JACKSONVILLE – On Day 8, the 'ol reader mock offered a good old-fashioned surprise.
And that made for a pretty interesting Friday.
With the jaguars.com 2013 reader mock draft surging powerfully to the end of the Top 10 — which means the end of our one-selection-a-day-pace and the start of a decidedly quicker pace through the end of the first round – the readers started Day 8 itching for a plot twist.
Days 1-7, after all, had gone according to plan – as much as a mock draft can, anyway.
But Day 8? Oh, no-o-o-o...
On Day 8, the reader mockers all-but-ignored the diligent senior writer's offering of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, instead veering and careening wildly enough that it seemed a good and necessary thing that the weekend was approaching.
The first sign that this was getting weird came from J-School Corby.
He was also the first to ignore the senior writer's ramblings, overlooking a projection of Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib to the Bills in the second round and catapulting Nassib all the way up our draft board to the Bills at No. 8 overall.
Corby legitimized his selection with a number of reasons, noting quite notably that "this mock needs an entertaining screwball selection, and Nassib before (West Virginia quarterback Geno) Smith or (Southern California quarterback Matt) Barkley meets the criteria for one."
Indeed it was, but the screwball projection was a bit "too" screwy for Onemanarmychaos, who wrote that Nassib wouldn't go to the Bills in the first and that Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes instead would be the selection.
"Second-best cornerback off the board," onemanarmychaos wrote.
One reader, William Harmer, gave the idea of Smith to the Bills a bit of support, though his support was lukewarm at best. "I think maybe Geno finally gets the call here in Buffalo," he wrote.
Most readers thought "not," and because they didn't, the rest of Day 8 took on an all-over-the-board feel.
There was support for Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones...
"If they want rush linebacker, then Jarvis is the man," Brian L. Jones wrote.
...and Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley...
"Barkley is the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft, and he can immediately become the face of this identity-less organization," James from Jacksonville wrote.
...and even Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel, who made his first appearance in our little corner of the mocking world.
"I know it's a reach but I have sources that tell me they like him," "Guest" wrote.
The senior writer spent some time considering how honored this mock was to be visited by a "guest" with sources. But with an upset seemingly brewing on Day 8, there was little time for such musings, and we soon found Day 8 coming down to three choices -- Nassib, the best guard in the draft and a player many consider perhaps the top wide receiver.
The guard got significant support, and there was sentiment that this indeed should be the spot for Chance Warmack of Alabama. The storyline around Warmack is well-known among draftniks – that this is a player so good that the normal thought of guards being not Top 10-worthy need not apply.
Jacob Hogg agreed.
"I don't think Warmack is a reach at 8 to be honest," Hogg agreed. "He's a possible All-Pro as a rookie."
He is indeed, but he's not the Bills' selection at No. 8, at least not in this mock. That's because in this mock, Day 8 was a day for the upset and a day for going against the common theory. Michael Lee Ensing put words to that theory, with a resounding vote for Cordarrelle Patterson, an athletic, talented wide receiver who most analysts believe won't make it past No. 15.
"I'm going against common quarterback theory here and putting in my vote for WR Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee - red zone weapon!" Ensing wrote.
And you know what! For Day 8, that sounded about right, so on a day with no overriding consensus, the end result of the reader mock was Patterson to the Bills, which means after eight days, 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
7.Arizona | Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
8.Buffalo | Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
That brings us to the New York Jets at No. 9. The Jets can go a lot of different ways here, and you may hear some buzz for West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, but we'll offer Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. He was once projected as the No. 1 overall selection in the draft, and a team getting him this low in the Top 10 could be getting a bargain.
The gut feeling is this will be a clear-cut day, one that will move us nicely toward the rest of next week when the pace of this reader mock picks up and the real draft begins approaching fast.
Then again, the gut feeling from this chair often is ridiculously wrong. Oh, well.
Have at it.