With the 18th pick in the 2007 SB Nation Mock Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals (me), select Darrelle Revis.
The Bengals defense used a lot of zones last season. Why? It's simple. Really. Not Ramon Noodle simple. There's nothing simpler than Ramon Noodles. Perhaps peanut butter and jelly. However, bread, plates, knives (especially if you're in a desperate need to make sure that the knife used for Peanut Butter must NOT touch the jelly) and all that add to the complicated process of eating a simple-minded meal.
It's simple. The Bengals personnel struggled to cover man... especially in the secondary. With the safeties pushed back because the corners struggled to cover man, the linebackers were forced to cover underneath the intermediary zones. Keep in mind, the linebackers with the most playing time were considered backups before the season started.
Tory James is likely to be somewhere else (as per Marvin Lewis). It's reported that the Bengals are shopping Deltha O'Neal -- specifically, to the Atlanta Falcons. Let's pretend for a moment and project O'Neal leaving. That would leave Johnathan Joseph, Keiwan Ratliff, Greg Brooks and Brandon Williams as cornerbacks on the roster.
Last season Joseph started nine games as a rookie, led the team with 19 pass defensed, ranked sixth on the team with 67 tackles, recorded a fumble recovery and a blocked PAT. Keiwan Ratliff was expected to be one of the guys that would form a strong and young secondary. However, Ratliff has had a hard enough time solidifying Nickleback status.
NFL Draft Scout says that Revis is thought to be "the closest thing to a true shutdown corner in the 2007 draft." His 4.38 40-time, during Pro Day, changed the concern in scout's minds of his ability to defend the deep pass. He could also double as punt returner. And knowing Dancing-with-the-Stars-wanna-be Ratliff, we need a productive returner.
In a sense, the Bengals cornerback situation is bad simply because the limited personnel remaining. And even if O'Neal stays, bringing in Revis could bring a mediocre secondary into a new level of expectations.