Apr 1, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor (80) pressures quarterback Case McCoy (6) during the first half of the spring game at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE
The Bengals had an outstanding draft from the beginning, all the way to the end, making sensible selections, addressing most of their remaining needs. Soon it will be time to put all of the Bengals draftees to the test once the preseason and regular season arrive. In the meantime, the 2012 NFL Draft just concluded and that means it's time to look towards the 2013 NFL draft for some. And by some, we mean ESPN's Todd McShay, who is already kicking a beat on next year's draft with his version of the 2013 mock draft.
McShay has the Bengals selecting Texas Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor with the No. 25 overall pick.
Robert Geathers turns 30 next season, and the Bengals need a pass rusher to compliment Carlos Dunlap. Okafor recorded seven sacks and 14 quarterback hits last season.
In three years at Texas, Okafor has recorded 94 tackles and 12 sacks. Last year, as a junior he had seven sacks and 50 tackles, marking his best year at the collegiate level.
As it stands for the Bengals current defensive ends, Michael Johnson, Robert Geathers, and Derrick Harvey are slated to hit free agency after the 2012 season, whereas the contracts of Carlos Dunlap and Jamaal Anderson both end after the 2013 season. Though the team drafted two defensive tackles by the fifth round this year, they neglected the end position, likely due to the free agency pick-ups in March.
However, right now it's way too early to even imagine what the Bengals will be aiming to do during the 2013 draft. Between now and then the Bengals are undoubtedly going to make some more additions or subtractions and even possibly sign some of their current players to long-term extensions. By the time the draft gets here the Bengals could possibly have other areas of need (like linebacker and running back) that they want to focus on instead of defensive end.