Russ Lande of The Sporting News is known as one of the preeminent NFL draft experts. He was a former NFL scout and has been a draft analyst for the publication for quite some time now. Lande is one of the guys that we at Cincy Jungle keep an eye on when he releases his mock drafts.
Though it's still early in the process, Lande provides an interesting twist on the first round and the Bengals selections in his latest mock draft. Though he has the Bengals addressing two major position needs with their two picks, this one is sure to raise some eyebrows.
At No. 17, the experts are seeming to agree that the Bengals will take a chance on the embattled cornerback out of North Alabama, Janoris Jenkins:
17. Cincinnati Bengals (From Oakland), Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. The Bengals lost Johnathan Joseph to Houston as a free agent last offseason, and Leon Hall is coming off a season-ending Achilles’ injury. So the Bengals gamble and take Jenkins, who has first-round talent but also some off-field concerns.
It's almost a dead lock that the Bengals will use one of their first round picks on a cornerback. Selecting one makes a lot of sense given the state of the group right now. Jenkins is likely a "boom or bust" prospect, and the Bengals may feel that they have the luxury to take a gamble with an extra first round pick this year.
Lande's take on the Bengals selection at No. 21 is very interesting. He has them taking a much-needed running back, though it's not one that many Bengals fans may not have in mind at that spot:
21. Cincinnati Bengals: David Wilson*, RB, Virginia Tech. It’s unlikely the Bengals will re-sign Cedric Benson, and they need to find a back who can help improve their 19th-ranked rushing game.
Wilson is another "boom or bust" prospect. He is coming into the draft early after his impressive junior season, but fumbles and a "one year wonder" status have many people wondering where exactly he falls in this year's running back picture.The consensus top running back prospect, Alabama's Trent Richarson, is mocked to go to the Jets at the pick in front of the Bengals at No. 16. In Lande's mock draft, Wilson is the second running back to come off of the board after Richardson.