We're well into mock draft season as draft analysts are pumping out new mocks every day. The two biggest authorities on the draft are arguably Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. McShay released a new mock draft (In$ider) on Wednesday and in, he predicted the Bengals would go in a different direction than they have in the past.
Due to the fact that the Bengals placed the franchised tag on defensive end Michael Johnson, many believe that the team may be unable to re-sign right tackle Andre Smith to a long-term deal, especially now that it's rumored that he's looking for a deal that would pay him something around $9 million a year.
Because of that, McShay says the Bengals will select Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker with the No. 21 overall pick.
Analysis: Would the Bengals replace one Alabama offensive tackle bust with another Alabama OT? If not, the best players at wide receiver, running back and linebacker will be the focus.
Fluker seems to be more dedicated, and he carries his weight much better. He would be a good pick at this portion of the draft.
First of all, I don't think that it's really fare to call Smith a bust because he was one of the best right tackles in the league throughout 2012, but if Smith does leave, the Bengals have to look to replace him. Fluker may not be better than Smith is now, but he does seem that he'll come into the league more prepared than Smith did four years ago.
Of course, if the Bengals do re-sign Smith, McShay is right on when he says that they'll look at wide receivers, running backs and linebackers, though I think trading back would be the best option.
What do you think of McShay's latest mock draft?