INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama participates in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Learning that Greg Cosell was releasing his first mock draft soon, I became stupid-level giddy. Not school-girl giddy, like the slight over-reaction when the Beatles took the stage on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time. More like forgetting that you preordered something and it's sitting there at your front door after another long day at work. Giddy.
A game-changing. That's what I was expecting. And at first it was. Cosell, who prides himself on watching endless amounts of tape to evaluate talent, swaps the first two quarterbacks with Robert Griffin III going to Indianapolis and Andrew Luck to the Washington Redskins. Stephon Gilmore shoots from a selection most have targeted from No. 7 and beyond to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 3. But then he also has three cornerbacks going in the first seven picks -- with Tampa Bay picking Janoris Jenkins.
Considering mock drafts to me are nothing more than cannon fodder with time being the victim, it's interesting (at least to me) to see how far someone goes outside of the preverbal box. I can read mock drafts with Cincinnati picking the same players so many times.
So Cosell... picks much of the same as everyone else.
17. Cincinnati: In my mock, Stanford’s David DeCastro is still available. He’s the pick for a Bengals offense that needs to run the ball effectively to achieve consistency. They signed two 30+ year old guards in free agency, Travelle Wharton and Jacob Bell, along with back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but DeCastro would be a critical component of a revamped offensive line playing next to former first round RT Andre Smith. I know the Bengals have never drafted a guard in the first round, but, with Andy Dalton at quarterback, a balanced, efficient offense is a necessity.
21. Cincinnati: The Bengals need help in the secondary. They have a lot of age and a number of question marks. That’s why it makes sense to select Dre Kirkpatrick. Under the demanding eye of Nick Saban, Alabama corners are taught, and therefore are experienced playing in, all coverage concepts. What I liked evaluating Kirkpatrick was his understanding of different coverages, and his role in playing them properly. He knew when he could undercut routes in man coverage; he was aware of where his help was, whether it was underneath or over the top. There’s no question he didn’t always play to his physical and athletic attributes but the skill set to be both an effective press man corner and off zone corner is there.