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'14 Reader mock: The No. 2 overall selection is …




JACKSONVILLE – Score one for creativity.

And if in the case of Day Two of the 2014 reader mock draft, creativity is code for bending the rules, cutting corners or just, plain cheatin' …  well, if that's what it is, then that's what it is.

Somehow within the context of this reader mock on this day that seems OK.

To review:

We began the 2014 reader mock Tuesday, sending University of Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles to the Houston Texans with the No. 1 overall selection by a hair over South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Bortles got the call over Clowney because he got a few more votes, and because it just doesn't seem like a reach that the Texans will take a quarterback. And that was all good, because although there's a possibility the Texans could trade out, it's easy to envision a scenario in which the Texans stay at No. 1 and make the selection.

The No. 2 overall selection? Well, that was a little trickier.

That's because it just doesn't seem logical to many reader/mockers that Clowney will slip any further, being this year's designated Next Great Pass Rusher and all.

With the St. Louis Rams holding the No. 2 selection and seemingly set at defensive end/pass rusher, the setting seems logical for a trade, which brings us to the problem:

There ain't no trading in this mock draft.

Because this is the fourth year of the reader mock, most participants are used to the no-trade rule, and if that doesn't mean they like it, they at least accept it as a fact of life in the reader mock world.

That's where Day Two creativity came in because the reader/mockers are nothing if not creative and many very much wanted Clowney off the board.

Not everyone was so defiant. Many reader/mockers accepted the rule as written and just made a selection for the Rams. Those that went that route liked the idea of offensive tackle for a team that appears to have a need at the position.

"If trades are out the window.....rams select LT Jake Matthews," reader/mocker Josiah Hughes wrote, and he wasn't alone in believing the Rams will select the Texas A&M left tackle.

"With the second pick the Rams select Jake Matthews, left tackle, Texas A&M," reader/mocker Brandon Jensen wrote.

Matthews was far from the only left tackle on the minds of reader/mockers, and in fact, more actually liked the idea of the Rams taking the other highly-regarded left tackle in this year's draft.

"If there are no trades, then with second pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select Greg Robinson - Offensive Tackle, Auburn," reader/mocker Jaguarrior  wrote.

Reader/mocker Austin Jarrett used his flair for language to make the pick.

"Greg Robinson," he wrote, and reader/mocker, Mike Yazigi, too, chose the succinct route: "Greg Robinson. Need someone to protect Bradford."

But perhaps it was reader/mocker Josh who summed up the Robinson pick best when he wrote, "In this hypothetical world where O-Man is the man behind the curtain, the Rams would take OT Greg Robinson."

Well, we are indeed living in the hypothetical world, and the senior writer is the hypothetical boy, but not everyone was focusing on offensive tackle for the Rams.

One reader offered Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel as an option and reader/mocker Manchester Jag opined that the Rams might select Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins to "add some excitement to the offence and give Bradford some weapons."

The senior writer loved that quote, primarily because using the "c" in offense just seems so darned classy somehow, but while others liked the Watkins selection, most reader/mockers remained focused on the task of getting Clowney off the board at No. 2.

And that's what eventually happened.

Some actually believed the Rams themselves will take Clowney, a group that included reader/mocker Tymothe Connaughton, who wrote, "You're not going to find another Clowney later in the draft."

But in the end, it was reader/mocker Ben "J-School" Corby who summed up the direction of the day.

"I'm not ignoring the 'no-trades' rule, just getting creative with it," he wrote. "Jadeveon Clowney will go here. I have no idea what team will actually be making that pick, but that's the beauty of Clowney's selection. If the Rams stay put, Clowney. If they trade down, it's probably because someone else wants Clowney."

Reader/mocker Camron Young agreed … sort of.

"Clowney to the Rams NOT because I think they'll take him, but because I think someone will trade with them to get him," he wrote. "Since trades aren't allowed, just have him taken by the Rams so he'll be out of our way."

Jagsfan succinctly ended the argument.

"Gotta be Jadeveon in some way with this pick," he wrote.

Yeah, it sorta does, so yeah, indeed it is. With the No. 2 overall selection, the Rams indeed select Clowney, which means after two days the 2014 reader mock looks like:

  1. Houston | Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  1. St. Louis | Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Which brings us to, hey! The No. 3 overall selection. That's the Jaguars, where the senior writer will offer up Khalil Mack of Buffalo. We'll save the battling and the speculation and the angst over that selection until Thursday, which should make Day 3 of this reader mock another wild ride.

Have at it.

The Reader Mock Draft is presented by Turner Pest Control.

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