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'14 Reader mock: The No. 7 overall selection is …


JACKSONVILLE – Score one for new thinkin'.

Time was, when it came to the NFL Draft, big guys and guys who could throw were the norm. That meant if all else was equal, linemen and quarterbacks often ruled the day.

If Day Seven of the 2014 NFL reader mock draft is any indication, that may be changing.

There were linemen on the board on Day Seven, after all, as well as quarterbacks. There was a wide receiver in the conversation, and guess what?  A guy you wouldn't expect won the day.

And here's what else might surprise you: A guy the senior writer didn't project won the day, too.

An OT comes off the board in today's Reader Mock Draft. Read: — Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) April 15, 2014

To review:

We arrived at Day Seven, which featured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the clock at No. 7, with the reader mock pretty close to form: Quarterback Blake Bortles and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney went No. 1 and No. 2, a scenario that would stun no one.

Khalil Mack, Johnny Manziel, Sammy Watkins and Jake Matthews …

They went next. Not lot of shocks there, but reader/writer Jagster did his part to stir up some reader/mock controversy – not to mention to hurt the feelings of the emotionally fragile senior writer – when he took pretty much the whole idea of the reader mock to task.

"Just look who John offers up at the end of the current story and you'll see who he will pick anyways," Jagster wrote. "Only one that's been different is this last one (Matthews) but only because it was the other offensive tackle to (Greg) Robinson. Even if the fans outvoted Robinson 4 to 1 John would still pick his player. I don't know why he calls it a reader mock."

A great man once said something to the effect that while passion and conviction are noble traits, they don't always walk hand-in-hand with wisdom.  The senior writer isn't sure if that applies to Jagster, but he does know he calls it a reader mock because he's the one doing the writing so he can pretty much call it what he wants. His rules (Sniff, sniff).

But alas, Day Seven actually it produced some well-thought out debate before the surprise selection.

It also produced a lot of support for the player some consider the best quarterback on the board. And in turn, that produced a disturbing possibility.

"Tampa Bay with draft Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback, Louisville," reader/mocker JamesfromJacksonville wrote. "The Bucs are an average team and are without a franchise quarterback. Bridgewater is the most polished quarterback in the draft and will take over the starting job when the other quarterbacks on the roster fizzle out."

Next came the aforementioned disturbing imagery.

"If Bridgewater is the pick here I will get a tattoo of Tim Tebow on my left butt cheek," reader/mocker Tom wrote.

This caused the expected discussion over whether or not Tom would indeed go through with it. Time will tell, just as time will tell whether or not other suggestions for Tampa Bay at No. 7 – North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron (via reader/mocker Brandon Jensen) UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr (via Jonathan Russell) and Alabama middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (via Evil_Lance) – will come to fruition as well.

Mostly, Day Seven came down to whether the Buccaneers would take an offensive tackle – Robinson of Auburn – offered up by the senior writer, or Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans.

Robinson, projected by some analysts as early as No. 2 overall, got plenty of support.

"Greg Robinson is the best player and can make an impact immediately," reader/mocker S. Vinson wrote. "There are a couple of defensive guys that could go here as well, but Robinson is the guy."

Reader/mocker Jags laid it out definitively.

"Tampa Bay Buccaneers will select Greg Robinson OT Auburn with 7 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft," he wrote.

But while that was indeed definite, it was instead Evans who carried the day, doing so in relatively one-sided fashion. That's taking wide receiver over offensive lineman, which definitely qualifies as new thinkin'.

"Mike Evans makes sense here, so I'll go with that," reader/writer Jason Nored wrote.

Paul T missed the first-names-and-spelling-and-draft-slot-are-important memo, but he got the gist, writing, "The difference is the experience factor from Evens. He looks to be a more polished receiver at this time over (Florida State wide receiver Kelvin) Benjamin and that is why at pick No. 6 the Tampa Bucs select Matt Evens Wide Receiver from Texas A&M."

So the readers said and so it shall be, and even though the senior writer wanted in every fiber of his being to pick the guy he wanted to be pick because … well, because it would have made him laugh … on this day, the reader mockers prevailed. Which means through seven selections the 2014 reader mock draft 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

That brings us to Minnesota at No. 8. The senior writer will offer up Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr here, because he saw it another mock a while back and because he pretty much does what he wants, anyway. Just because he can.

Have at it.

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