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'14 Reader mock: The No. 9 overall selection is …


JACKSONVILLE – And then there was one.

That means a couple of things in the context of the 2014 reader mock draft, with one being that just one day remains until the pace of this thing ratchets up quite a bit, until it goes from one-day-at-a-time to blistering-let's-get-this-thing-done-already.

More pertinently it means this:

That on Day Nine of this process, there turned out to be only one real selection. At least that's true of the reader/mockers, because on this day – with the Buffalo Bills on the clock at No. 9 overall – the senior writer offered up what he believed a prudent, wise, logical selection.

But not only didn't the reader mockers think the selection – linebacker Anthony Barr of UCLA – was right, they barely acknowledged the suggestion.

Zero. Crickets. Null.

However you want to say it, that was the reader/mocker interest in Barr at this selection, with reader/mocker ST.ORM going so far as to lead his comments for the day with "Not Barr…"

All right, then.

Reader/mocker Randy Surles taunted the senior writer a bit when he began his thoughts at No. 9 with "This one's easy," and while it evidently wasn't easy for some of us, ST.ORM correctly pointed out the problem with the Barr selection.

"They reset their LBs in free agency signing (Brandon) Spikes and moving Kiki (Alonso) outside," ST.ORM wrote. "Need to better protect (quarterback) EJ Manuel after he was battered last year."

The second part of ST.ORM's comments provide a hint about the consensus, but we don't want to completely give it away yet, and there was a smattering of support for someone other than the player who dominated this day.

C. Schler liked the "other" player – tight end Eric Ebron of North Carolina – enough to dip his toe in the mock draft water …

"Let's see if Ebron fits here and gives them that down the middle vertical threat that opens up their offense," he wrote.

… while reader/mocker J-School Corby was at least slightly more committal.

"I'm going with Eric Ebron," he wrote. "The Bills are loading up on offense, and putting one more weapon out there for Manuel can only help him."

And no one supported Ebron more than the over-the-top supportive Brian L. Jones, who peppered his comments with some good, old-fashioned tauntin'.

"Seriously O-Man? You know the saying, 'Even a blind man running through a crowd with a knife can cut some throats?'" he wrote. "Well, the crowd is safe if it's you wielding the knife, 'cause you missed the jugular with this pick. There is only one player the Bills want at No. 9, the best tight end in the draft, Eric Ebron TE University of North Carolina Tar Heels."

The senior writer didn't know that saying, and although he does now, it doesn't mean he's anymore wrong than Jones. At least not according to the consensus on Day Nine.

That consensus went undeniably and almost unanimously to Greg Robinson.

"Greg Robinson it is," reader/mocker Chris Walker wrote.

Robinson, an offensive tackle from Auburn, has been perhaps the player most wronged thus far by this reader mock draft. Projected by some analysts as a potential Top 3 selection, he has been passed again and again in this mock, with reader/mocker Evil_Lance speaking for many when he wrote, "No way he should fall this far. It would be blasphemy for the Bills to pass on him!"

Reader/mocker Paul T agreed.

"At No. 9 Greg Robinson needs to be off the board just because he doesn't slide this far on draft day," he wrote, adding, "Robinson has been available too long and needs to be addressed."

Reader/mocker scoff789 spoke for many when he wrote that if Robinson was indeed available, it would be difficult for the Bills not to take him.

"Not the sexy pick here but too good to pass up at 9," he wrote.

And while he was far from alone, Jaguarrior closed it out with some simple logic.

"The Bills can get defensive help later in the draft," he wrote. "The same can't be said of the offensive line. The Buffalo Bills take Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn."

And you know what? The consensus is probably right, and at the very least, a player who probably should be off the board by now is, at long last, off. So, through nine selections, 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
  1. Tampa Bay | Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
  1. Minnesota | Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
  1. Buffalo | Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

That brings us to the Detroit Lions at No. 10. The buzz is the Lions very much want to trade up, but buzz or no buzz, there are no trades in this reader mock. We'll offer up cornerback Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State because that's what we saw on a mock draft when we Googled and because – oh, yes – it makes a lot of sense if the Lions can't trade.

And remember, this will be the last one-selection day of this mock. After that, we'll pick five or six a day, so it will be chaotic and fast, and soon enough, you know what else it will be? Over.

Have at it.

The Reader Mock Draft is presented by Turner Pest Control.

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