At last, the decks are cleared.
With the real version of the 2012 NFL Draft approaching – and with the Jaguars' Veteran Orientation mini-camp likely to take up a lot of time and space on this web site in the coming days – that was the goal of the 2012 jaguars.com reader draft the last week or so.
It was just, plain time to get done.
And that's what we did, picking up the pace in serious fashion last week, going first with three selections early in the week and pushing through with two a day most of the week and finally finishing over the weekend with the final four selections.
It was, as we said, a tough homework assignment for the weekend – making four selections for four playoff teams to close out a process that for us began back in early March.
To close it out, we offered up Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler to the Ravens at No. 29 and wide receiver Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech to the 49ers at No. 30. We mocked Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson to the Patriots at No. 31 and Stanford tight end Coby Fleener to the Giants at 32.
How'd we do?
Well, for starters we didn't do badly at all.
The Zeitler selection to the Ravens wasn't unanimous by any stretch, but it got a lot of support, and Brian L. Jones thought of it as the perfect fit.
"Kevin Zeitler played in a pro-style offense and had a lot of success with the run," Jones wrote. "The Ravens need someone to open holes for Ray Rice, and I think this is the guy. At No. 20, the Ravens take Kevin Zeitler G Wisconsin."
We stressed rapid-fire through the weekend, so we'll stress it and move on to the 49ers, where the readers weren't buying into the idea of a wide receiver to San Francisco. James from Jacksonville liked the idea of a skill player, though, and thought the 49ers would go with Fleener.
"Fleener will allow the 49ers to implement the Patriots two TE packages into their playbook and create matchup problems for opposing defenses," he wrote. "I am not sure Alex Smith can throw the deep ball accurately, but he has proven that he can be effective throwing intermediate range passes. Fleener should do well in intermediate routes so this pick makes sense for everyone."
That made sense for the 49ers. The Patriots were next at No. 31, and picking for the second time in four selections, the readers believed New England would go defense for the second time in the first round.
"The Patriots make their selection early as there isn't much debate," Fred Jones wrote. "They bolstered their pass rush with (Southern Cal defensive end) Nick Perry but still have a critical need at DT. Thoughts of reaching for a guy like Robinson are quickly forgotten as the guys in their war room notice (Penn State defensive tackle) Devon Still and (Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel) Worthy sitting there at the top of their board. Still has an injury red flag by his name, so they go with Worthy at No. 31."
Makes sense, so here we are . . .
The final selection. It went to the Super Bowl champion Giants, and with our selection of Fleener off the board the readers went another direction of need for a team that has more than a few.
"The Giants seem to have needs all over the place," Barnes wrote. "I don't even know where to start. RB? OT? TE? LB? CB? G? DE? S? They can use an upgraded starter at all of these spots, and for that matter can practically go BAP. I don't know. I'll throw out (Virginia Tech running back) David Wilson as he's garnered some talk in the mock as of late, plus they're exceptionally hard up for a RB."
So, it's Wilson to the Giants to close it out, and that means that the 2012 jaguars.com reader mock draft finishes up looking like this:
1.Indianapolis | Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2.Washington | Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3.Minnesota | Matt Kalil, OT, Southern California
4.Cleveland | Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5.Tampa Bay | Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State
6.St. Louis | Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
7.Jacksonville | Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
8.Miami | Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
9.Carolina | Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
10.Buffalo | David DeCastro, G, Stanford
11.Kansas City | Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
12.Seattle | Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
13.Arizona | Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
14.Dallas | Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
15.Philadelphia | Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
16.New York Jets | Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
17.Cincinnati | Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
18.San Diego | Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
19.Chicago | Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
20.Tennessee | Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
21.Cincinnati |Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
22.Cleveland | Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama
23.Detroit | Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
24.Pittsburgh | Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
25.Denver | Michael Brockers, DT, Louisiana State
26.Houston | Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
27.New England | Nick Perry, DE, New England
28.Green Bay | Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
29.Baltimore | Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
30.San Francisco | Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
31.New England | Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
32.New York Giants | David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
As we wrap it up, a final word of thanks. We got good participation throughout and that's what this mock is about. We learned a little something along the way, and hope everyone had a little fun. That, remember, is supposed to be what this thing is about.
Now, the decks are cleared. On to mini-camp and the real draft.
The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock . . .