NFL Draft 2012: Cincinnati Bengals Big Board

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 19: Brandon Boykin #2 of the Georgia Bulldogs returns a punt past Avery Williamson #40 of the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Team's draft boards are set and now the draft just needs to unfold. That's the tricky part. How exactly does it shake out? Teams have done their work and are ready for every possible scenario. The good teams follow their board and let the draft come to them. The Bengals are finally in that situation. They have the luxury to let the draft flow and let the board direct them to their new players. I've used my own board, a couple of other analyst's boards and a consensus rankings to create my final attempt to replicate the Bengals board as it sits ready for draft day. I have removed Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin already and tried to rank each player based on who the Bengals would select.

Rank

Player

Position

Height/Weight

Player Description

Bengals Fit

1

Trent Richardson

RB

Alabama

5-10, 225 lbs

Power runner who can play all three downs from day one. Elite player.

Starts day one and instantly provides an upgrade over Benson in every phase. Gives the Bengals an every-down RB for the first time in a long time.

2

Morris Claiborne

CB

LSU

5-11, 200 lbs

Top defensive player in the draft. Elite ball skills.

Almost no chance he gets out of the top 5 picks. It would cost a lot to move into position to draft him.

3

Matt Kalil

OT

USC

6-5, 305 lbs

Top O-lineman in the draft. Has every skill to be an elite pass protector.

Kalil is a top 6-pick lock. If somehow he became a Bengal, he'd start at RT while Andre Smith moved to RG.

4

David DeCastro

OG

Stanford

6-5, 316 lbs

Elite pulling ability and stands out in the 2nd level. Top-16 NFL guard from day one.

Starts at RG on day one and instantly upgrades the running game. Pro-Bowler by 2013.

5

Justin Blackmon

WR

Oklahoma State

6-1, 215 lbs

Run-after-the-catch type possession WR. Best on slants and drags.

Starts opposite Green and is the underneath guy that can bring a physical presence.

6

Stephon Gilmore

CB

South Carolina

6-0, 191 lbs

Raw but physically gifted. Isn't afraid to tackle and hit and can match up with bigger a WR. Good blitzer.

Outside starter in nickel defense. Provides blitz opportunities for Zimmer. Upgrade over Clements on outside.

7

Michael Floyd

WR/PR

Notre Dame

6-3, 224 lbs

A true gamer that rises to the occasion. Floyd is a perfect #2 WR type that provides ability on all types of routes. Not great speed.

Starts for Bengals opposite of Green. Not an instant impact guy, but will make more plays as season wears-on.

8

Luke Kuechly

MLB

Boston College

6-3, 240 lbs

Tackle-machine and intellectual leader of a defense. Not a physical presence and may not make many "impact" plays in the NFL.

Depending on Rey Maualuga's situation, Kuechly could be starting day one for the Bengals at MLB or eventually WLB.

9

Quinton Coples

DE

North Carolina

6-6, 275 lbs

Long, strong and physically gifted athlete that didn't live up to potential on the field.

Probably starts at RDE and rotates along the DL in nickel situations.

10

Mark Barron

SS

Alabama

6-2, 215 lbs

Hard-nose, physical enforcer type with enough ball-skills to develop into an elite safety.

Starts from day one at safety and eventually could become the leader of the secondary. Immediate upgrade over Crocker.

11

Dre Kirkpatrick

CB

Alabama

6-2,190 lbs

Tough, physical, long CB. The new breed of CB that can cover the big WR.

Starts season as #3 unless Leon Hall isn't ready. Starter by year's end in 2012. Instant difference-maker. Especially in physical presence.

12

Fletcher Cox

DT/LE

Mississippi State

6-5, 295 lbs

Long, strong and great motor for Cox. He's the best pass rushing DT and has huge upside.

Would rotate with Peko at the opposite DT spot and start inside in nickel packages.

13

Riley Reiff

T/G

Iowa

6-6, 300 lbs

All-around lineman prospect that should be drafted top-15. Some don't grade his as high as I do.

If drafted, Reiff starts at RT or RG and Andre Smith starts at the other spot.

14

Kendall Wright

WR

Baylor

5-10, 190 lbs

Elite speed and a deep threat who actually lays his body on the line for a catch.

Provides instant relief for Green because Wright will blow the top off of a defense. Makes everybody better because it opens the field.

15

Doug Martin

RB/KR

Boise State

5-9, 223 lbs

Short, squatty and thickly built. Martin actually earns the Ray Rice comparisons. Three down player that provides special teams help.

Starter from day one and it will be hard to take him off of the field. Martin can block, catch, run between tackles and take it to the house.

16

Courtney Upshaw

DE/SLB

Alabama

6-1, 270 lbs

Versatile, power player that brings intensity. Probably only a 6-sack per year guy but great against the run.

Starts at either RDE or Sam LB. Helps against run as LB and can put his hand down in nickel to provide rush. Upgrade over Lawson.

17

Melvin Ingram

DE/SLB

South Carolina

6-2, 276 lbs

Short arms and looks unaware at times but is very versatile and provides a spark at more than one position on defense.

Could start at Sam LB or RDE in base defense while also sliding inside in nickel packages to use his talents to the fullest. A player the offense must find before every play.

18

Cordy Glenn

T/G

Georgia

6-5, 343 lbs

Massive player who should develop into a nice power player with technique refinement.

Starts at RG on day one while also having the ability to backup both OT positions. A step down from Bobbie Williams as run blocker but step up as pass blocker in year one.

19

Whitney Mercilus

DE/SLB

Illinois

6-4, 265 lbs

One year wonder with 10+ sacks potential in the NFL. He needs coaching and general experience.

Would rotate at RDE with Michael Johnson and he can provide rush opportunities at LDE in nickel packages.

20

Lamar Miller

RB/KR

Miami

5-11, 212 lbs

Top-notch speed, acceleration and open-field elusiveness. Home run threat in every sense. Inexperienced as a blocker and receiver but flashes ability.

Miller becomes the 1A back in a two-back system for Bengals. Also provides return ability. First home run threat at RB for Bengals since?

21

Peter Konz

C/G

Wisconsin

6-4, 315 lbs

Technically sound and plays with good strength in run game. All-around player.

Wisconsin's offensive line uses the same exact schemes and ideas the Bengals do on Sundays. Konz starts at RG as a rookie and maybe center one day.

22

Nick Perry

DE/OLB

USC

6-3, 250 lbs

Great burst off the line and raw pass rush ability. Needs to develop more moves but could end up as the best DE of this class.

Rotates with Michael Johnson at RE and also provides more options in nickel packages as pass rusher. Probably a more effective rusher than MJ93 already.

23

Dontari Poe

NT

Memphis

6-5, 350 lbs

Massive power player with enough agility to become elite inside force. Needs to play more consistent.

Rotates with Peko at NT but could easily push him for more and more snaps by season's end. Physically superior to Peko in every way.

24

Dont'a Hightower

ILB/SLB

Alabama

6-2, 265 lbs

Can play both inside and outside while also putting his hand down in pass rush situations. Power/Enforcer type player.

Would start at MLB or SLB in due time. Would add physicality Maualuga was supposed to be.

25

Michael Brockers

DT

LSU

6-6, 318 lbs

Freak athlete inside. Young and still raw but has great potential as run defender and pass rusher.

Rotates with Peko and Atkins as rookie and probably starts inside in nickel. Can also play DE in 3-4 defense if ever needed.

26

Stephen Hill

WR

Georgia Tech

6-4, 215 lbs

Freak athlete that is incredible raw mostly due to his offensive system in college.

Would start day one opposite Green and Hill would probably have a limited play book (Go routes, screens, slants, posts).

27

Andre Branch

DE/SLB

Clemson

6-4, 260 lbs

Great first step and has good length. Should be a good pass rusher in NFL.

Rotates at RDE and comes in and plays in nickel packages primarily.

28

Kevin Zeitler

OG

Wisconsin

6-4, 315 lbs

Run blocking guard who can really open lanes. Needs pass protection work, but he knows it.

Starts at RG day one and instantly helps the run game. Probably a downgrade in rookie year from Bobbie Williams.

29

Devon Still

DT

Penn State

6-5, 303 lbs

Power DT with enough agility to be a solid NFL pass rusher

Still would get into the rotation quickly and probably start in 2013.

30

Janoris Jenkins

CB/PR

North Alabama (Florida)

5-9.5, 193 lbs

Natural man-cover CB. He was born to play CB. Off-the-field issue behind him?

Outside starter in nickel defense. Has ability to be #1 shutdown type. Man skills could be on J.Joe's level one day.

31

Rueben Randle

WR

LSU

6-3, 210 lbs

Randle is a big, strong WR with some deceptive deep speed. Underutilized at LSU.

Randle starts day one and has been compared to Hakeem Nicks. I don't see that physicality but I do like Randle's upside.

32

Amini Silatolu

OG

M'Western state

6-4, 312 lbs

Division FCS player that is a mean, road grading type lineman. High upside but will be a learning curve.

Probably starts at RG but could also back up at OT. He'll eventually upgrade the short yardage running game.

33

Jonathan Martin

T/G

Stanford

6-5, 305 lbs

Looks like a RT in the NFL and doesn't always play with great power. Still, he's a good player and is probably a first round pick.

I think he could play OG or OT and would find a starting spot soon on this offensive line.

34

Mike Adams

OT

Ohio State

6-7, 323 lbs

Adams is a finesse pass blocker and really needs a fire lit under him.

I don't think Adams starts anywhere on the Bengals line as a rookie. He needs a strength program.

35

Brandon Boykin

CB/PR

Georgia

5-9, 184 lbs

Boykin is a very high caliber athlete and great return man.

He starts in nickel packages and adds a much needed boost to the return game.

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