Filling an obvious need within Cincinnati's secondary, we promptly (and heroically I might add) selected Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro with the No. 21 pick during the SB Nation writers' mock draft. Thus appeared from the heavens a gateway of options. Not that stupid arch that was decommissioned by the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Should we address running back now and get it over with? What if we continue playing a song of defense? That's the beauty of having two second round selections. Flexibility. Thank you, Carson Palmer. Thank YOU, Hue Jackson.
After hours of debate, and a few temper tantrums that were resolved with Jason needing a Snicker's bar (not that we're naming names), we stuck with defense, selecting defensive end Alex Okafor at No. 37. Our point of view:
"Even with four players that surpassed 6.5 quarterback sacks during the 2012 season, there are questions. We’re entering the contract year for Michael Johnson (currently on the franchise tag) and Carlos Dunlap - who has never played a full 16-game schedule - will be entering the final year of his rookie contract, as well. Ideally the Bengals use Okafor in rotation, but specifically inside during nickel situations, receiving a significant number of snaps during the game, mainly during pass rushing scenarios. This gives the Bengals an option for the future, but further solidifies a defensive line that continues to neutralize a league obsessed with throwing the football."
Running back. I know, I know. Luckily based on how things have developed and the depth at that position, we actually decided to sit on it for now.
We've represented the Cincinnati Bengals during the SB Nation writers mock draft since the beginning of Earth and if you're keeping score at home, we've been close. We accurately selected A.J. Green in the first and Andy Dalton in the second during the 2011 NFL draft, despite the fact that many didn't agree with our Dalton selection. On the other hand we missed in 2010, selecting Dez Bryant in the first round and Illinois guard Jon Asamoah in the second, who had one of the league's top pass blocking scores for an offensive guard in 2011 according to Pro Football Focus.
But then again, we split in 2009, picking Andre Smith in the first round and then Connor Barwin in the second. In 2008 we accurately picked linebacker Keith Rivers and defensive tackle Pat Sims -- though he would be selected in the third round, we grabbed him in the second. We hit the positions last year, but not the players. At No. 17 we had Stephen Gilmore and offensive guard Cordy Glenn at No. 21. We completely missed on the second round selection.
Recapping our history during the SB Nation mock draft:
|First Round Mock||First Round Mock (2)||Actual Pick||Actual Pick (2)||Second Round Mock||Second Round Selection|
|2012||Stephon Gilmore, CB||Cordy Glenn, OG||Dre Kirkpatrick, CB||Kevin Zeitler, OG (via trade)||Lamar Miller, RB||Devon Still, DT|
|2011||A.J. Green, WR||A.J. Green, WR||Andy Dalton, QB||Andy Dalton, QB|
|2010||Dez Bryant, WR||Jermaine Gresham, TE||Jon Asamoah, OG||Carlos Dunlap, DE|
|2009||Andre Smith, OT||Andre Smith, OT||Connor Barwin, OLB||Rey Maualuga, LB|
|2008||Keith Rivers, LB||Keith Rivers, LB||Pat Sims, DT||Jerome Simpson, WR|