JACKSONVILLE – Day Three didn't disappoint. Not even close.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were on the clock on Day Three of the jaguars.com 2014 reader mock draft, and because there is understandably more than a bit of Jaguars interest in said website, everything you may have wanted from the day was pretty much there.
You wanted debate? You got it. Intrigue? Urgency? You got it. Close tallying?
Well, you got that, too.
Of course, the thing everyone ultimately wanted on Day Three was the very thing most of our reader/mockers want in real life oh so much these days.
They want to know just who the Jaguars are going take at No. 3 overall.
The real answer won't be known for another 28 days, but we got our answer in the reader mock on Day 3. But first, we first had to sort through a bunch of chatterin', arguin' and good, old-fashioned back-and-forthin'.
Khalil Mack. Johnny Manziel. Sammy Watkins.
All had beaucoup reader/mocker support at times on Day Three, and even Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater – who has dipped a bit in the minds of many draft analysts if not in the hearts of a whole lot of Jaguars followers – had more than his share of support.
Bridgewater, in fact, seemed much more loved on Day Three in the reader mock than in the real draft.
"It will be Bridgewater," reader/mocker William Taylor wrote, and reader/mocker @CaliforniaJag was more effusive but no less clear when he wrote, "Take the best player on the board. Which is Teddy Bridgewater."
That, of course, is very open to debate. Bridgewater has slipped in the minds of many analysts since a subpar Pro Day, which may be why most reader/mockers didn't see Bridgewater as the best player on the board at No. 3, or as the Jaguars' likely selection.
As for who that may be … well, for a while it was hard to settle on even a few names, much less one or two. Not only did Bridgewater get some mention from reader/mockers, but Louisiana State quarterback Zach Mettenberger got a vote, as did Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald and – get this – Alabama safety Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.
But while the opinions were fragmented enough that even Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles – he of the No. 1 status in this reader mock – got another vote at No. 3, Day Three soon settled into a three-player debate of Manziel, Mack and Watkins.
Manziel, a.k.a. Johnny Football, got some expected support from those convinced the Jaguars simply must go quarterback here.
"Johnny Manziel," reader/mocker Jonathan A Moore wrote succinctly, while reader/mocker Jacob Wulff made his point clear by capitalizing his pick and writing, "With the 3rd pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select... JOHNNY FOOTBALL! MANZIEL, QB, Texas A&M."
But as popular as JOHNNY might be, Day Three of the reader mock eventually came down to Mack – a pass-rushing, athletic linebacker from the University of Buffalo – and Watkins, who played at Clemson and is widely considered the best wide receiver in the draft.
With the Jaguars needing offense, and Watkins being very fast and a potential No. 1 receiver, he received heavy, heavy support.
"Sammy Watkins Baby!!!!!!!!!!" reader/mocker Brandon Jenson wrote, while reader/mocker jagster flexed the muscles of his vast network of sources, writing, "jaguars draft sammy watkins, cause a little bird told me."
Reader writer Sebastian Garza stayed clear of wildlife references.
"Drafting Watkins with the 3rd overall pick feels right and safe," he wrote. "The Jaguars are WAY past due to have a strong receiving corps. Watkins, (Cecil) Shorts (III), (Justin Blackmon (eventually we hope) will give us just that."
But while the cases for Watkins were strong, and while this was easily the most tightly-contested day yet in the 2014 reader mock, the edge eventually went to Mack. It wasn't by much, but it was by enough – and an edge pass rusher just made sense for a team that long has needed pass rush.
"Khalil Mack plain and simple," reader/writer Dakota Longbrake wrote.
It may not have been plain nor simple to everyone, but plenty agreed.
"I have to agree with O-Man – if Clowney is gone the Jags will take Mack," reader/writer CTB533 wrote. "He fits Gus's Leo position perfectly."
While all the O-Man really did was offer Mack as a possibility, and while the senior writer appreciated the shout out, those choosing Mack more often than not were sound in the their thinking.
"With Clowney gone Mack looks to be the BAP on the defensive side and looks to be wearing a Jaguar hat as well," reader/mocker Paul T. wrote.
Indeed he does – at least in this mock – which means after three days the jaguars.com 2014 reader mock looks like:
- Houston | Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
- St. Louis | Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
- Jacksonville | Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
That brings us to the Cleveland Browns at No. 4. We'll offer up Manziel here, because Watkins doesn't seem to be quite the need and because … well, because people just seem to like writing about and debating 'ol Johnny Football.
Have at it.
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