Score one for the readers.
Not that it should be that surprising – it is, after all, their draft– but the readers completely dominated Day 10 of the jaguars.com 2012 reader mock draft, not only eventually swaying the pick, but coming up with valid reasons for that pick and a few alternatives.
Because we're coming out of the weekend, let's review a minute.
When last the readers were mocking the 2012 mock draft, we were nearing the end of the Top 10 and the readers were sending one of their favorites – defensive end Quinton Coples – to the Carolina Panthers with the No. 9 overall selection.
That made Coples the first defensive end off the board, but left available a slew of players that some analysts have projected as Top 10 selections. South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram, for instance, is still on the board in our reader mock, as is defensive end Courtney Upshaw of Alabama.
A pair of Stanford offensive linemen – guard David DeCastro and tackle Jonathan Martin – are also around, as is quarterback Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M.
It's only fair to mention here that our mock draft took a fairly significant blow this weekend when Seattle signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Matt Flynn of Green Bay. That took Miami out of the running for Flynn and makes it far more likely that the Dolphins will select Tannehill at No. 8.
Hence, our draft is probably bit out of whack.
Then again, show me a mock that isn't a bit out of whack by the time you get to No. 10, and I'll show you a mock draft done after the real draft, after the facts are in. We don't have that luxury, so because of that we're doing the best we can, and when we got to Day 10 we suggested for the Bills at No. 10 overall Martin, the offensive tackle from Stanford.
This made sense, we thought, because with Demetrius Bell a free agent and still unsigned the Bills seem to have a need at left tackle, but the readers for the most part disagreed.
Frank Eckenrode thought we were close, though – in the offensive line sense and the Stanford sense.
"I think the Bills will go O line but not tackle," Eckenrode wrote. "The sure fire bet is DeCastro who I've heard compared with a young Steve Hutchinson. Dude is a mauler and has good feet for an interior lineman. Martin is overhyped IMO and looked good pass protecting because of Luck and the fact Stanford uses like 100 tight ends."
DeCastro got quite a bit of support, but while some readers still were understandably preoccupied with the Jaguars and the No. 7 selection, a good number managed to stay focused enough on the task at hand to make a strong argument for the Bills spending their first-round pick on defense.
At first that might not have seemed logical. Buffalo, after all, spent big on defense to lure free-agent end Mario Williams. But the thought of some readers was that the Bills were defense-centric enough this off-season to merit a defensive player in the first round.
There were readers who thought that meant adding a complement to Williams. Some thought maybe that meant Ingram, and others were thinking more Upshaw from Alabama.
"Buffalo takes Courtney Upshaw to play DE/OLB in the 3-4 up there or 4-3," Joshua wrote. "Should be good in either defensive set."
The support for a defensive end was minimal compared to those who believe the Bills will focus on the next line of the defense. The Bills, many readers reasoned, made a mistake letting Paul Polsuszny go to the Jaguars as a free agent last off-season – a mistake perhaps they can remedy by taking the best middle linebacker in the draft.
"Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College," Austin Jarrett wrote. "Team badly missed Posluszny and Kuechly very well could be BAP here."
Perhaps, and many believed the same could be true of Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, a player who hadn't gotten much mention in the reader mock draft early but who got plenty Sunday.
As for the player we offered? Martin?
Well, some readers didn't mind it, but there were plenty who thought that otherwise.
"Analysts say Martin's stock is falling," Gary Cislo wrote.
Cislo, like many readers, made a strong pitch for Kuechly, but No. 10 just seems a few spots too high, particularly with some of the day's strongest pushes seeming to come for Martin's teammate.
"David DeCastro is the last available can't-miss, elite prospect on the board and is the Bills' pick," JaguarGator9 wrote. "DeCastro is the second-best offensive lineman in the draft but drops because guard isn't a premium position."
Still, for today – and for the purposes of this mock – guard is just premium enough to get you into the Top 10. That makes him the pick here, and because of that, the 2012 jaguars.com reader mock through 10 selections 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
9.Carolina | Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
10.Buffalo | David DeCastro, G, Stanford
That brings us to No. 11 at Kansas City. There's a need at offensive tackle here, and Martin makes sense here again. We'll see if he goes off the board here. The guess here is he will but I guess we guessed similarly Friday, too, and look what happened. Have at it.