e Pride of Detroit held their annual Mock Draft and I was happy to serve as the Bengals GM. Are you kidding me? Two first round picks and a second round pick for a young team coming off a playoff appearance? What else could I possibly want?
My philosophy with being a GM is to listen to advice, but mainly to act on my own judgement of what available talent best fits my team and who will give my team the best long term value. So I made a board and stayed very true to it at # 17, # 21, and # 53.
I did visit your site and reviewed your feedback to other requests for draft input and other discussions related to the draft and also asked a few questions to get a feel for what the Bengals need position wise and what players fit that their scheme. My review of the roster and recent performances identified the following positions for potential upgrade: CB, S, RB, DT, DE, OG, WR, and MLB.
By upgrade, I don't necessarily mean replacing existing starters, but also providing quality depth and future starters.
PICK # 17 - Dre Kirkpatrick CB - DeCastro OG went at # 6 in our draft, Cordy Glenn at # 16 and another high value target of mine [Brockers DT] went at # 15. So this pick came down to Kirkpatrick CB, Gilmore CB, and Barron S. I am not a big Barron fan [I don't think he is good enough against the pass to merit this early a pick] and I consider Gilmore a poor mans Kirkpatrick. So, I took Kirkpatrick. I thought this was a good meeting of value and need. If Hall is able to play this year, Dre can get some snaps in as a third CB or sometime starter, but if Hall is not ready, I think Dre can step in and start from week one. Frankly, I expect him to start the majority of the games.
PICK # 21 - Devon Still DT - after my first pick I looked at my board and started reviewing it a bit based on my first selection and further research. I narrowed my selection down to Barron S, Still DT, Nick Perry DE, and Doug Martin RB. I felt it was too early for Martin, although he was at the top of my available RB list; I though Perry was not a good fit for the Bengals defence; and I just could not get excited about Barron. I took Devon Still DT to provide a long term partner for Geno Atkins. Still is a rapidly improving DT who is great against the run [a must in this division] and who has the potential to become an effective pass rusher. He can start out as a rotational DT behind Peko and hopefully take over the starting job in a year or so.
PICK # 53 - Lamar Miller RB - this pick came down to Miller, Mohamed Sanu WR, Amini Salitolu G, and Andre Branch DE or Chandler Jones DE. I eliminated the DEs as I believe there will be some talented DEs available in the third round and the impact of these two is much less than the offensive players. I like Salitolu a lot, but felt the offence needed a playmaker more than a lineman. While I believe Sanu is a great fit for the Bengals offence as a reliable # 2 WR, Lamar Miller just has too much value and potential to pass by. The fastest RB in the draft, who has very good hands and is shifty and tough too? This was eventually an easy choice. Miller's faults are more to do with his lack of experience [blocking and route running] and youth [stamina and strength] that can be easily corrected with good coaching and hard work. He will be an outstanding running mate with BJ Green-Ellis.
Feel free to comment about my selections and strategy. I'll be happy to answer any questions.
UPDATE: Here are the links to the original articles.