Sometimes, you have to buck public opinion.
And sometimes, you even have to change your mind while doing so.
If there are themes to Day 9 of the jaguars.com 2011 reader mock draft, those are probably them, because for the first time, the senior writer felt compelled to overrule the majority – and at the same time, he went against his first instincts.
He'll probably regret it, but hey:
It's only a reader mock draft. Let's keep things in perspective.
The first eight days – and therefore, the first eight selections – had passed relatively uneventfully. There were some close calls, and a few runaways. A quarterback came off the board first, followed by a slew of different positions.
Of late, there had been a pretty good run on defensive linemen.
There also had been a cornerback, Patrick Peterson of LSU, and with the Dallas Cowboys on the clock at No. 9, the senior writer offered up the name of the consensus second-rated cornerback on the board:
Prince Amukamara of Nebraska.
The suggestion was offered with a pretty high degree of confidence. He appeared to fill a need for Dallas, and he had been much-discussed in recent days, with only the presence of players such as Nick Fairley and Robert Quinn keeping Amukamara from being selected. It also seemed reasonable that because of the presence of Tony Romo, Dallas would steer away from another much-discussed prospect, Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
Those predictions were right. There was nary a mention of Newton, and Amukamara received some pretty impressive support.
"Amukamara would allow the Cowboys to part ways with (Terence) Newman and begin a youth movement in their secondary," "J-School" Corby wrote, adding, "Frankly, they have so many holes in the back of their defense that I wouldn&39;t be surprised if they went right back to the well in the second or third round for a safety. Somewhere in there, they&39;ll grab some offensive linemen, too, but Amukamara is the best player on the board right now, and his playing a position of need for the Cowboys will cement this pick."
Good points, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Cowboys went this direction. The vast majority of the readers agreed.
But while it's the readers' draft, the senior writer did mention at the very beginning of this venture having the right to over-ride even the most logical of readers' decisions.
That was something jagsfan22 mentioned.
"I don&39;t think this pick will be a consensus among Jags fans in this mock draft (if the senior writer feels like going against the consensus, this is a good one to do so), but I think Jerry Jones will take (Southern California offensive tackle) Tyron Smith," he wrote, adding, "This is a bold pick because a lot of people don't even have Tyron Smith as the top OT in this draft. Smith is projected to be picked in the top 20, but not in top 10.
"He is an athletic tackle and Cowboys have a big need at offensive line. Plus Jerry Jones tends to be a needs picker and thinks he is one player away. The Cowboys need help at O-Line and Jones is likely to reach and take Smith too early instead of taking BAP in Amukamara."
And you know what? The more the senior writer thought about it, that made a lot of sense. As the day wore on, it seemed more readers thought so, too.
"The Cowboys are so desperate at offensive tackle that you can&39;t blame them for taking the first offensive big guy off the board," Fred Barnes wrote, adding, "Tyron Smith is really not much of a reach at all at No. 9, so I&39;m not understanding the hesitation here. As for the Prince, I just don&39;t see a need there at all as the Cowboys are set at cornerback with Mike Jenkins, Terence Newman and Orlando Scandrick. These are three of the best CBs in the league. They can use an upgrade at safety, but that&39;s a different story to be addressed in later rounds."
Reader Corey Pittman also noted that the play of the Dallas secondary improved after the departure of head coach Wade Phillips, and by the time it came down to making a final decision, the senior writer just figured this was a day to go with the vocal minority.
So, with the No. 9 overall selection in the jaguars.com 2011 reader mock draft, the Cowboys indeed go with Smith, making the board look like:
No. 1 | Carolina | Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
No. 2 | Denver | Patrick Peterson, CB, Louisiana State
No. 3 | Buffalo | Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
No. 4 | Cincinnati | Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
No. 5 | Arizona | Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
No. 6 | Cleveland | A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
No. 7 | San Francisco | Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
No. 8 | Tennessee | Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
No. 9 | Dallas | Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California
Up next is Washington at No. 10. We'll suggest Amukamara again, though a quarterback makes sense here, too.
Overall, a pretty good week for the reader mock. We pushed through most of the Top 10, and the selections for the most part seem solid. We'll get through No. 14 next week, meaning about a week and a half before that all-important No. 16 selection.
This is getting interesting. Enjoy the weekend and . . .
Have at it.