Cincinnati Bengals First-Round Selections Offer Stability In The Secondary And Offensive Line

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #17 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Watching the early run on cornerbacks with LSU's Morris Claiborne (selected by the Cowboys at No. 6) and South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore (selected by the Buffalo Bills at No. 10) removed from the team's board early during the first round, Cincinnati addressed their first need of the evening selecting Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick at No. 17.

Considering that the team pieced together an aging group of cornerbacks to strengthen depth during free agency, Kirkpatrick offers the team an option as a starter -- especially with Leon Hall rehabilitating from an Achilles injury. It was an expected selection, one that was projected through many concluding mock drafts this week.

Yet that's not the selection that most will hover around the water cooler Friday morning. Even with Stanford guard David DeCastro being available, the Cincinnati Bengals swapped first-round picks with the New England Patriots, pushing their second first-round pick from No. 21 to No. 27. And before that selection could be made, the Pittsburgh Steelers grabbed DeCastro at No. 24.

But that wasn't necessarily the Bengals target at guard, was it? After falling back six spots in the first round, the Bengals selected Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, who offensive line coach Paul Alexander admitted will be the primary right guard, as well as a backup center.

How does this affect the draft on Friday, when the second and third rounds begin? We figure it will shift Cincinnati's focus to wide receiver, running back and perhaps a defensive player, anywhere from the defensive line, linebackers and the secondary.

The NFL Draft returns to primetime in 2012. Catch all of the excitement of the 2012 NFL Draft on NFL Network April 26 - 28

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker