JACKSONVILLE – Now, this was a day for debate.
And if the debate on Day 6 of the 2013 jaguars.com reader mock draft didn't always stay focused on the task at hand, it did remain heated, and eventually did what it was supposed to do:
Meaning, a pick did eventually get made for the Cleveland Browns.
But with the Browns on the clock on Day 6, it seemed at times in our little corner of the mock draft world that the readers were more concerned with sniping at each other – and of course, debating the merits and demerits of the senior writer – as with taking the next step forward in this process.
Something notable to get things going:
As in the real world, Star Lotulelei is making his way back into prominence in the reader mock draft.
Lotulelei, a defensive tackle from Utah once projected as a Top 5 – and maybe even No. 1 overall selection – had slipped in many mocks because of a health concern at the NFL Scouting Combine. Now, reports are that he has been cleared medically.
That has caused some experts to insert him back into the Top 5, and while it's probably not fair to call the reader mockers "experts" – or the senior writer, for that matter – there was a lot of support for Lotulelei on Day 6.
"Star was once getting looks from Chiefs at No. 1 before the heart scare," Michael Lee Ensing II wrote. "He may work his way up the boards again."
Indeed he may, but while David Nowitzki agreed that Lotulelei made "more sense" than, say, Brigham Young defensive end Ziggy Ansah – the senior writer's pick for a second consecutive day – the Utah defensive tackle didn't get enough support to be the pick here.
(Soon after this exchange, Jagster and Anthony J. Ceithamer each restated their fierce stance that Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner not being mocked to the Jaguars in this draft is a crime on humanity. Each, in fact, made arguments of varying degrees of reason that the senior writer had somehow illegally commandeered control of the draft by mocking Dion Jordan to the Jaguars at that selection.
Let's remind everyone here that while it is indeed within the senior writer's rights – it having been, perhaps regrettably, his idea to have a reader mock in the first place – he in this case did not override the majority and select Milliner. Jordan was and – in the end – will remain the selection, a fact that should put the issue to bed and almost certainly will not.
Jagster said in closing his argument that he was glad the senior writer isn't the Jaguars' general manager, finally making a point beyond debate. Sam Ruffin then weighed in by speculating that perhaps the senior writer considers all reader mockers "puppets" and is in fact, not actually writing these reader mocks, but sitting back and laughing at all of the contributors.
But on a (somewhat) serious note, there was legitimate discussion over the Browns' selection beyond Lotulelei, some of which focused West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. J-Awesome threw out the idea first, admitting he thought it would get little support. Though John Streater agreed with J-Awesome on Austin, in the end, the support indeed was not there.
It wasn't there for Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, either, or for Alabama guard Chance Warmack. Those players were mentioned early on by some draft analysts as potential Top 5 selections, but those statuses seem to have waned in the last month.
In the end, the focus for the Browns came down to defensive line, and with Lotulelei not having quite enough votes to get real mention, the majority voice on this day actually did agree with the senior writer. For once.
"He's too good a player to be here (and he won't be here on draft day), and gives them a potentially elite edge rusher to rotate with Jabaal Sheard and Paul Kruger," J-School Corby wrote, with Randy Surles adding, "Since Jordan is off the board, the Browns select Ziggy Ansah."
And so, that's what the Browns do, which means after six selections the 2013 jaguars.com 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
6.Cleveland | Ziggy Ansah, DE, Brigham Young
That leaves us at No. 7, the Arizona Cardinals. The quarterback talk here has waned a bit with the recent acquisition of Carson Palmer, so we won't throw out Geno Smith here. Instead, let's go with Lane Johnson, and see what Jagster and Anthony have to say about that.
Have at it.