Mock drafts this time of year are really suited for entertainment; not that they're totally suited for entertainment eight months from now, but they're fun. Nothing else. Chris Burke with Sports Illustrated released his latest mock draft, selecting a cornerback in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft: TCU's Jason Verrett.
A bit of a luxury pick for the deep Bengals, the talented Verrett could give them arguably the league’s best group of corners — Leon Hall, 2012 first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick, Terence Newman and Adam Jones are there already. Newman, 35 and with one year left on his deal, will require a replacement soon.
Cornerback is not a surprise. In fact, when you think about it, it's an easy argument to make. Newman is getting older; then again, people have been saying that for the past five years while the 35-year old is intercepting passes and returning fumbles for game-winning touchdowns. Though 71.4 percent of the passes thrown against receivers he's covering have been completed, opposing quarterbacks have generated an average 81.3 passer rating against Newman.
Still, you worry about Dre Kirkpatrick. His durability is extremely questionable, much like position-mate Brandon Ghee. We're not suggesting he's a bust or that the team should abandon him, but if he's unable to earn playing time on defense, those labels will gain momentum.