Mock Draft 2014: Bengals grab FSU DT Timmy Jernigan

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Keeping with the theme of mock drafts this week, Sports Illustrated offers a change of pace at defensive tackle.

Let's stick with the theme of mock drafts, at the very least as an instructive experience on how outsiders view the Cincinnati Bengals team needs. The ESPN combination of Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay went with cornerbacks, applying common-sense logic about the team's future at that position.

More recently, Doug Farrar with Sports Illustrated gave the Bengals Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.

The Bengals have an elite penetrating defensive tackle in the great Geno Atkins, but when Atkins was hurt last season, there weren't any real complementary answers. Besides, rotational stability is the key to great defensive fronts these days. Jernigan is an attack tackle who needs to improve his speed and timing off the snap, but has all the elements to be a fine presence in any defensive line.

It's not that I see a problem at defensive tackle -- only that I don't envision Cincinnati using a first-round pick on a defensive tackle with two costly solutions (Atkins and Domata Peko) and two third-year players in Devon Still and Brandon Thompson, each of whom were selected in the second and third rounds respectively in the 2012 NFL draft.

In fact, making a list of positions that the Bengals could address, my thinking would be cornerback, offensive tackle and defensive end before tackle is even entertained. Then again, when people were talking tight end in the first round last year, I never really took that argument seriously. Things happen.

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