Love him or hate him, Mike Mayock is considered one of the better draft analysts around the league. And though the NFL draft antagonizes us being several months away, the predraft process takes shape this week starting with the NFL Combine. Mayock released a top-five position-by-position ranking heading into Indianapolis.
We won't break down every position, but at least highlight the rankings we believe that the Bengals address in the first two rounds. This could obviously expand based on the team's work in free agency. Failing to sign Andre Smith to a long-term deal accelerates the need for a replacement whereas defensive end falls to the mercy of the team's free agency decisions.
1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
2. Matt Elam, Florida
3. Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International
4. Eric Reid, LSU
5. Zeke Motta, Notre Dame
Our own Joe Goodberry has Vaccaro first, followed by Cyprien, D.J. Swearinger (South Carolina), Bacarri Rambo (Georgia) and Reid.
1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
2. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
3. Andre Ellington, Clemson
4. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
5. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Joe's rankings at running back: Bernard, Ellington, Lacy, Jonathan Franklin (UCLA) and Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State).
Other ranks from Mayock that the Bengals could explore early during the NFL draft. [Note: they'll look at everyone at every position like they do every year during the Combine]
1. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
2. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
3. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
4. Sam Montgomery, LSU
T-5. Datone Jones, UCLA
T-5. Margus Hunt, SMU
1. Dion Jordan, Oregon
2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
3. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
4. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
5. Arthur Brown, Kansas State
1. Dee Milliner, Alabama
2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
3. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
4. Desmond Trufant, Washington
5. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State