JACKSONVILLE – This is where it starts getting interesting.
We've arrived at the No. 2 overall selection in the 2015 jaguars.com reader mock draft, and as likely will be the case in the real 2015 NFL Draft, the process at this point actually gets more than interesting.
It gets fascinating, compelling, and downright confusing, too.
With Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston off the board to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 1 overall, the Tennessee Titans go on the clock at No. 2. And unlike No. 1, where there's a pretty decent majority opinion on Winston to the Buccaneers, there's nothing of the kind at No. 2.
Will the Titans stay at No. 2 and take Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota?
Will they go with what seems slightly more conventional wisdom and stay at No. 2 to take Southern California defensive end Leonard Williams?
Will they trade out of the spot?
There was some pretty strong thought among the reader/mockers that the latter option – a trade – is the most likely scenario, but because the annoyingly stubborn senior writer once again this year does not allow trades in the jaguars.com reader mock draft, that's not going to happen.
That set the tone for a day full of split opinion, with most reader/mockers opining about Williams, Mariota and the merits of each.
"It really comes down to two players, Leonard Williams and Marcus Mariota," reader/mocker John Mahan wrote. "I feel that Leonard Williams makes more sense. Quarterback is a need, but the Titans have shown a little confidence in (Zach) Mettenberger. When the Titans are on the board, Williams is the BAP. Williams to the Titans."
That was one approach. This was the other:
"They don't have a quarterback; they don't have a receiver; they don't have really anyone of actual significance," reader/mocker Wevin Keaver wrote, adding without a hint of irony, "HOWEVER, the one thing they do have are two decent lines. Offensively and defensively these lines can compete. So there you have it, a very roundabout way of saying Marcus Mariota."
While Keaver didn't seem to realize that two decent lines are two things and not one, he wasn't alone in pushing for a Mariota selection to the Titans.
"I think Mariota gets picked here – trade or no trade – with this pick," reader/mocker WCS wrote.
That was actually an approach more than one reader/mocker took – that whether or not the Titans trade in real life (if you can call the NFL Draft "real life") – some team is going to want Mariota enough to take him with the No. 2 selection.
"No trades, right John?" reader/mocker Ben "J-School" Corby wrote. "Ok, I'll do this again: Marcus Mariota goes second, but I have no idea which team will be drafting him there."
There were also those who really, really wanted to project Mariota to the Titans for somewhat selfish reasons.
"As a Jags fan, and someone who hates the Titans," reader/mocker James Williams wrote, "I want them to pick Mariota. I feel he will be a bust for them, and set them back three more years."
That was some strong sentiment. But in the end, there wasn't quite enough of that to make it THE sentiment. That's because there was more than enough sentiment that the Titans would in fact take the player most analysts consider the No. 1 defensive player in the draft.
"I think the recent troubles the Titans have had selecting a QB this high make them a little gun-shy and they go with the more 'sure' pick - L. Williams," reader/mocker Bruce Wahyne wrote.
"If the Titans have any brains, Marcus Mariota," reader/mocker Wyatt Burp wrote, adding, "Since I don't think they have any however, they take Leonard Williams."
Admittedly, that wasn't very nice. But hey: it's better the reader/mockers are being mean to the Titans than to the senior writer. Don't look for that to last, but for now, the 2015 jaguars.com reader mock looks like:
1.Tampa Bay | Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2.Tennessee | Leonard Williams, DE, Southern California
That brings us to the Jaguars at No. 3. There's little reason to talk this one to death. This is the pick that interests our reader/mockers the most, and the projection here is the Jaguars will select Dante Fowler Jr., a pass rusher from Florida.
The guess here is it's going to be a pretty, darned tight debate/race between Fowler and Clemson pass rusher Vic Beasley. We'll see.
Have at it.