Mock drafts are often favorably compared to meteorology. Well, at least by moi. Certain models dictate possible outcomes and as we inch closer towards the event date, the more accurate those models become to offer an accurate prediction. Would you rely on a weather prediction that was made in February for May 8? Of course not. Fronts, streams, blasts, all change climate models. It's really no different with the NFL draft, when you factor free agency, the NFL combine, Pro Days, interviews and workouts (the latter three become more difficult to find for public consumption) change the model of a team's projected draft pick.
We've projected cornerbacks, linebackers, offensive tackles, defensive ends, all based on the stormy changes that have happen during the four months since Cincinnati was unceremoniously bounced from the 2013 postseason. Each selection was made as a reaction to another event-- even though the Cincinnati Bengals already have two starting-caliber offensive tackles, we must draft another to replace the departed Anthony Collins (who was originally selected in the fourth round... why not again?). Michael Johnson is gone. Defensive end is left with role players. The cornerback position has so many questions that it makes a Lost cliffhanger seem tame.
ESPN employee Todd McShay, who covers the NFL draft (if you want to call him a draft expert, more power to you), selected Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby in his latest mock draft (dubbed 4.0)... why not 4? There are no minor revisions so thus no 4.1, 4.2... whatever.
Roby provides both fit and value here -- cornerback is a position of need for Cincy, and he's the best available player on our board. He had focus issues this past season and needs to work on his technique, but he is the most talented all-around cornerback in this draft with very good size, speed and fluidity. He also has above-average ball skills and is physical in run support. In Cincinnati, he'd have time to develop behind a proven, but aging, group of cornerbacks in Leon Hall, Terence Newman, Adam Jones and former first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick, who also needs to step up.
Cincinnati grabbed Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton in the second round.
Crichton is a good fit for the Bengals as a high-energy pass-rusher from the defensive end position.
That's all we get?
Cincinnati attended the Oregon State pro day last month, but it appeared that their special teams coach was more interested in Brandon Cooks.