In ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay's latest mock draft, which is his fourth edition, he selects a guard and cornerback for the Bengals in the first round. This has been a common theme with mock drafts heading into April and while many mock drafts have the team grabbing a wide receiver or a running back with one of their first-round picks, they usually come back to guard and cornerback.
First, with the team's No. 17 overall pick, the Cincinnati Bengals select....
Stanford guard David DeCastro.
DeCastro is the No. 12 overall prospect on our board but falls a bit because of positional value. He would be a great addition for the Bengals in front of young QB Andy Dalton.
Even though the Bengals signed free agent Travelle Wharton to play left guard, the right guard position is still open. Clint Boling, as second-year player, could step in and start, but based on his play in 2011, he's likely not ready to take on that responsibility yet. DeCastro could probably start from day one and maybe when Wharton's contract is up, Boling could take over at left guard.
Then, at No. 21, the Bengals select South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Gilmore is rising fast thanks to a combination of size (6-0½, 190), quick feet and ball skills, and even the Bengals likely will pass on Jenkins in favor of Gilmore.
Gilmore is a future starting cornerback wherever he plays and the Bengals will need a future starter. Nate Clements is entering the last year of his deal and even if the Bengals eventually sign Terence Newman to fill in a gap while Leon Hall recovers from a season-ending Achilles injury, the team will need to find a long-term replacement for Johnathan Joseph. Gilmore could be that replacement and start alongside of Hall in 2013, or maybe a little earlier.
Then, in the second round of McShay's mock draft, the Bengals select Miami (Fla.) running back Lamar Miller with the 52nd overall pick. Miller is one of the top-ranked running backs in this year's draft class and would team up nicely with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard in the backfield to give offensive coordinator the committee of running backs he's been waiting for.
What do you think about this mock draft?