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2012 NFL Mock Draft: NFL.com's Breer Selects Guard and Cornerback For The Bengals

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Feb 28, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Stephon Gilmore participates in pass interception drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 28, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Stephon Gilmore participates in pass interception drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

With the NFL Combine finally wrapping up, mock drafts around the web are starting to change to reflect those players who improved or decreased their stock. Several players made a name for themselves (Dontari Poe, Stephen Hill), while others were completely unimpressive (Vontaze Burfict, Mike Adams).

NFL.com has been a steady contributor to the mock draft mania consuming this offseason, and in their latest mock by Albert Breer, the Bengals have been slotted to take a cornerback and an offensive guard.

With the 17th pick, Breer chooses the highly-prized offensive guard, David DeCastro, out of Stanford:

This one plays out for perfectly for Cincinnati, which has a need at the position and has the best player at that spot slip down into its lap.

If DeCastro comes as advertised, he would be the ideal player for the Bengals offense. The Bengals running offense was severely limited at times last year, and DeCastro would slide nicely into the right guard spot. He'd start from day one, and most likely be headed for a spot in the Pro Bowl within his first couple of years. As we've said before, DeCastro is one of the best players in the draft, but it's not probable that he falls to the Bengals at 17. Especially after his impressive performance at the combine this week, where he weighed in at a solid 316 pounds, put up 225 pounds 34 times and was constantly used as an example for lineman drills. In combination with his sound performance in Indianapolis, as Joe pointed out a few days ago, DeCastro cemented his grade as an elite prospect.

With the 21st pick, Breer penciled in South Carolina's cornerback Stephon Gilmore, a cornerback:

I'd be on alert for Janoris Jenkins here, but Gilmore is a fantastic athlete in his own right who doesn't come with the baggage.

Countless mock drafts have had the Bengals taking North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins or Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick, but this mock went in a different direction, choosing Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore's stock has been rising since the football season ended, and he certainly helped his stock take off even more with an impressive performance at the combine this week. He posted a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash, and showed scouts his raw talent and athleticism in drills.

Overall, I like this mock because it helps both sides of the ball, and DeCastro and Gilmore are players with extremely high ceilings. How do you feel?