It's a new week, therefore a new mock draft from SB Nation's mocking the draft arrives in our mailbox.
Traditionally the crew has selected cornerback for the Bengals -- here, here, here, here, here, here, and here -- acknowledging that Terence Newman and Adam Jones aren't getting any younger while questions concerning Leon Hall (recovering from his second Achilles tear in three years) and Dre Kirkpatrick (inconsistency) remain.
Last week was a bit of an upset with MTD selecting Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shanzier -- not that any of us are upset about it, he's a fine pick, but it goes against the traditional concept of need (if the Bengals even have one this year).
This week the crew selected Louisville safety Calvin Pryor at No. 24.
If there’s a big run on cornerbacks, like in this mock, the Bengals may need to look in another direction in the first round. There’s nothing wrong with settling on a player like Pryor with the 24th pick. He’s able to play free or strong safety and is adept at playing the run and dropping into coverage.
This is the second time that MTD mocked Pryor to the Bengals.
In the second round, MTD has Florida defensive tackle Dom Easley going to the Bengals at No. 55. My point against a defensive tackle in the second round is that they selected Devon Still and Brandon Thompson in the second and third round, respectively, in 2012. And in the third round, they have Clemson cornerback Bashaud Breeland going to Cincinnati at No. 88.
Pryor, foregoing his senior season to enter the 2014 NFL draft, was awarded first-team All-AAC honors with 75 tackles, three picks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles. At the end of his college career -- he was promoted as a stater midway through his freshman season in 2011 -- Pryor accumulated seven interceptions, 14 passes broken up and eight forced fumbles.
Former Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bradford, now with Texas, said of Pryor:
"He had three games in a row where he hit somebody and they did not finish the game," Bedford said via the Journal Sentinel. "He doesn’t want to injure anybody, but he brings a certain physicality that if you’re going to throw the ball down the middle of the field, you’re going to pay a price.
"That’s how the game used to be played. He did things the right way and that’s what people like about him so much. And he’s a coach on the field—high football IQ. He controls everything. Gets guys lined up. Makes the checks. He does it all. He’s a guy Louisville is going to miss next year and I wish I had him here with me at Texas right now."
According to ESPN and NFL Draft Scout, Pryor is the second-best safety entering the draft -- second to Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. However, Mel Kiper Jr. said that that's not the case for every team.
Don't assume Clinton-Dix of Bama is a lock to be the top safety taken. Calvin Pryor is ahead for some teams. Really close for me.— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) February 4, 2014
SB Nation's own Mocking the Draft has Pryor listed as second.