Ok, we’re back on pace.
So now, after a frenzied, three-selection weekend in the 2012 jaguars.com reader mock draft while we moved steadily into the 20s, we’ll keep the pace moving quickly – even if not as frenetically as the last few days.
We’re going to stick to two-a-days for a while and see where that takes us.
The trick for today will be getting three selections knocked out, while at the same time keeping things organized, but the good news is we got well-thought out offerings from the readers throughout the weekend for a day when organization and solid input was needed.
To refresh, here’s what we offered up Friday at Nos. 20-22:
*To Tennessee at No. 20: Luke Kuechly, middle linebacker, Boston College.
*To Cincinnati at No. 21: Lamar Miller, running back, Miami.
*To Cleveland at No. 22: Stephen Hill, wide receiver Georgia Tech.
We had offered these as possibilities with various degrees of seriousness, noting that Miller was there for the Bengals because we had seen another mock with Miller there and offering Hill to the Browns because there had been a ton of interest among Jaguars followers in Hill leading to the draft.
The most serious offering? That was Kuechkly, who many of our mock drafters/readers perhaps correctly believe will be long gone by this time in the real draft.
Kuechly was productive in college, and is considered by many one of the least risky selections in this year’s first round. The problem is he plays the increasingly unsexy position of middle linebacker, and that has caused him to slide a bit in this reader mock.
Too much, in the opinion of some readers.
“It's almost astonishing that he's lasted this long to be perfectly honest,” Joshua wrote of Kuechly. “He's the safest choice in this year's first round outside of maybe (Stanford guard David) DeCastro and (Alabama running back) Trent Richardson. I think the Titans could look at a defensive tackle here. Like (LSU defensive tackle Michael) Brockers or (Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel) Worthy. But, personally, the value at 20th overall for Luke Kuechly is just too good to pass up on here.”
Matt agreed, and called Kuechly a “ridiculous steal,” while Brian L. Jones thought Southern California defensive end Nick Perry made sense here.
J-School Corby liked Hill here and James from Jacksonville did, too. But while no one offered an argument that made more sense than Kuechly for the Titans – making him the selection at 20 – that wasn’t true when discussing our offering for the Bengals.
Lamar Miller? Was that who we offered?
The readers spoke quickly and assertively against that idea. It wasn’t so much a dislike of Miller they voiced but a feeling that the best selection was not only someone else, but someone else on the other side of the ball.
“Mark Barron SS ALA @ 21,” Jones wrote. “They (the Bengals) should have picked him at No. 17.”
Matt thought Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright made sense here, but like the moderator, he was in the minority going against Barron, the Alabama strong safety and a player widely considered not only the best safety in the draft but pretty much the only safety worthy of being selected in the first round.
Joshua called Barron a bargain here and a “stud.”
While Hill got more mention for the Bengals than originally anticipated, the argument for Barron made too much sense. That gave us our first two selections of the day, and left us to discuss Hill, whose speed and athleticism has made him a popular topic of discussion for those closely following the Jaguars’ 2012 draft hopes.
Will Hill be available in the top of the second round for the Jaguars?
That will continue to be a major topic for Jaguars followers in the coming days, and though it seems doubtful he’ll be available 39 selections into the draft, the reader/mockers seemed equally doubtful that he will be the selection at No. 22.
Instead, Jones’ focus was on another receiver.
“Kendall Wright WR Baylor @ 22,” he wrote, and because he kept it short and sweet, he spoke more about the Browns not selecting defensive end than the reasoning for wide receiver.
Matt didn’t hate the Hill offering, but he didn’t love it enough – and actually liked the idea of Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler.
“He's the next best linemen still available and I see OG as a pretty big need for the Browns,” Matt wrote.
If you’ve followed the reader mock draft at all you’ll know we’re not big on guards in Round 1, and you’ll also know that Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw is a reader favorite who has gotten some mention the last few days.
Matt liked Upshaw here for the Browns, reason being there’s just too much value to pass.
“I think they need to go back to the defensive side of the football and add Upshaw,” he wrote. “Again, surprised to see him slip down to 22nd overall. But this guy is a great football player with a nose for the football.”
We agreed, which meant that after picking up the pace all weekend the first 22 selections of the 2012 jaguars.com reader mock draft look like:
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
That brings us to Detroit and Pittsburgh at Nos. 23 and 24. We’ll offer up Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson to the Lions because Janoris Jenkins is off the board in this mock, and Worthy of Michigan State to the Steelers.
At a two-a-day pace, we should push forward pretty quickly, but that’s OK. The real draft is two weeks from Thursday and this will allow us to clear the decks on the site for next week’s mini-camp and some real draft speculation. Things are heating up. That’s a good feeling. Have at it.