ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Wide receiver Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fight Irish runs upfield against the Florida State Seminoles in the Champs Sports Bowl December 29, 2011 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. FSU won 18 - 14. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
The mock draft season is coming to a close (thank God). We have heard just about every possible combination for the Bengals in the first round. However, Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer has the Bengals grabbing a receiver that most think will not fall to No. 17. Reedy mock drafts Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd with the team's No. 17 pick, followed up with Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick at No. 21.
There is conjecture that the Notre Dame receiver could go anywhere from No. 7 to Jacksonville to No. 16 in New York. But if Floyd is available at No. 17, the Bengals may have a difficult decision to make. Pairing nicely with Pro Bowler A.J. Green, Floyd also grades well as a decent blocker, an often forgotten yet important role within Jay Gruden's west coast offense.
Because the team is void from an obvious option at the No. 2 spot, many expect Cincinnati to address the position at some point during the first three rounds. Free agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson remains a possibility, despite Simpson drawing interest from the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings specifically, and additionally two or three unnamed teams (reportedly). If the Bengals pass on a wide receiver in the first round, there are potential targets within the succeeding rounds. Those possibilities include Rutgers' Mohammed Sanu, Illinois' A.J. Jenkins, California's Marvin Jones Appalachian State's Brian Quick, and Wake Forest's Chris Givens, among others.
Regardless of position in the draft, the prospect that Cincinnati could call is Alabama defensive back, Dre Kirkpatrick, a big and physical corner. Though a capable tackler, he's yet to show the elite ball skills like LSU's Morris Claiborne, graded as the top cornerback prospect this year.
Enjoy the rest of the mock drafts, it gets real on Thursday.