NFL 2014 Mock Draft: Bengals Select Alabama OLB

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

I know it's early. But everyone loves a good mock draft and outside linebacker might be a safe pick.

There might be less than 24 hours remaining for the regular season to kickoff against the Chicago Bears, but that doesn't mean draft experts are sitting idle. SB Nation's own Dan Kadar fires out another mock draft, warning that:

Of course September is way too early to put out a mock draft. Of course by the time the draft happens in May several of these players won't be first-round picks. Of course you're going to disagree with several of these picks. Of course, you're here.

Kadar has the Bengals selection Adrian Hubbard, outside linebacker out of Alabama.

James Harrison might retire after the season, and if not he's only signed through 2014. The Bengals could get a jump start on his replacement by taking a high-upside outside linebacker like Hubbard. He developed as the 2012 season went along and should be even better this year. He even has the size to play with his hand in the dirt, if needed.

Cincinnati's future at linebacker, at this point at least, is anything but long-term. Vontaze Burfict is a foundation player that figures to stick around. Kadar is right about Harrison. Rey Maualuga is in a situation much like Andy Dalton, forced to prove himself. Emmanuel Lamur and Sean Porter won't play this year, which harms their overall development (though his future still has an up arrow next to their name). Who knows what we'll get out of Jayson DiManche at this point and Vinnie Rey made this team for his special teams contributions.

There's a lot of unknowns right now. So an outside linebacker during a September mock draft is a safe pick.

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