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'14 Reader mock: The No. 6 overall selection is …


JACKSONVILLE – The position was the easy part.

At the very least, it was a lot easier on Day Six of the 2014 reader mock draft to figure the position of the likely candidate than the player himself.

Well, no one said mock drafts were supposed to be easy.

And while mocking the draft's No. 6 overall selection to the Atlanta Falcons spawned less controversy than many of the first five selections, it would be inaccurate to portray Day Six as anything close to a debate-less, discussion-less affair.

We don't get those in this reader mock; shoot, wouldn't want them, either.

Day Six, too, featured at least one of the issues that plagued the last couple of days. The over-the-top animosity for the senior writer that made Day Five a Reader Mock Day to Remember subsided significantly, but there was still doubt over the accuracy of the No. 3 selection to the Jaguars.

The astute reader/mocker will remember that after Blake Bortles went No. 1 to Houston and Jadeveon Clowney went No. 2 to St. Louis, the readers mocked linebacker Khalil Mack of Buffalo to the Jaguars at No. 3. And while Johnny Manziel and Sammy Watkins have since gone off the board to Cleveland and Oakland, respectively, some mock draft readers are just, plain stuck in the past.

"Mack reminds me of Quentin Groves without major college experience," reader/mocker JagDogWV wrote. "How many sacks did he get for Jags?"

If this was a ploy to get the senior writer to break character and do research – read: Google – for this reader mock, well … let's just say the senior writer wasn't born yesterday, or even in the 70s, unfortunately. Research ain't his way, and Groves isn't the issue here.

The issue, of course, is the No. 6 selection to the Falcons, and while many mockers noted the very real possibility of Atlanta trading up for a pass rusher, most mockers accepted that that can't happen in this mock.

With pass-rushers Clowney and Mack gone, more than a few mockers saw the Falcons perhaps focused on the player many believe the next-best defensive player in the draft.

"I'll be different and go with Anthony Barr," reader/mocker Jagster wrote, mocking the UCLA outside linebacker to the Falcons. "Atlanta struggled on defense and while they addressed defensive tackle and a run-stopping defensive end in free agency, they still need an edge rusher."

But mostly on Day Six, the debate was whether the Falcons would use the No. 6 selection to address a perceived need at offensive tackle or to replace retired Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. And while drafting a tight end there would be mind-blowingly high according to conventional wisdom, some readers utilized neither convention nor wisdom when choosing for the Falcons.

"Eric Ebron," reader/mocker Infamous wrote, projecting the North Carolina tight end to Atlanta at No. 6. "Falcons hope to pick off where Tony G left off."

Reader/mocker JamesfromJacksonville kinda, sorta tied the loss of Gonzalez into his selection, too.

"The Falcons will draft Mike Evans," JamesfromJacksonville wrote of the Texas A&M wide receiver. "Gonzales has retired and 32-year-old Roddy White is entering the final year of his contract. Drafting Mike Evans provides Atlanta with an insurance policy for its signature passing game."

Soon enough, though the day settled into a conversation over which premiere offensive tackle would go No. 6 overall – Evans' Texas A&M teammate, Jake Matthews, or Greg Robinson of Auburn.

While Matthews spent much of last season as the draft's most-talked about offensive lineman, Robinson had a standout NFL Scouting Combine in February, and more than a few reader mockers projected him as the first tackle taken next month.

"It's really just a matter of which OT," reader/mocker Fred Barnes wrote. "Greg Robinson is more of a prototypical left tackle, while Jake Matthews is more of a prototypical right tackle. In the Falcons' case they need talent at LT, so I'm going with Robinson."

Wrote reader/mocker Anthony Colichio, "Must be OT: Robinson."

Reader/mocker jorjajag went with the tried-and-true approach of mentioning the senior writer in his selection.

"I agree with the O-man: Greg Robinson to the Atlanta Falcons," jorajag wrote.

But while jorajag's tactic got him mentioned in the story, it didn't make Robinson the pick. That was Matthews, a point made in memorable fashion by reader/mocker Jaguarrior.

"Jake Matthews," Jaguarrior wrote, with reader/mocker Brandon Jensen writing, "Matthews over Robinson here."

Reader/mocker J-School Corby noted that Matthews is the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, writing, "Come on … Bruce Matthews' kid?"

"Normally I'm not a believer in bloodlines predicating success, but it's hard to bet against a Matthews on the offensive line," he wrote.

Indeed it is, and on Day Six, Matthews is indeed the selection at No. 6 overall. That means after six 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

That brings us to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 7, and while Evans of Texas A&M makes sense here, it's hard to imagine Robinson lasting this long, much less past this point. So, we'll offer Robinson as the Buccaneers' selection.

Have at it.

The Reader Mock Draft is presented by Turner Pest Control.

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