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Reader mock No. 5: Nearly an upset


JACKSONVILLE – The reader mock is about fun – nothing more, nothing less.

On Day 5, it almost got really, really fun.

That's because for a while on Day 5, it seemed like the 2013 reader mock draft was going to spin wildly off course, and for a while it seemed headed toward a huge upset pick that could have altered the rest of the draft.

Alas, it did not happen and instead it ended with a pick that while perhaps not quite as exciting, should make a huge contingent of reader mockers happy. Temporarily, anyway.

But first, the upset pick – or in the reader mock world, the fun.

Fun came in the form of Lane Johnson.

Johnson is a left tackle from the University of Oklahoma and a strikingly athletic player for his position. He first began providing entertainment for draftniks at the NFL Scouting Combine. That was when he ran a 4.72-second 40-yard dash, a time that would have been a record for offensive linemen at the combine had Terron Armstead of Arkansas Pine-Bluff not run .01 seconds quicker moments before.

Johnson has been overshadowed in the pre-draft lead-up by two other left tackles, Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M and Eric Fisher of Central Michigan, two players who have been mentioned as possible No. 1 overall selections.

Johnson hasn't been mentioned there, and mostly has been mentioned just outside the Top 10.

But with Fisher and Joeckel off the board in this mock, and with the Lions needing help on the offensive line, Johnson got a lot of support early on Day 5.

"The Lions are incredibly thin at offensive tackle, at both OT spots really," Mark Barley wrote. "Lane Johnson makes a ton of sense here and by all accounts is a Top 10 player. Is he Top 5 worthy? Probably not, but (Brigham Young defensive end Ziggy) Ansah and (Alabama cornerback Dee) Milliner don't protect (Matt) Stafford. So I can definitely see Lane Johnson being the pick at No. 5."

Somewhat surprisingly, many agreed.

"OT seems, to me, to be the glaring need," Chad Koon wrote, and while CDon admitted that Johnson would be a reach, he, too, thought it a real possibility.

"Lions take Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson," he wrote.

Because very few other mock drafts have Johnson in the Top 5, that would have sent this mock in the aforementioned direction, but soon thereafter the day settled into a more expected – and more likely – pattern.

Many analysts see the Lions' needs as defensive end and cornerback, and with Ansah and Milliner still on the board, the debate quickly turned to those players.

It was a debate that went back and forth, with solid points on both sides.

Ben "J-School" Corby allowed himself to be influenced by the senior writer's argument that a defensive end takes away the whole field while a corner takes away half of it. He went with Ansah, and probably spent time reassessing his football influences as he did.

Jagster, meanwhile, continued to be bitter over the senior writer's resistance to the idea of Milliner – or any corner, for that matter – at No. 2 overall to the Jaguars. His bitterness spilled over into stubbornness as he refused to even acknowledge that this reader mock had drafted defensive end Dion Jordan to the Jaguars at No. 2.

"All these picks for Milliner...too bad he left the board at No. 2," Jagster wrote. "JohnnyO just fails to realize it."

The reality of this reader mock draft is Milliner very much did not go the Jaguars at No. 2, and while Jagster may not recognize that, plenty of others did. And plenty of those figured the Lions would ensure he fall no farther.

"With the issues that the Lions have had at CB for years now, I don't see them passing up on Milliner," Josh McGee wrote, while he got simultaneously effusive and excited, writing "Milliner. The guy is good!"

He's right. Milliner is good. In this case, he's good enough to be the Lions selection at No. 5, which means through five days the 2013 reader mock looks like:

1.Kansas City | Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

2.Jacksonville | Dion Jordan, DE/LB, Oregon

3.Oakland | Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

4.Philadelphia | Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

5.Detroit | Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Which brings us to the Cleveland Browns at No. 6. We'll throw out Ansah here, because while in the real draft he may be gone by this spot, the Browns appear to need a pass rusher and his stock is rising enough he won't likely make it out of the Top 10.

Will the readers agree? We'll see, and who knows? Maybe Jagster will recognize the selection.

Have at it.

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