At this point in the year, mock drafts simply become repetitive for us all. The draft is only days away now, not weeks.
The Bengals biggest three needs are running back, linebacker, and safety. Depending on the re-signing of Andre Smith, offensive tackle would join that upper tier as well.
It should make sense than, that CBSSports' Dane Brugler went safety at pick No. 21, linebacker at pick No. 37, and running back at pick No. 53.
|21. CINCINNATI BENGALS|
|Matt Elam, SS, Florida: Assuming the Bengals are able to re-sign right tackle Andre Smith, the Bengals focus will likely shift to defense with this pick. Cincinnati is searching for a SS in the draft to pair with FS Reggie Nelson, adding Elam would give the Bengals an All-Gator safety group.|
With Kenny Vacarro off the board at pick No. 17 (Steelers) in this mock draft, the choice becomes either Florida's Matt Elam or Florida International's Jonathan Cyprien. Brugler had Cyprien gone with the very next pick to the St. Louis Rams. Don't be surprised if either one of these Florida safeties ends up as Cincinnati's first round pick this year.
Additionally, fans should recall last year, when two prospects of similar rankings were available when the Bengals picked at pick No. 21. Of course, this happened at the guard position, with Kevin Zeitler and David DeCastro. The Bengals traded back to No. 27, and Zeitler became the pick (and they got Brandon Thompson in the third round). We can see a similar situation happening this year, because both Elam and Cyprien could be taken off the board either in the middle-late first, or early second.
|37. CINCINNATI BENGALS|
|Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia: Ogletree is an option for the Bengals in the first round so if he's still around with this pick, Cincinnati might not pass twice.|
As of a few months ago, Ogletree was viewed as one of the top talents in the draft, and was even listed in the top ten on some big boards. But, a DUI dropped his stock a bit, and perhaps his inconsistent tape caught up to him a bit too.
Now, Ogletree is viewed as an early second round linebacker. We'd rather have Kansas State's Arthur Brown (who Brugler had going at pick No. 45) at this pick, but Ogletree is a nice consolation prize in the second round.
|54. CINCINNATI BENGALS|
|Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: A between-the-tackles back with a skill set similar to BenJarvus Green-Ellis.|
Great pick. Couldn't disagree more with the reasoning though. Franklin has elusiveness, explosiveness, speed, and was a spectacular pass-catcher last year for the Bruins. Green-Ellis is just a guy who can carry the rock consistently and get short yardage. Franklin is viewed as a complete back, and BJGE is solid in all areas too, so perhaps that's where the comparison came from.
Surprisingly, Brugler only had two running backs taken in the entire first two rounds. Eddie Lacy went No. 48 to the Pittsburgh Steelers (Brugler sure gave the Steelers a heck of a draft, didn't he?). Perhaps Brugler could have selected UNC's Gio Bernard with this pick.
Are you okay with this mock draft?