jags took time out from mocking the mock to making a selection.

"Justin Gilbert to the Lions," he wrote. "The pick makes too much sense."

Well, at least Jags will like this selection, because Gilbert to the Lions indeed does make too much sense. That means he's the selection at No. 10 and that means through 10 days the 2014 reader mock looks like:

  1. Houston | Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  1. St. Louis | Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
  1. Jacksonville | Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
  1. Cleveland | Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
  1. Oakland | Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
  1. Atlanta | Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
  1. Tampa Bay | Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
  1. Minnesota | Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
  1. Buffalo | Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
  1. Detroit | Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

So, there it is – our Top 10. And with that, we conclude the one-selection-a-day portion of the mock draft. Things get squirrely now, with Selections No. 11-15 on Day 11, Nos. 16-20 on Day 12, Nos. 21-26 on Day 13 and Nos. 27-32 on Day 14. It's fast, notably unscientific and sure to anger a lot of people …

Hey, just like the first 10 days!

With that, we'll offer up Barr as the selection to the Tennessee Titans at No. 11, offensive tackle Taylor Lewan of Michigan to the New York Giants at No. 12, Dix to the St. Louis Rams at No. 13, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald to the Chicago Bears at No. 14 and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 15.

That's a full day. Then again, it will be a full week.

Have at it.

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