GAINESVILLE FL - NOVEMBER 13: Janoris Jenkins #1 of the Florida Gators gets the crowd up during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13 2010 in Gainesville Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mock draft season is in full swing, and some consistent trends have taken hold regarding the Cincinnati Bengals. With the first two picks, mock drafts typically have the Bengals select some combination of cornerback, guard and running back, and the latest mock from SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber is no different. With the No. 17 pick, the Bengals select cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
Opinion regarding Jenkins is mixed, yet, he remains a highly probable pick for Cincinnati. This particular mock draft has Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick and Stanford's David DeCastro off the board, but Georgia guard Cordy Glenn and Alabama safety Mark Barron still available at No. 17. On this pick, Van Bibber says the following:
It will be interesting to see if the Bengals take a fancy to any of the free agent cornerbacks. No addition would make as much of an instant impact for Cincinnati. Until free agency starts, we can project Jenkins here. The former Florida cornerback is solid in coverage and has the speed and ball skill to increase his first-round credentials. All he has to do is assure teams about character issues, which should be easy to do with the Bengals.
The free agents referred to include Cortland Finnegan, Brent Grimes and Brandon Carr. Carr, with Stanford Routt agreeing to a $20 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, becomes an interesting free agent option as it now seems unlikely Kansas City will be able to retain him.
With the No. 21 pick, SB Nation has Cincinnati selecting Boise State running back Doug Martin. Other than Richardson, Martin is the only running back picked in the first round, and his selection comes with Mark Barron still available. Taking a running back who is not Trent Richardson in the first round would surely be an unpopular pick, but it does address a hole in the backfield with, in Van Bibber's words, "a complete running back".
What the Bengals will do and what their positional priorities are is a mystery we can't solve until April 26th.