ESPN NFL Draft analyst/expert/insider Todd McShay began the mock season (not unlike Duck hunting season) by giving the Cincinnati Bengals Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. Then he went Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, as a contingency if Andre Smith departed for free agency; then highlighted wide receiver, running back and linebacker as possible alternatives.
On Thursday, McShay went with a completely different (and relatively untouched position) during his first two-round mock draft of the season (In$ider).
Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant.
Analysis: I thought long and hard about WR Keenan Allen here, but the Bengals feel good about Mohamed Sanu coming off injury and have a good slot receiver in Andrew Hawkins. Corner is a top need for Cincinnati on the other side of the ball, and now that Trufant has verified his top-end speed his suddenness, balance and closing burst give him the look of a very good man-cover corner at the next level. Scouts I've talked to are also impressed with his professional demeanor, and the bottom line is that teams can never have enough good cover guys in today's pass-happy NFL. Quarterback might be a wild-card option given the tendencies and pedigree of offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who's always looking for ways to tweak his scheme, but in this scenario Trufant makes sense.
There are hits, there are misses and then there are misses.
Leon Hall, Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick are already billed as the team's top-three cornerbacks with a possibility that Terence Newman returns. Hall, Jones and Kirkpatrick are signed long-term, at least through 2015. Adding another first-round cornerback and we're facing a log-jam at this point.
McShay stumbles his way back to reality with a safety (Matt Elam) and running back (Christine Michael). FIU safety John Cyprien goes No. 61 to San Francisco and linebacker Arthur Brown falls out of the first two rounds.
Regarding Trufant, our own Joe Goodberry projects the safety as a second-rounder:
Subtle athlete with very good/natural feet and mirroring ability. Has some technique issues that really hinder his overall athleticism and burst High upside. Needs to defend run better.