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2010 NFL Draft: Not Expecting A Cornerback Drafted Before Third Round

This is a series of posts in which we're going to reset everything and determine what the Bengals options could be in the second and third rounds on Friday. With eight more draft picks before we call this draft complete, the first round will neither make or break this weekend. On Friday the Bengals will will pick 54th (overall), 84th and 96th. What positions could the Bengals address? Now, we're going to examine cornerback.

With five cornerbacks selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Bengals may be forced into take a corner earlier than they wanted if they've identified the position as a need to be addressed this year. And if one were to take a guess on which player the Bengals could draft in the second round, Indiana University Pennsylvania's Akwasi Owusu-Ansah could be a good one, but it would also be a hell of a reach.

The argument for drafting a cornerback early points to the difficult dilemma of the Bengals having their best cornerbacks, Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall, reaching contract years in the next two seasons -- Joseph after 2010 and Hall after 2011. Furthermore, a quality cornerback will help solidify the team's passing defense as it prepares for some of the league's best passing offenses in 2010.

The drop off after Joseph and Hall are noticeable with David Jones and Morgan Trent. Granted, both players are serviceable and have made plays. But for the Bengals to work towards repeating as division champions, they'll need to work on defending against the pass this year. Drafting a cornerback gives the Bengals a short-term solution as well as a long-term one.

Aside from Owusu-Ansah, who the Bengals reportedly really like, guys like South Florida's Jerome Murphy, Iowa's Amari Spievey, Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee, Oklahoma's Dominique Franks and Oklahoma State's Perrish Cox will be there.

However, after the run on corners in the first round, it seems that the drop off of talent is significant enough to wait until the third round to address the position. Unless Virginia's Chris Cook is still there, who is rated as the best available prospect and likely second-round selection. Even so, is Cook worth a second round pick or would the Bengals be better off waiting until the third round?