John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
According to SB Nation's latest mock draft, the Bengals will select Texas Safety Kenny Vaccaro with the No. 21 overall pick.
As the Combine draws to an end, the mock drafts will kick things into full gear. That being said, SB Nation's latest mock draft, isn't that different from some others that we've seen lately, at least from a Bengals standpoint. According to them, the Bengals will use the No. 21 overall pick on Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Among the Bengals' biggest needs, along with linebacker and running back, is safety. They need to find someone to play alongside Reggie Nelson. Kenny Vaccaro grades out as the top safety in this class due to his strong play at the line of scrimmage and his range and coverage ability in the secondary.
The Bengals need someone who is able to play alongside Reggie Nelson so there's not a significant drop off in ability at the safety position. The Bengals gave Taylor Mays, Chris Crocker, Nate Clements and Jeromy Miles a shot in 2012, but didn't seem to be completely satisfied with any of them.
Vaccaro has the ability to not only play in the box in run support but has the range and speed to be solid in pass coverage as well. As the front seven continues to develop, shoring up the secondary with a better strong safety will go a long ways in improving the team's defense.
While at the combine, I had a chance to sit in on Vaccaro's press conference on Sunday, where he said that he has the ability to not only play the safety position, but be the quarterback of the defense as well.
"Like I said, I just think I'm versatile," he said. "I understand concepts. I think I can line guys up. I can be a quarterback of the defense and bring that athleticism on the back end."
When I asked him whether or not he felt he was the best safety in this year's draft class, he simply said that he feels he "brings the most to the table."
With four picks in the first three rounds of the upcoming draft as well as the most cap space in the league, the Bengals are in good position any way you look at it. Drafting a safety in the early rounds of the draft could really help the team's defense, though.