JACKSONVILLE – This one wasn't surprising at all.
Well, maybe it was a little surprising. Or maybe it's just more accurate to say the No. 4 selection in the jaguars.com 2015 reader mock draft is a surprise because it's not a surprise.
Confused? Well, that's fitting considering the No. 4 selection belongs to the Oakland Raiders, the NFL team perhaps most known for surprising moves in the first round.
What wasn't particularly surprising at No. 4 was that much of the conversation among the reader/mockers for the Raiders focused on the wide receiver position. That position is deep and talented in this year's draft and had been ignored thus far in the reader mock.
With quarterback Jameis Winston going No. 1 to Tampa Bay, end Leonard Williams going No. 2 to Tennessee and pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. going No. 3 to Jacksonville – and with the Raiders already having a quarterback – receiver-to-the-Raiders is a common refrain among national analysts at No. 4.
The reader mockers were refrainin' that way, too.
"Amari Cooper," reader/mocker SIC wrote, mocking the Alabama wide receiver to the Raiders. "I see no way they don't take a WR and Al Davis isn't drafting players, so they won't go with the raw-with-upside pick, but instead the safe one."
Reader/mocker Scott Ennis stayed true to the surprise/wide receiver theme.
"Oakland is nothing if not consistent with trying to surprise people," he wrote. "They (the Raiders) are also known for drafting speed at the WR position. I think Oakland ends up taking (West Virginia wide receiver Kevin) White."
Reader/mocker Brandon Jensen also leaned toward the West Virginia wide receiver, writing, "Knowing the Raiders they will pick Kevin White."
That was the heart of the Wide Receiver Debate, but it wasn't as if Day Four was All Receiver All the Time. And there actually was enough conversation away from offense to make things interesting.
"Since the Jaguars did not go receiver with their pick, Oakland thinks they have a real shot at (Miami wide receiver Phillip) Dorsett in Round 2, so they hold off for this pick and get the pass rusher," reader/mocker slothful_lifestyle wrote. "(Clemson pass rusher Vic) Beasley comes off the board at 4."
Reader/mocker Jerry was thinking pass rusher, too – though with a different bend.
"With the biggest shock of the draft, my vote is (Nebraska pass rusher) Randy Gregory," Jerry wrote. "Defensive-minded (Head Coach Jack) Del Rio gets a tandem with (Khalil) Mack and Gregory."
Reader/mocker Shawn Clement was thinking defense, but notably was not thinking pass rusher. Rather, he was thinking interior – namely, Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton.
"Shelton would be a Day One starter and a BIG presence against the run," he wrote, adding, "There are several very good receiver options later in the draft, but there are no more difference making DT/NTs to shore up a shaky line."
And of course, this being the reader mock and the reader mock given to frivolity, we had the reader who failed to realize we had moved beyond the Jaguars at No. 3.
"Randy Gregory to Jacksonville! Enter the Cat!!!" reader/mocker 1SAVJAG27 wrote.
With that silly interlude behind us, we moved to the real decision at No. 4 – and ultimately, the reader/mockers leaned to what many see as the best receiver in the draft.
"Amari Cooper is the safest prospect in the draft and a huge need; I don't know how the Raiders can risk not taking him if he falls to 4 (which I don't think he will, by the way)," reader/mocker Anthony wrote.
Reader/mocker Charlie B agreed.
"On the tails of a great first-round pick a year ago, the Raiders will go with WR Amari Cooper," Charlie B wrote.
So, with the No. 4 selection of the '15 reader mock the Raiders indeed select Cooper, which means after four selections the draft looks like:
1.Tampa Bay | Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2.Tennessee | Leonard Williams, DE, Southern California
3.Jacksonville | Dante Fowler Jr., DE/LB, Florida
4.Oakland | Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
That brings us to the Washington Redskins at No. 5. A lot of people might talk trade here and others might talk Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. That would pretty much mean the end of the Robert Griffin III Era, and the thought here is the Redskins aren't there yet. Instead, we'll offer up Gregory, but we won't feel great about it and we'll look forward to the debate.
Have at it.