For the first time since 1991, it sounds like the possibility of the Bengals drafting a safety in the first round of the NFL Draft might become a reality. Over Marvin Lewis' tenure, the team has preferred to rely on veteran free agents, most of whom flopped (Dexter Jackson, Kim Herring, Ifeyani Ohelete). The thought process was to have a veteran paired with a rookie that they would slowly bring along and groom (think Madieu Williams, Marvin White, George Iloka). The formula just hasn't had the success that we all would have hoped, due to a combination of underachievement and injuries.
Still, one move they swung at the position has paid off in the form of the trade for Reggie Nelson and subsequent re-signing last offseason. Though the rumor mill has its misfires, there is a constant theme of the Bengals grabbing a player at the position within the first two rounds of the draft.
NFL Network draft guru, Mike Mayock, held a two-hour conference call extravaganza, one week before the big weekend. In it, Mayock touched on a variety of subjects--one just so happened to be about the Bengals and some of the safeties that have been constantly linked to them. Our own Jason Garrison was in on the call for SB Nation:
The Bengals have had or will have all four of the above-mentioned prospects in for workouts and/or visits. It's interesting that Mayock labels Reid a "wildcard" because when you look around at the plethora of mock drafts, you see a wide range of spots that he lands. Though he didn't label him as such, one could call Cyprien a wild card of sorts as well.
Some believe that he's a good fit for when the Bengals pick at No.21, whereas some believe that he's more of an early second round pick and a better value at No.37. The truth is that there are a multitude of players in this year's draft that have that same kind of value designation--especially in the top 50.
We'll see what happens next week, but we're expecting to hear one of the four names that Mayock mentioned go to the Bengals in one of the first two days.