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'16 reader mock: The Jaguars select …


JACKSONVILLE – The suspense ended quickly, if there was really very much at all.

Maybe that gives away the Jaguars' selection at No. 5 overall in this 2016 reader mock draft, and maybe that sends it hurtling to an anticlimactic climax.

If so, so be it.

This was, after all, a weird reader mock from the start. It began as a truncated, five-selection version with the idea to focus on the Jaguars' role in this 2016 NFL Draft – not only their selection at No. 5, but the four selections leading to it.

That meant a far shorter draft than past versions of this tradition, but that seemed a harmless enough change – and things indeed went rather swimmingly early in the week.

Then, came The Trade.

Ah yes … while Thursdays Los Angeles/Tennessee trade perhaps will have as-yet-unforeseen ramifications for those two franchises, what we absolutely know is that it sent some serious shockwaves through our reader/mocker world.

"After the trade, this mock doesn't mean Jack anymore," reader/mocker Bruce Wayne wrote, foreshadowing – perhaps? (wink, wink) -- the day's big news and cleverly summing up the mood of the day.

The aforementioned shockwave? The tearing down of our first four selections followed by a senior-writer-driven rebuilding of those same selections – all with the idea of somehow reaching the Jaguars' No. 5 overall selection with the draft board (and our sanity) at least somewhat intact.

Mission accomplished? Maybe, maybe not, but what we did accomplish was changing the mock from one in which Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil went No. 1 overall to the Titans to one in which North Dakota State quarterback went No. 1 overall to the Rams.

In our revised mock, the Cleveland Browns took California quarterback Jared Goff at No. 2 followed by the San Diego Chargers taking Tunsil at No. 3 and the Dallas Cowboys taking Florida State cornerback/safety Jalen Ramsey at No. 4.

Reader mocker draining3threes was kind enough to let the senior writer know he could have done better.

"Johnny O," he wrote, "your mock should have went Goff/Wentz/Ramsey/Jack."

As it was, we stayed with the flawed version. That left players such as Ohio State edge rusher Joey Bosa, Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner and UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, not to mention Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Reader mocker Ryan made a half-hearted – if still somehow "heartfelt" – case for Buckner, a player seemingly undervalued by many Jaguars followers focused on Jack, Bosa and Ramsey.

"In my world, Buckner is still the top defensive talent around," he wrote. "He can play anywhere on the line, has multiple pass-rush moves, and can smoothly transition from one to the next … however, around these parts, voting for Buckner feels a lot like voting Independent in November …"

Ryan indeed was traveling solo, and acknowledged it with a vote for Jack. And it quickly became evident that, as expected, the debate for the Jaguars' selection would focus on Bosa and Jack.

"Bosa's the pick," reader mocker J-School Corby wrote.

"JOEY BOSA IS THE 1 AND ONLY PICK FOR THE JAGS," reader mocker David L. Mosher wrote, cementing his status as the day's most passionate reader mocker with his liberal use of CAPITAL LETTERS. "You don't pass on the best player available and Bosa is the No. 1-rated dude in the draft especially when you still need pass rush."

Reader mocker JagNative summed up the case for Bosa.

"Draft pass rushers until you know you have them..." he wrote.

Wise words, but ultimately not enough to sway this reader mock from what has felt like an inevitable direction. That direction?

Jack, the athletic, highlight-reel linebacker from UCLA. Many analysts have mocked Jack to the Jaguars for the past two months, and more than a few reader mockers did, too.

"Jack just makes too much sense; he's an excellent, versatile playmaker," reader mocker Ian MacDonald wrote.

Draining3threes tabled his draft-long Bosa slant to lean toward Jack.

"I'm gonna go with the player who is a legitimate difference-maker, and gamble on [Dante] Fowler [Jr.] being as great as the Jags think he is," he wrote. "With the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select... Myles Jack."

Reader mocker Wevin Keaver was unabashed and simplistically rhythmic in his support.

"Watch Jack run," he wrote. "Run Jack run! See Jack cover wideouts in the slot. See him rush the passer. See him pop off of every highlight I've ever seen."

Reader writer Scott Ennis, in the end, summed up the mood of most when he wrote that the decision was relatively simple.

"Take need," he wrote. "We need Jack."

In this mock, that's just what the Jaguars will do. That means through five selections, the 2016 reader mock looks like:

1.Los Angeles | Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

2.Cleveland | Jared Goff, QB, California

3.San Diego | Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

4.Dallas | Jalen Ramsey, FS/CB, Florida State

5.Jacksonville | Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

And so comes to an end this truncated, quick-turnaround version of the mock draft. Goodness knows, it wasn't easy. Or pretty. But what's done is done …

And this is done.

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