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Another receiver gone


If there was a time for a slow day, it made sense this would be it.

With the Miami Dolphins on the clock, the 2012 reader mock draft faced a couple of big challenges on Day 8. One was the Jaguars had picked the day before, so a ton of readers understandably were still debating the merits of that selection at No. 7.

The other was that little issue of free agency.

With readers debating and waiting official news of the team acquiring wide receiver Laurent Robinson and quarterback Chad Henne, it seemed people scarcely had time to focus on just who the Miami Dolphins might take with the No. 8 overall selection. And in fact, JaguarsGator9 set the tone for the day.

"Laurent Robinson signed!" he wrote. "Yes!"

He then apologized for being excited, but considering the baited-breath, ready-to-riot tone of many readers the last couple of days over Jaguars free agency, it wasn't surprising that the team reaching an agreement with the former Cowboys wide receiver and the former Miami Dolphins quarterback had people a bit distracted.

Distracting, too, was the continued debate over the Jaguars' selection the previous day.

It seemed rather than the selection of wide receiver Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State for the Jaguars at No. 7 ending debate, it instead merely re-sparked it.

There was also the expected chatter about trading for Mike Wallace, and the virtues of Tim Tebow. A few people even got as deep as debating just where Tebow was from and where he went to school. Overall, it was fascinating stuff, but eventually, we had to get back to figuring out just who the Dolphins might select, something made tricky by Miami's continued presence in the Peyton Manning courtship.

If the Dolphins get Manning, that obviously changes their draft storyline, and there's also the ongoing possibility Miami could still be in the running for Green Bay free agent quarterback Matt Flynn. Because of the Dolphins' perceived need at quarterback, we steered things in that direction by offering up Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Several readers followed that offering, and liked it quite a bit.

"Ryan Tannehill makes sense if Miami doesn't sign Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn in free agency," Tom Landon wrote. "Given that neither deal has been done as of this post, my vote is for Tannehill."

Brian J. Saladino wrote, "It will be Tannehill. Flynn is fool's gold and Dolphins coach knows him and knows what he is. Tannehill is the pick here."

That was one school of thought regarding the Dolphins, with another just as strong that Miami already would have signed either Manning or Flynn. In that scenario, the readers were focused on the receiver that didn't go to the Jaguars in this mock – Michael Floyd from Notre Dame.

Floyd in recent weeks has risen dramatically in the eyes of many draft observers, to the point where we had serious debate Wednesday over just whether Blackmon – long a reader favorite – was the wiser selection over Floyd.

Once Blackmon was off the board, readers had little doubt Floyd will disappear fast.

"Michael Floyd is the pick," JaguarGator9 wrote, continuing his early domination of the reader mock. "Assuming (Trent) Richardson is gone and the Dolphins get Matt Flynn in free agency (Philbin is the head coach and former Packers OC, so Flynn would know the system), the Dolphins don't have anybody to throw to. That Marshall trade was boneheadedly stupid... but that's another discussion.

"A quarterback needs targets to throw to (just ask Blaine) and currently, they have none."

The debate continued a bit, with Stanford guard David DeCastro getting mention as well as North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples and South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram, but none had significant support, so it eventually came down to Floyd or Tannehill.

This brought us to one of the problems with any mock draft – i.e., not being able to predict what a team will do in the future. Because we have to assume something, we decided to assume that the Dolphins will address their quarterback issues somehow before the draft. That meant mocking Floyd to the Dolphins.

Will it blow up? Very possibly and even probably, but for now, Floyd's the selection meaning that after eight days the 2012 reader mock looks like:

1.Indianapolis | Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2.Washington | Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

3.Minnesota | Matt Kalil, OT, Southern California

4.Cleveland | Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

5.Tampa Bay | Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State

6.St. Louis | Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

7.Jacksonville | Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

8.Miami | Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

That brings us to the Panthers at No. 9, and I sense we'll have a better day. Robinson and Henne are now officially in the fold, so that distraction is gone, and like it or not, Blackmon is gone to the Jaguars, so that debate is over. Focus, everyone, there's a long way to go.

We'll offer up Michael Brockers, a defensive tackle from LSU here, because it's time for the Panthers to start building defense and a lot of people see Brockers as an ascending player with potential. I sense this is one that will get a lot of debate, because there isn't a lot of consensus out there about the direction Carolina wants to go here. We'll see.

Have at it.

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