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A bit too easy


All right, this was a bit ridiculous.

You could argue that any sanely thinking senior writer would want this on Day 14 of the 2011 reader mock draft. It was, after all, Friday, the day my friend/archenemy Ryan Robinson starts thinking golf quicker than he thinks lunch, so who wouldn't want an easy day?

There's easy and there's too much, and No. 14 fit almost too comfortably into the latter.

So, with the St. Louis Rams on the clock, we won't insult the intelligence of the reader by waiting to reveal the selection. It's Julio Jones, wide receiver from Alabama.

It wasn't just not close.

It was as close as you can get to unanimous.

"Give (Sam) Bradford his target – Jones," "guy" wrote.

What "guy" lacked in creative self-monikering he more than made up for in prescience, because one by one the support for that selection quickly accumulated.

"The easiest pick of the draft so far," Joe Sayers wrote, adding.  "Bradford needs someone to throw to. Julio Jones is the man. If he is still available on draft day in this spot, the Rams will draft him immediately. Julio Jones is the pick here."

That, really, was the only real discussion Friday – whether or not Jones would indeed be available when the Rams went on the clock at No. 14.

There have been pretty strong indications he won't be. He has been mentioned by a lot of people as possibly overtaking A.J. "Don't call me A.G." Green of Georgia as the top wide receiver available in the draft, and Jones has taken on the feel in recent weeks as one of those guys who draws wows and raised eyebrows from the NFL Network and ESPN talking heads when he suddenly emerges as a surprise Top-10 selection on draft day – er, evening.

But in the case of our little mock, Jones is available at No. 14, and the senior writer not only offered him up at the spot, he found little with which to disagree as the readers continued discussing the positives Jones might bring to St. Louis.

"This is an easy pick," Demetrius Harvey wrote, adding, "The St. Louis Rams are in dire need to reconstruct their offense and the last draft proved it when they took Sam Bradford. Only problem was, he did not have a wide receiver to throw to unless you count Mark Clayton as the "good WR." Even so he was only around for a few weeks before he went on injured reserve. . . .

"What the Rams need is a foundation on the outside and they would get it with Julio Jones. The Rams WILL pick him if he slides to them, or even A.J. Green if he slides (he won't and obviously can't according to this mock)."

But we said "as close as you can get to unanimous," which means there was dissension. It came in the form of a solitary voice.

It belonged to reader Matt Hoffman, and before you think of him as a wild, crazy voice in the wild, his thought process made some sense.

"What about Mark Ingram?" Hoffman said. "I know the Rams have Steven Jackson, but he&39;s getting up there in age, and taking the thought-to-be best running back in this draft could be a nice mix of BAP and eventual need drafting. Plus, it will make tomorrow a lot more interesting instead of everyone saying Ingram to the Dolphins (at No. 15), because that&39;s just too easy. Rams take Ingram here."

Hoffman with a later post mentioned defensive tackle Corey Liuge, then still later filed again to mention offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo. When he filed again you started getting the idea Matt had quite a bit of free time, and while he stuck with his Ingram pick with enviable stamina, even he probably knew it meant little in the face of the landslide in support of Jones.

"You gotta take Julio Jones in this situation," Corey Pittman wrote, adding, "He is the perfect value meets need pick. John said that having a franchise quarterback and a dominant wide receiver were two of the most important aspects of a team in today's game. Well, if the Rams take Jones, they will be set in both areas for a long time to come."

If Pittman thought quoting me in his pick would get him quoted, he was right, but it probably won't work twice. Still, with the No. 14 overall selection in the 2011 reader mock draft, the Rams take Jones, making the mock thus far look like:

No. 1 | Carolina | Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
No. 2 | Denver | Patrick Peterson, CB, Louisiana State
No. 3 | Buffalo | Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
No. 4 | Cincinnati | Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
No. 5 | Arizona | Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
No. 6 | Cleveland | A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
No. 7 | San Francisco | Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
No. 8 | Tennessee | Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
No. 9 | Dallas | Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
No. 10 | Washington | Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
No. 11 | Houston | Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
No. 12 | Minnesota | Jake Locker, QB, Washington
No. 13 | Detroit | Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
No. 14 | St. Louis | Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Up next is Miami at No. 15. That's exciting for our board, because it means the Jaguars' selection at No. 16 is fast approaching and should make for a passionate Monday and Tuesday. But for now, we're focusing on the Dolphins, so we'll offer up Ingram. Indications are it could be another consensus selection. Yawn.

Have at it.

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