WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Kendall Wright #1 of the Baylor Bears runs during a game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
The Bengals had an extremely busy day on Wednesday that seemingly came out of nowhere. In case you missed it, the team has signed former Dallas Cowboys cornerback, Terence Newman, and are on the verge of finalizing a trade that would send linebacker Keith Rivers to the New York Giants. With these two roster moves, their once predictable first round draft plans may have changed.
Todd McShay of ESPN recently released a tweaked version of a mock draft in where he plays out a number of scenarios for each team. The top player or scenario is one that he finds the most likely to occur, but he also lays out others that can't be ruled out. Whether you have an ESPN In$ider account or not, we'll lay it out for you after the jump.
At No. 17, McShay goes in a somewhat predictable route, stating that he thinks the Bengals' primary target will be Stanford guard, David DeCastro.
Scenario 1: DeCastro is a good value at this point and fills a top need. He can step in right away and help stabilize things in front of second-year QB Andy Dalton.
Scenario 2: If Barron were still on the board, the Bengals would have to think hard about taking him.
Scenario 3: Upgrade at corner with Gilmore.
Scenario 4: Cincinnati could reach for a wide receiver at this point, but is more likely to address that need later in the first round.
It's interesting to note that while most mocks have had the Bengals pegged to take either DeCastro, Stephon Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick, McShay puts this at priority three. With the recent release of Chris Crocker, it would seem that public perception is that the team is in the need for a viable strong safety and that's where Barron would come in. I'm sure the wide receiver scenario is currently at the bottom of the team's list at No.17, but if someone unexpected were to fall (Michael Floyd, Justin Blackmon), I'm sure that that would change the team's plans.
At No.21 is where McShay throws a bit of a curveball:
Scenario 1: Having gotten their guard earlier in the round, Wright fills another big need. He's a dynamic playmaker who can work from the slot or on the outside opposite A.J. Green and take advantage of the attention paid to Green.
Scenario 2: This could be the spot the Bengals address their need at corner, and if any team were going to be comfortable with Jenkins and his baggage it would likely be Cincinnati.
Scenario 3: Trade back, perhaps with a team looking to get ahead of Cleveland and assure itself of getting the quarterback it wants. That would allow the Bengals to move back and fill a need with a better value, such as Miami RB Lamar Miller or Boise State RB Doug Martin or Notre Dame S Harrison Smith.
Some think that the Bengals will target a wide receiver after the first round since they used a top-five pick on one last season. However, this team is in dire need of some playmaking ability and Wright would provide that opposite A.J. Green. Unfortunately, McShay drops the media-mandatory "Bengals like character problems" bomb, but if you read my last mailbag feature, you'll note that the Bengals tend to take chances on questionable players in the second round. I think that if the Bengals were to take Janoris Jenkins, it would be in that second round. While the third scenario with a trade is possible, I think the team really values its two first round picks this year and won't trade back.
We'll know what happens in just about two weeks from now. The team is playing things close to the vest and their free agent acquistions have muddied their draft picture--in a positive sense.