Not even Nostradamus prancing around with Tim Hedrick's Doppler 12 radar can predict what the Bengals will do during the 2011 NFL Draft. There's too much uncertainty around existing components that weigh heavily on the chess board. Will the team franchise Johnathan Joseph, or at the very least sign him long-term? If not, they could go after the best cornerback available. Will Carson Palmer really retire if he's not traded, which won't happen likely until after the draft anyway? And if he does, do the Bengals draft a quarterback this year to replace Palmer, or do they address the spot with a veteran passer and find a franchise quarterback in next year's draft? What about open-ended issues with Cedric Benson, Chad Ochocinco, depth at nearly every position on defense?
We've never been much successful predicting the Bengals. In 2008, I proudly predicted the Bengals would win ten games and return to the playoffs. They won four games. I predicted a rebuilding year in 2009. The Bengals won ten games and made the playoffs. In 2010, I expected even better than 2009. They went back to winning four games.
So we leave predictions to other people.
Walter Football conducted a five-round Mock Draft.
- A.J. Green, WR, Georgia [First Round]
- Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois [Second Round]
- Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas [Third Round]
- DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson [Fourth Round]
- Cliff Matthews, DE, South Carolina [Fifth Round]
All of you will have your opinions on whom they picked, which seemed fair enough to address needs across the board. But I still feel the team will heavily favor the defense during the NFL draft this year.