JACKSONVILLE – The debate raged, and it raged.
And for a while on Day 2 of the 2013 jaguars.com reader mock draft, it appeared the event's most important day – the day deciding the Jaguars' selection at No. 2 overall – had a chance to take on a very nasty tone.
That's because for a while, a veto seemed possible – even likely.
Thankfully for the sanity of the senior writer, cooler heads – and wiser readers – prevailed and by the end of Day 2's voting, there was a relatively clear consensus among the readers.
Not that it began that way.
Indeed, early on the second day the comments section – the place where the reader draft debates gets heated and sometimes sort of ugly – weaved back and forth, with a whole lot of sentiment for unconventionality, meaning a whole lot of votes for Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner.
That's where veto power may have prevailed. Because while your humble senior writer tries to give the nod to the leading vote-getter more often than not, he also reserves the right to override the process. In the case of Milliner, the fact that no cornerback ever had been selected No. 2 overall might have been enough to go a different direction.
Not that the readers would have liked that. Not a bit.
"It's a reader's mock – shouldn't be any vetos," Jagster wrote, perhaps forgetting that while it's reader's mock somebody has to write it.
Someone had to get the whole thing started, too, and the guy who did that gets to make the rules, but in this case, it mattered not, because support grew soon enough for two positions that make a whole lot of sense – left tackle and defensive end.
The players who go the most support were players whose names have been prominent in mock drafts in recent weeks. One was left tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan and the other was defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan from Oregon.
Not that there wasn't plenty of debate, and not that the arguments for Milliner weren't solid.
"Milliner just makes sense," Dave Dowling wrote. "No CB of Milliner abilities and pedigree available in draft."
There, too, was a strong consensus for defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd of Florida – and not just from Gators fans. He has been getting support among analysts recently as maybe the best player in the draft, and there were readers who agreed.
"I believe Floyd will be the best player out of this draft and the Jags need someone, anyone, to pressure the QB," Shane Drady wrote. "And I think he will be able to do that right away."
There also were those who favored going the way of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.
The Jaguars attended Smith's recent Pro Day en masse, which set off a slew of nationwide speculation that he might be the Jaguars' selection. Apparently, reader Fred Barnes agreed.
"You know it in your gut," Barnes wrote. "It's Geno Smith."
Well, Barnes may know it, but not enough other readers did to make Smith the selection, and despite some support for pass-rusher Ziggy Ansah of Brigham Young it eventually came down to Milliner, Jordan and Fisher.
Milliner, as we said, may have been vetoed, but didn't get quite enough support to make it an issue. As for Fisher, whose stock has risen despite being from a relatively small school, support was strong.
"It's not the sexy pick, just the right pick," Justin Spence said. "Eric Fisher."
Jaguarrior tied his support of Fisher with a desire to see Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert protected enough to give him time to develop, saying, "They will see if they can get improvement from Gabbert this year and look to next year for a replacement, if necessary."
All good points, and Fisher very nearly was the pick. But in the end, the desire to do something, anything, to address the long-standing pass-rushing concern proved outweighed all of the other voices.
"Ignoring a trade down (which I would love)," Tyler Ryan wrote, "we're going Pass Rusher. Oregon's Dion Jordan is the pick."
And in this case, Ryan not only got the rule right – no trading in the reader mock; it's just too difficult – he got the selection right, which means the Jaguars' selection at No. 2 is Dion Jordan. That means after two days, the jaguars.com reader mock draft looks like:
- Kansas City | Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
- Jacksonville | Dion Jordan, DE/LB, Oregon
Which brings us at last to the No. 3 selection in the draft, which belongs to the Oakland Raiders. You can expect a lot of support for Geno Smith here, but in this year's draft, you get the feeling there's going to be heated debate throughout the Top 10 and beyond.
So remember, no trading, and somewhere along the lines there's probably going to be a veto. It may not be fair, but it would be fun to see Jagster get all worked up.
Have at it.