Mock drafts. They bring about great debates, but also give fans some excitement and optimism when looking ahead at the team's plans for the future. Sometimes draftniks can be relatively accurate with their predictions, while other times it's a complete whiff. Either way that you slice it, they are fun to dissect.
Dan Kadar, the man in charge over at SB Nation's Mocking the Draft website, came out with his most recent edition of his mock, based on how teams finished after the regular season. This is likely to change based on postseason results, future injuries, coaching changes and college player workout results, but it's a good initial blueprint for now. And, we happen to like the pick that Kadar gave the Bengals at No. 25, which is based on their current playoff standing and overall record.
Kadar had the Bengals tapping the hometown Ohio State Buckeyes for some talent at cornerback, pointing at Bradley Roby.
25. Cincinnati Bengals: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Roby didn't have quite the season many expected, but the talent is still evident. If Cincinnati's coaching staff can get the most out of him, Roby could be one of the bigger steals of the draft.
Though he is 5'11 and 192 pounds, Roby is the latest in a long line of Buckeyes corners that are willing tacklers. The junior had 68 tackles (not including the upcoming Bowl game against Clemson), to go along with three interceptions and 13 total passes defensed. He had two interceptions and 16 passes defensed as a sophomore. The pick makes sense given the thinness at the position right now.
Terence Newman will be in his mid-30s, Adam Jones will be 30 years old, and Leon Hall is coming off of his second Achilles injury in three seasons--to both legs. Behind them is 2012 first round pick Dre Kirkpatrick, who has just started to flash, fourth-year corner Brandon Ghee whose contract expires after this season and the nomadic Chris Lewis-Harris who has bounced on and off of this roster since he arrived in Cincinnati.
Ironically, this is only the second time that we've seen major outlets project a corner to the Bengals in next year's draft. Linebackers and pass rushers seem to be the flavor of the past few months when examining the Bengals, with draftniks pointing to the team attempting to bolster their No.3 ranked unit on the year.