2013 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals Select Georgia OLB Alec Ogletree

Kevin C. Cox

According to CBS Sports' Rob Rang, the Bengals will select Georgia Bulldogs outside linebacker Alec Ogletree in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Perhaps the position that's most up in the air right now for the Bengals in linebacker. Not only is middle linebacker Rey Maualuga a free agent, but it's unclear if the Bengals will bring him back to the team due to his inconsistent play in 2012 (and honestly through much of his career once he was moved to the middle). Furthermore, outside linebackers Manny Lawson and Thomas Howard are also free agents.

Vontaze Burfict, an undrafted free agent, has been inked in as a starter after a fantastic rookie season in 2012, and the Bengals recently signed former first-round pick Aaron Maybin. They may plan to bring Howard and/or Lawson back into the fold, but we won't know for some time. The team's uncertainty at the linebacker position is why CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes the Bengals will go after a linebacker in the first round, predicting they'll select UGA's Alec Ogletree.

Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia: Ogletree proved a star in the middle for the Bulldogs, but the former safety's raw athleticism could push him outside in the NFL. The Bengals could use reinforcements on the flanks, and with few obvious holes on the roster can afford to gamble on Ogletree's spectacular upside.

Having a linebacker as talented as Ogletree next to Burfict could make for an excellent group of linebackers behind the league's best defensive line. Having a front seven that is one of the best in the NFL instead of just a top-notch defensive line could make the difference between going to the playoffs in 2013 or staying home, or winning a playoff game or losing in the first round.

There are other positions that need to be addressed, though, such as safety and running back. What do you think of the pick?

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