#MockOne: First Round

As I've posted previously, I am participating in a Twitter-based live mock draft called Mock One.  Trades are allowed, and for the first round teams had 12 hours to pick (in case they were at work, etc.).  Here is a link to the picks.  As for the Jaguars, this is how the first round played out from my perspective:

As my turn to pick approached in the first round, I started to hash out potential targets.  The obvious targets like Bowers, Gabbert, Amukamara, and A. J. Green went off the board well ahead of my pick.  When the Texans moved back to 14 to allow the Rams to take Julio Jones, I had a feeling it would hurt me, and indeed it did; they used the 14th pick on my top target, Cameron Jordan.  The Dolphins selected 15th, but were shopping their pick.  At that time, my remaining targets were J. J. Watt, Christian Ponder, Brooks Reed, Ryan Kerrigan, Gabe Carimi, and Jimmy Smith.  I valued Watt and Ponder above the others, and I valued the other four about the same.  The Dolphins were shopping their pick as the "J. J. Watt pick", and sure enough, Tampa Bay moved up for J. J. Watt.  I was now ahead of the Dolphins; I assumed they were moving back for a quarterback, so the game of cat and mouse was officially on.  I was now on the clock.

As my clock began to tick, I was approached by San Diego asking if I wanted to swap picks.  I asked for a fourth-round pick along with the swap; he countered by offering the third-round pick he had obtained from Seattle (3.25) in exchange for the fourth-round pick the Jaguars had obtained from the Saints (4.24).  It worked out on the trade value chart, and I didn't think he or the Patriots would steal Ponder, so I decided to pull the trigger.  I moved down two spots; he moved up and took Muhammad Wilkerson.

With the next pick, New England...traded the pick.  They sent it to the Colts for a massive haul of picks including Indianapolis' 2012 1st-rounder.  The Colts used their pick on Gabe Carimi, one of the second-tier guys I was considering.  I was now on the clock again.  I had approached the Eagles about another move down earlier in the draft, and had gotten some interest from them.  With my clock now ticking, I had a decision to make:  was I comfortable moving behind Miami, or should I just take Ponder?  It was not an easy decision.  There were two factors that made my decision:  first, Philadelphia's offer consisted of the 4th-round pick they had received from Washington (pick 4.07) and their 2012 3rd-round pick in exchange for me moving down five spots in the first round.  Second, I had the ammunition to move back up and get Kaepernick or Locker if Miami stole Ponder from me.  It was settled; I pulled the trigger on the deal and moved back to 23.  Philadelphia took Anthony Castonzo.

When Miami's clock started at 20, they again traded their pick to the Saints, who took Corey Liuget.  I was happy because I knew Kansas City and Indy weren't going to take Ponder; the only thing that could hurt me was if either of those teams moved down to trade with a team that wanted a QB.  That didn't happen; KC took Phil Taylor, and Indy took Mike Pouncey.  I was on the clock again.  I briefly considered playing the odds and trying to move down again to accumulate more picks, but with Miami and Seattle picking immediately after me, I was afraid they would take my guy, and I had accumulated enough wealth to be satisfied.  I sent in my pick:  Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State.

After I had made my pick, several people opined that I could have moved down further and still gotten Ponder.  My counter-argument was that if a GM does not have concrete knowledge of what the teams after him are going to do, it makes the most sense to assume their value board mirrors yours.  I knew Miami wanted a quarterback, but I didn't know which one.  If I figured they wanted someone else and they had wanted Ponder, I'd have lost the player I wanted.  It turned out that the Dolphins preferred Ryan Mallett, but there was no way for me to know that at the time.  Overall, though I possibly could have moved down further and still gotten Ponder, it simply wasn't a smart move to make.

After the first round, I had the same player I would have taken if I would have stayed at pick 16, but I also had gone from pick 24 to pick 7 in the fourth round and had added pick 3.25 and Philadelphia's 2012 3rd-round pick as well.  Overall, I couldn't have imagined it going much better.

Let me know what you think of how the first round played out; I will write up each round in detail as it's completed.  Feel free to communicate with me regarding #MockOne on Twitter; I'd love to hear your input.  Thanks!

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