I know, I know... the season's not even over yet and mock drafts are being pumped out like the actual draft is taking place in a week. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find a mock draft for 2013 if you really looked for it. The fact is, when the regular season ended and the first 20 teams' draft orders were set, the mock drafts started to come out of the woodwork.
Now the Bengals first round is set. They have the No. 17 pick and the No. 21 pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft and we can start to predict what will happen in the draft up to and beyond their two picks. SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber has come out with a new mock draft that you may like. It has the Bengals filling two major needs in the first round.
Of course the colts drafted Andrew Luck with the first pick and you may be interested to know that in this mock draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Heisman Trophy winner Robbert Griffin III out of Baylor with the No. 4 pick. Then we can skip down to the Bengals, who with the No. 17 overall pick (from Oakland), selected safety Mark Barron out of Alabama.
The Bengals need help in their secondary. Barron makes more sense for them than a cornerback at this point. Barron gives the Bengals a rangy safety that likes to hit and does a great job of it.
There's no question that the Bengals need help in their secondary and that they should use one of their first-round picks to shore up the team's pass defense, however, I do question the pick of safety over cornerback. It can be debated either way, especially with the game that Chris Crocker had in Houston. What do you think?
On to the next pick (which I think most of you will love). With the No. 21 pick in the first round of the 2011 pick, according to SB Nation's latest mock draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
RIchardson probably won't fall this far in the draft. But if he does, the Bengals win. Cedric Benson is a free agent, and is hardly worth the money he would likely demand. Richardson is a talented player who plays like Steven Jackson.
Trust me, I would love it if the Bengals landed Richardson because he seems to be the kind of running back that the Bengals could build a running game around, however, I don't see a way that Richardson falls to No. 21. If he does, I hope the Bengals jump all over him, though. It's more likely that if the Bengals were to get Richardson, it would be with the No. 17 pick but I don't even think he'll fall that far.
The Bengals need a new running back but unless their willing to trade up for Richardson, they'll likely have to settle for Lamar Miller, Chris Polk or Montee Ball. But again, I want to know what you think. Do you like this draft and do you think it's possible that the draft will play out this way?