The end of the NFL season brings sadness to many fans of the game, but it can also bring happiness. Part of the happiness that I speak of is the NFL draft. The draft should bring even more excitement than usual to Bengals fans this year, thanks to the Carson Palmer trade, Cincinnati has two first round picks at number 17 and number 21. Some have suggested that the Bengals should take advantage of the extra picks and move up in the draft. The folks at Mocking the Draft, an SB Nation site, have the Bengals doing just that.
The first round mock at MTD has the Bengals trading up to the Dolphins spot at number eight and selecting Alabama running back Trent Richardson. The Bengals would trade their number 17 pick and their second round pick in order to move to number eight. With the Bengals pick at number 21, MTD has the team selecting Wisconsin offensive lineman Peter Konz. Konz played center at Wisconsin, but many expect him to move to guard in the NFL.
8. The Cincinnati Bengals select: Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama.
The Dolphins were hoping that Couples would have fallen to them to help the transition back to the 4-3. But with him gone, the Dolphins take a slight loss in trade value to drop back. The Bengals take opportunity of a pretty good deal on their half to move up to 8 and fill a huge need for them. With Cedric Benson a free agent, the Bengals need a running back. Trent Richardson has some scouts saying he's better than Adrian Peterson was when he came out. I'm not sold on that, but Richardson is very good in his own right. He can run with power, but also has that elusiveness that makes him incredibly hard to bring down. Add him to the Bengals running attack and he takes a load off of Andy Dalton's shoulders.
The Bengals seem to have the luxury of deciding if trading up to get a Trent Richardson or a David DeCastro is worth it. Is trading a second round pick to move up going to hurt depth? Some will say that a running back isn't worth trading up to get, even for a back with the capability of Richardson. Others will say that sacrificing a second round pick is well worth it if Richardson is as good as advertised. No matter what you think about the picks, MTD certainly addressed the Bengals mediocre running game and attempted to improve the offensive line.
Konz could be a good fit in Cincinnati because of his versatility that the Bengals coaches seem to covet out of their big boys up front. As for Konz, MTD writes:
21. The Cincinnati Bengals select: Peter Konz, Center/Guard, Wisconson.
Having already traded up for Richardson, the Bengals use their second 1st round pick on an offensive lineman to help block for him. Konz was one of the best centers in college football last year, but might be a little tall for the center position in the NFL so could be moved to Guard. Either way he provides versatility and should be a solid starter day one.
The excitement is quickly building for the NFL draft. The combine in Indianapolis is just over two weeks away, while the start of free agency is just over a month away. The NFL season has ended, but another season has just begun.