Matt Barkley has been a name associated with the Jaguars as a second-round pick in several mock drafts, but in the most recent mock from National Football Post's Russ Lande published on Wednesday, the Jaguars are predicted to select the USC Trojans passer with the second overall selection.
"The new Jaguars regime did not choose Blaine Gabbert, so they are willing to pull the plug and start anew. New GM David Caldwell learned under Bill Polian and Thomas Dimitroff that for a QB to excel in the NFL they must have rare football intelligence, work ethic and intangibles. Barkley may not have rare physical talents, but above the shoulders he is outstanding so he fits that criteria."
While no one truly knows what NFL draft boards look like and Lande's explanation doesn't make me go too cross-eyed (only a little bit), the pick still makes absolutely no sense for Lande. There are two ways to do mock drafts: A) Attempt to accurately predict the selections that each team will make, and B) Voice your opinion on which teams should take which players.
If Lande is attempting to make accurate predictions, he must have sources that are telling him much different things than everyone else in the entire media is hearing. While that's possible, I think I'm going to go ahead and rule that out considering his mock draft on New Year's Day had Manti Te'o as the first overall selection and a prediction that the Jaguars pass on a quarterback because Tim Tebow will fill that need.
So Lande must be suggesting that the Jaguars should take Barkley because he's the highest rated quarterback on his board, right? No. Barkley is actually No. 20 on his board, while he has Syracuse's Ryan Nassib as the top-rated player in the entire draft class.
Other...interesting...selections in Lande's mock include Nassib selected by the Bills with the eighth pick and Geno Smith selected by the Jets with the ninth. Dee Milliner is unsurprisingly the first cornerback off the board, but not until the 17th pick when the Steelers are on the clock, while Sanders Commings earns a spot in the first round as the third cornerback off the board.