NFL Mock Draft 2014: Draft experts love the Bengals taking pass rushers

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

With James Harrison being less about pass rushing and Michael Johnson likely to exit in free agency, mock drafts are heavy in pass rushers for the Bengals.

Let's have a little fun.

Dan Kadar with Mocking the Draft recently posted his revised mock draft, giving Cincinnati Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley as the No. 24 pick.

Beasley would be a nice replacement for 35-year-old James Harrison at strong side linebacker. Beasley is inexperienced in coverage situations, but he's pro ready as a pass rusher. He has the raw ability to get by initially on his athleticism alone.

Harrison signed a two-year deal for relatively cheap, so I don't imagine him going anywhere. But the Bengals going after a pass rusher in the first round with Michael Johnson likely to enter free agency? I could see that. This is the second pass rusher that Kadar has handed Cincinnati, with Shawn Oakman being selected earlier this month.

Todd McShay went the same route on a mock draft that he released last week, selecting defensive end Scott Crichton out of Oregon State.

This pick is dependent upon whether the Bengals decide they want to pay Michael Johnson this offseason. If they let him go, then Crichton fits the bill as a replacement. We'll have to see whether he comes out early or not, but he has been unbelievably productive at Oregon State and one of the best D-linemen in college football the past couple of years. He isn't an elite athlete but he has a quick first step, is a relentless pass-rusher and recorded 16 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks this season even while facing a ton of double-team attention. If the Bengals choose to go in another direction, LB and CB are two other need areas.

Anyway, we'll go back to this season now.

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