JACKSONVILLE – All right, back to the task at hand.
After the jaguars.com 2014 reader mock draft spent much of the past week careening between sniping back and forth and just plain, mean-spirited criticism of the humble man behind this mock's curtain, Day Eight brought a calmness to the situation.
And what do you know? It brought a selection, too.
That it brought said selection without malice, anger or insults was nice, but it wasn't as important as the simple fact that we found a selection for the Minnesota Vikings at No. 8.
That's significant, because with the reader mock expected to pick up the pace significantly next week – remember, the picks come in bunches as we close rather than one-per-day – we're actually a little more than halfway through this process.
Reader/mocker 1SAVJAG27 celebrated the milestone by veering wildly off topic.
"Hey! What did ya'll think of the movie Draft day?" he wrote.
Life is indeed a party, but most reader/mockers on Day Eight stayed on point, and we arrived at No. 8 overall in the wake of a pair of Texas A&M players – offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans – going off the board at No. 6 and 7. With no more A&M guys to project, the senior writer offered quarterback Derek Carr of Fresno State.
The reader mockers had little support for that, though some did follow the leader. Reader/mocker Jagster, in fact, went through an emotional harangue before torturing himself by agreeing with his nemesis.
"Since everyone on Jaguars.com already knows I'm a huge Derek Carr fan I'll go ahead and sit on the pick," Jagster wrote. "I sure wish he'd last long enough for the Jaguars' second pick but John, God, and I all know that isn't happening. So with the 8th pick of the draft, the Vikings pick Derek Carr of Fresno State."
Carr isn't expected to last until the Jaguars' selection in the second round, but he did last past No. 8 in this mock, as did a player who eventually could prove to be the unraveling of whatever shred of credibility this reader mock once may have hoped to attain.
Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson, projected by many analysts as a Top 5 selection, was still on the board at No. 8. Reader/mocker S Vinson called it a "travesty" that Robinson was there, and while Vinson didn't mock Robinson to the Vikings, reader/mocker JamesfromJacksonville did.
"The former Auburn tackle will block for the best player (presumably Adrian Peterson) in the NFL for many seasons to come," he wrote. "If Robinson is as good of a run blocker as advertised, then look out Seattle, San Francisco, and Green Bay."
Reader/mocker Jason Nored wrote, "Robinson is by far the best player available, so he finally comes off the board here."
With Robinson receiving little support outside the aforementioned duo – and with North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron getting only brief mention – Day Eight quickly became a debate over Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a player making his debut in the reader/mock debate, UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.
Barr got some serious consideration, as well as some serious debate.
"They take the pass rusher, Barr," reader/mocker C. Schlehr wrote.
This inspired a brief set-to over whether Barr actually could fit into the Vikings' 4-3 scheme and effectively rush the passer. Enough readers thought so that Barr came relatively close to being the day's selection.
"Anthony Barr," Infamous wrote. "They can get a QB later."
They certainly can, but for the most part, reader/mockers on Day Eight figured the Vikings would instead be getting their quarterback sooner.
"Let's say Bridgewater, even though there are 20 guys on the board better than him," S Vinson wrote. "The readers have spoken!"
Reader/mocker ST.ORM initialed his way through his selection.
"TB because AP needs a QB ASAP and team can claim they "got a steal," he wrote.
OK, but Jonathan Russell seemed to trump the field on this day by leaning on a quarterback-centric view of the draft.
"With the remaining team left that has the greatest need at QB and with the last of the "Big 3" QB's still on the board everyone thinks Barr?" Russell wrote. "I reiterate this is clearly Bridgewater and no one else. Stop trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes people."
Well, if Russell's reiteratin' then we're done discussin' and for this day at least, we've got the Vikings selectin' Bridgewater No. 8 overall. Which means after eight selections 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
- Cleveland | Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
- Oakland | Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
- Atlanta | Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
- Tampa Bay | Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
- Minnesota | Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
That brings us to … wait for it … No. 9, where the Buffalo Bills will be on the clock. We'll offer Barr here again, because he's on our minds after Day Eight – and because he makes some sense for the Bills.
We'll see if the reader mockers agree.
Have at it.
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