JACKSONVILLE – Interpretation Day has arrived.
And if you're trying to interpret the latest pre-draft words of the Jaguars' key draft-day decision-maker – i.e., General Manager David Caldwell – it's easy to interpret that come Thursday night offensive line could be forefront on his mind.
Specifically, it's easy to conclude "offensive tackle."
Taken a step further, it's easy to conclude . . .
Well, we'll get to the "step-further" part in a bit, because the idea of this lead-in to jaguars.com's third and final 2013 NFL mock draft is to keep you reading for a while longer until we reveal the Jaguars' mocked selection in this draft.
We'll take a few paragraphs before that oh-so dramatic event to talk about just why a whole lot of people around the mockiverse are thinking tackle to the Jaguars.
First, there was Caldwell saying Monday that he pretty much knew who the Jaguars planned to take No. 2 overall. There was also his knowing smile after he said it.
There were also the reports throughout the weekend that the Jaguars were strongly considering offensive tackle with the selection. And there were Caldwell's rather specific reasons he cited at the team's pre-draft luncheon Monday at EverBank Field about why tackle would make sense.
How it would help the run game. And the passing game. And the defense.
Head Coach Gus Bradley also talked about it, saying that if it happened – and it's still very much an "if" – there has been some discussion about leaving Eugene Monroe on the left side and playing this yet-to-be-drafted young offensive tackle on the right side.
That's a whole lot of tea leaves.
What does it all mean? Well, that's the pressing question the day before the draft. All of that stuff – all of those reports – could mean a whole lot or could mean absolutely nothing. That smile of Caldwell? It could mean that he is picking a tackle, and it could mean that he is having his fun in the pre-draft process. It could even mean that he believes there's still a chance to trade.
We just don't know.
We don't know because you never really know anything before a draft – that's the beauty and the fun of it – and we don't know because this is Caldwell's first draft as General Manager. There's no history. There's no body of work. There's no trend.
This is a clean slate, and that means all the interpretations and all the conclusions drawn could mean everything and they could mean absolutely nothing.
Whatever it means, it is the nature of a mock draft that a selection must be made, and it's obvious from what was written in the preceding paragraphs that the mocked selection here will be either left tackle Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M or Eric Fisher of Central Michigan.
The assumption here is that the Chiefs will take Joeckel.
So that means the Jaguars' selection – in this mock at least – will be Fisher, a player many consider the best player in the draft along with Joeckel.
He makes sense in a lot of respects. He's perceived as safe. He's perceived as very, very good. He could play right tackle immediately and make the team better.
So, will he be the guy? Conclusions aside, we just don't know.
Meanwhile, here's the jaguars.com 2013 mock draft, version 3.0:
1 | Kansas City | Luke Joeckel, OL, Kansas City |No lock; wouldn't be stunning if Chiefs take Fisher
2 | Jacksonville | Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan | Helps the offensive line immediately; very low risk
3 | Oakland | Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida| Some mocks have Floyd dropping; guess here is he won't
4 | Philadelphia | Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah | Health concerns behind him; star has risen again
5 | Detroit | Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma | The Year of the Left Tackle continues
6 | Cleveland | Dion Jordan, DE/LB, Oregon | Hard to see him slipping past the Browns
7 | Arizona | Ziggy Ansah, DE, Brigham Young | May have the most "upside" of any player in draft
8 | Buffalo | Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina | If Bills take Ryan Nassib, whole first-round a mess
9 | NY Jets | Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia | So fast, so explosive, so tempting for the Jets
10 | Tennessee | Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama | Wouldn't be surprising to see him in Cleveland
11 | San Diego | Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama | Who do they prefer? Warmack? Cooper?
12 | Miami | Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU | Few solidified themselves more this spring than Rhodes
13 | New York Jets | Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU | Could they surprise everyone and take Geno Smith?
14 | Carolina | Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri | Would probably take Lotulelei if he slipped
15 | New Orleans | Jarvis Jones, DE/LB Georgia | Don't be shocked if he slips further than this
16 | St. Louis | Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas | Rams could take Vaccaro here or at No. 22
17 | Pittsburgh | Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame | One of hottest pre-draft names goes to Steelers
18 | Dallas | Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina | 'Boys seem certain to take best DT left here
19 | NY Giants | DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama | Only question seems to be if he's still available here
20 | Chicago | Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame | With Ogletree of Georgia slipping, does Te'o move up?
21 | Cincinnati | Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama | A running back goes in Round 1 after all
22 | St. Louis | Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee | Rams figure to go receiver with a first-rounder
23 | Minnesota | Keenan Allen, WR, California | Could take Patterson if he slips; will be happy with Allen
24 | Indianapolis | Bjoern Werner, DE, FSU | Few have slipped so far this offseason
25 | Minnesota | Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington | Could still slip into the Top 20
26 | Green Bay | Menelik Watson, LT, FSU | Has solidified himself as first-round selection
27 | Houston | DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson | It almost certainly will be receiver; whoever slips
28 | Denver | Datone Jones, DE, UCLA | Almost has to be defense for Denver in the first round
29 | New England | Margus Hunt, DE, SMU | Belichick gets a steal here with athletic DE with upside
30 | Atlanta | D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston | Falcons very open pre-draft about trying to trade up
31 | San Francisco | Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama | Williams closes out deep, productive first-round DT class
32 | Baltimore | Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU | Inside linebacker's just too big of a need here