In SB Nation's annual mock draft in which the individual team sites select who they think their team will take in the draft, we at Cincy Jungle decided to take South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore with our No. 17 overall pick. You can follow SB Nation's mock draft here.
Here's what our reasoning was on the selection of Gilmore at No. 17:
Even though the Bengals have loaded up on cornerbacks in free agency by bringing back Adam Jones and signing Jason Allen, Cincinnati needs to address the future of the position and figure out how they're going to replace Johnathan Joseph, who left in free agency before the 2011 season. The only way to do that is in the draft and with the talent at the cornerback position in the 2012 draft class, the Bengals are lucking out. Gilmore is a talented, mature and team-oriented corner who could contribute right away and take over as a starting cornerback down the road opposite of Leon Hall. With Gilmore and Hall in the secondary, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will be able to be much more creative with the front seven when it comes to the pass rush.
Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar likes our pick of Gilmore, but he doesn't necessarily love it. Here's why:
This has long been anointed the pick for the Bengals, so it's a good choice. What stops it from being a great choice, though? Dre Kirkpatrick is still on the board. It's true Kirkpatrick's hands aren't as good as Gilmore's. But he's more adept at playing press man, while Gilmore is more of an off-man cornerback. Both are great athletes with size for the position. Kirkpatrick, who is the better tackler of the two, could play safety as well if the team is happy with its depth at corner.
Based on the previous selections in the mock draft, what do think of our decision to grab Gilmore with the No. 17 overall pick?