Mel Kiper 3-Round Mock Gives Bengals CB, OL, QB

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper goes 3 rounds deep for all 32 teams and takes a corner, offensive lineman and quarterback for the home team.

We are all familiar with Mel Kiper's Mock Drafts where Kiper tries to project who teams will pick, but today Kiper switched it up a bit and played GM for all 32 teams (subscription required) and went 3 rounds picking who he believes the teams should take based on need and value. As always, Kiper does not take into account (nor try to predict) trades.

Here is what he has for the Bengals in rounds 1-3:

Top needs: CB, LT, C, DE

Round 1 (24) CB Bradley Roby, Ohio St.
Round 2 (55) G/T Brandon Thomas, Clemson
Round 3 (88) QB Tom Savage, Pitt

Analysis: Selecting Roby at No. 24 isn't really a reach on value. If you graded Roby purely on upside at the position, you're talking about a possible top-10 pick. He just needs refinement, and the Bengals are pretty long in the tooth at cornerback aside from Dre Kirkpatrick. I need to add depth along the offensive line, and I'm taking a shot with Thomas, who can provide depth at either tackle or guard. Strong safety would be an option in that second-round slot, but there just isn't much certainty or value available. Round 3 is a place where I can provide my starting QB a push. Savage has starting upside, and he's among the strongest arms in the draft. He was beaten up behind bad blocking at Pitt, but is the kind of upside this roster could use behind Andy Dalton.

My take:

Round 1 (24) CB Bradley Roby, Ohio St.

This pick makes sense and is very likely. The Bengals are old at the cornerback position and the 2014 draft is full of quality corners. I would love to see the Bengals land Gilbert or Dennard, but I don't see them making it to the Bengals at 24 and neither does Kiper. With that being the case, Roby is the most talented of the rest. Roby has some developing he needs to do (on and off the field), but he has potential and with the corners the Bengals have, the Bengals could afford a developmental year with Roby.

Other Options: Based on who is still available in Kiper's draft and the depth at CB, I could see the Bengals going OT (Cyrus Kouandjio - Alabama) or DE (Dee Ford - Auburn) here.


Round 2 (55) G/T Brandon Thomas, Clemson

With the depth at OT in this draft and the fact that the Bengals lost Anthony Collins in free agency, the Bengals will take a OT at some point in the first 3 rounds of this draft. If they don't take an OT in the first round, like Mel, I think they will take one in round 2 and in this scenario, Thomas is the best on the board.

Other Options: I think the Bengals will take a DE or DE/LB hybrid type in the first 3 rounds. If they don't go with a DE in round 1, I could see them grabbing one here and Kiper still has Kony Ealy (Missouri) still available at this point.


Round 3 (88) QB Tom Savage, Pitt

Like Kiper, I think the Bengals will take a quarterback in this draft, but unlike Kiper, I don't see it happening in the first 3 rounds. Lewis values the first 3 rounds too much to use one of those picks on what would be a 3rd string QB in 2014 (and I agree). However, I see the Bengals taking a QB in round 4 or 5. If Savage is there, I like the pick in round 4, but not in round 3. Other QB's that I like in the 4th or 5th round would be Aaron Murray (Georgia) or Zach Mettenberger (LSU).

Other Options: The Bengals do a great job in the first 3 rounds of the draft of taking the best available player, however, I see the Bengals first 3 rounds in 2014 netting them a CB, OT and DL (most likely a DE). Depending on which two positions they have addressed in rounds 1 and 2 will determine where they go in round 3.

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