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In Josh Norris' latest mock draft, he has the Bengals going safety, selecting FIU's John Cyprien. Cyprien is an excellent fit for the Bengals and would instantly fill a glaring hole in the defense.
The 2013 NFL Draft is only two months away and the mock drafts keep coming in hot. Although pre-free agency mocks might seem like they are jumping the gun a bit, they are interesting to look at because they tend to point out positions of need for a team. Currently, the biggest holes in Cincinnati's roster are in the secondary and linebacker positions. It is no coincidence then that many mocks feature players that would fill the holes at those positions.
NFL.com's Josh Norris is no exception, who selects FIU safety Jonathan Cyprien.
Get to know the name, as Cyprien will continue to generate more attention as the tape spreads around. An interchangeable safety in the back half, Cyprien takes aggressive but reliable angles and never shies away from contact.
CincyJungle's own Joe Goodberry has Cyprien ranked as his number two overall safety prospect, noting that he is an excellent defender against the run. Cyprien possesses excellent instincts that allow him to navigate running lanes and his aggressive nature ensures that he makes the most of his tackling opportunities. On the flip side, Cyprien's aggressive tendencies occasionally leave him out of place, by taking poor angles or biting on play action. Cyprien would fit in best as an in-the-box strong safety, although he also has tremendous range in coverage. In Goodberry's own words:
He can get sideline-to-sideline in a hurry and appears to read the quarterback's eyes very well. He can get to those deep routes along the boundary for a big hit or make a play on the ball. Cyprien's ball skills and range sold me on him as a prospect.
The selection makes a lot of sense for the Bengals after their recent struggles to find a safety to pair with veteran Reggie Nelson. In 2012, it took three players to fill the gap -- Taylor Mays, Nate Clements, and Chris Crocker -- and none emerged as long-term options for the team, though Crocker offered some stability at the position.