The NFL has released the official 2012 NFL draft order and after all is said and done, the Cincinnati Bengals will walk away with eight new players through the first six rounds. Here is how the official draft order for the Bengals breaks down.
Round 1: No. 17, No. 21
The Bengals' first pick in the 2012 NFL draft comes from a trade made with the Oakland Raiders for Carson Palmer. The Raiders gave up their No. 17 overall pick to the Bengals (along with a possible first-rounder in 2013 as well), for the disgruntled quarterback.
The Bengals' second pick is their own first rounder, coming in at No. 21 overall, which they earned by going 9-7 in the regular season, earning a spot in the playoffs as a wildcard team.
Round 2: No. 21 (53)
The Bengals' third overall pick comes in the second round at the No. 21 spot, the 53rd pick overall. This is the team's only second-round pick. If the Raiders fail to win a divisional playoff game in 2012, the team will get an extra second-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Round 3: No. 21 (83)
The Bengals' fourth pick is in the third round of the draft, again at No. 21, 83rd overall. This is the team's only third-round pick.
Round 4: No. 21 (116)
The Bengals' fifth pick is in the fourth round at No. 21, 116th overall. This is the team's only fourth-round pick.
Round 5: No. 21 (156), No. 31 (166)
The Bengals have two picks in the fifth round in April, their sixth and seventh of the draft. Their first fifth-round pick is their own, at No. 21, 156th overall. Their second fifth-round pick was acquired from the New England Patriots in exchange for Chad Ochocinco. That pick is No. 31 in the fifth round, 166th overall. Based on what Ochocinco did for the Patriots in 2011, I say we came out ahead.
Round 6: No. 21 (191)
The Bengals go back to having one pick in the sixth round, their own at No. 21, 191st overall.
Round 7: Zero picks
The Bengals do not have a seventh-round pick. They traded it to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for Reggie Nelson. Again, considering what Nelson did for the Bengals, I'd say the team came out on top of this trade.
The team needs a cornerback, guard, running back, wide receiver and a handful of other players at various positions heading into the 2012 draft. They don't have a ton of picks, but they do have quite a few early picks to take care of their needs. With the right free agency signings and a little luck in the draft, the Bengals can head into the 2012 season as a much better team than they were in 2011.