Here is my first mock and maybe only mock draft of the season. Just finding it increasingly hard to find time to spend on CJ like I used to do. Wish it wasn't so, but it's also a good thing that work is busy.
Anyway, here we go with my mock draft. I used @ShanePHallam's big board on the site with @JoeGoodberry's big board from Google docs as a collaborating reference. I tried to balance BPA with needs. Let me know what you all think.
24 - CB Jason Verrett - TCU - Cornerback is one of the Bengals biggest needs. With their best corners now in the area of being around 30 yrs old, the Bengals need an injection of youth at the position. Verrett is a very physical player who is aggressive, athletic, fast, and smart who plays with an intensity.
Hopefully, Dre Kirk can begin to make an impact on the team at the same time. With that and Verrett added to the secondary, it should immediately improve and be poised to be one of the better secondaries in the NFL.
55 - DE Scott Crichton - Oregon State - Losing Michael Johnson wasn't a high point in most Bengals fans views this offseason. While they still have a formidable DL rotation, the Bengals need to bring someone in to help out on the DL in place of Johnson.
Chrichton is a versatile player who played all over at Oregon State (DE to NT to 5-tech to 3-tech and dropped back into coverage). He plays fast and hot on every play. He is a strong tackler who likes to go for the strip and has 10 career fumbles and 22.5 sacks in 3 years. Crichton would be a great addition to the DL rotation that the Bengals so love.
88 - OT Brandon Thomas - Clemson - Tackle is another position where the Bengals lost a fan favorite. Anthony Collins went on to Tampa Bay and will wind up being one of their starting tackles on the OL. Here, Collins was a backup despite his excellent play at the position.
Brandon Thomas can fill that void left by Collins and, if healthy (tore his ACL this month during workouts), serve as a possible future replacement for Andrew Whitworth, who is now 32 yrs old. Thomas has good size, long arms and a good motor. He has great awareness and plays through the whistle. If he can stay healthy, Thomas can become a great OT in the NFL.
123 - QB Logan Thomas - VATech - Now on to one of the more controversial positions on the Bengals roster. I waited until the 4th round to pick a QB as the Bengals aren't likely to pick one sooner unless a star drops into their laps. And then they are likely to look at trading away to get more picks.
The Bengals are standing behind Dalton. Thomas has the potential to be a great QB in the NFL, but he also has the potential to bust. He is a pocket passer who has the ability to escape and run for the sticks and is tough to bring down (also durable... started 40 consecutive games).
Has a quick, compact release and can make all the throws. He can be careless with the football (39 INTs and 23 fumbles as a starter) and needs refinement. Time under Zampese has the potential to do him a lot of good.
164 - OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis - Boston College - The Bengals found a diamond in the rough 2 years ago when they grabbed Vontaze Burfict as a UDFA. Not only was Burfict's play outstanding, but he seemed to make a positive impact in Maualuga's play also.
KPL is a great, versatile (BC moved him from LB to DE to deep safety) athlete who is always in on the play. KPL played alongside Kuechly at BC and showed in 2013 that it wasn't just playing beside Luke that made him good (career best 108 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 6 sacks, and an INT).
He isn't sized like your typical LB, but is a player that Guenther can throw into the mix at different positions and get positive results.
199 - C Bryan Stork - FSU - The Bengals cut their longtime starting Center, Kyle Cook, this offseason; a move long overdue according to some fans. It seems that Pollack will get that starting spot this year, but the Bengals need to get someone in there to begin to groom for the future.
Stork has excellent size, but could use some added strength. He has inside versatility as he played both guard and center in college. He is a developmental player.
212 - RB James Wilder Jr. - FSU - The Bengals grabbed Giovanni Bernard in last year's draft and he quickly became a fan favorite. The Bengals also have BJGE for 3rd downs and to back up Bernard. While Rex Burkhead wants to fill a larger roll this year, the Bengals could look to Wilder to replace BJGE.
WIlder shared carries at FSU and never played the role of a featured RB, but he has the size and power that you would look for in your 3rd down back. I loved watching Wilder run the football, watching him make moves, and barrel through defenders.
He seemed to ALWAYS get positive yardage and rarely go down at first contact. He could have benefited by staying at FSU for another year, but him declaring gives the Bengals a chance to grab him late.
239 - S Brock Vereen - Minnesota - It seems like safety has long now been a position of need with the Bengals. They just can't seem to grab that star like they had in Fulcher. Vereen isn't that guy, but he could add some depth to a position that could use it. He's a CB/S hybrid player, and the Bengals love their hybrids.
252 - FB Trey Millard - Oklahoma - Hue wants a FB and I could see Lewis/Brown giving him their last pick to grab one he likes. Trey has above average versatility to be a threat blocking, rushing, receiving and on special teams.
Ok, that took a bit of time! Anyway, let me know what you all think about this draft. Personally, I would be ecstatic!