At the start of mock draft season, the Bengals' primary team needs of guard and cornerback were clear, and the mocks reflected that sentiment. Recently, however, the approach has changed and mock Bengal selections have ranged from running back to linebacker to defensive end. What approach Cincinnati will take at next week's NFL Draft is a mystery , but for now we still have plenty of speculating to do. The most recent mock draft from Sports Illustrated's Don Banks beckons back to the days of old when the team needs took priority over the best available player. At No. 17, Banks has the Bengals taking...
David DeCastro, Guard, Stanford
Actually, team need and the best available player may converge on this pick--something Don Banks recognizes as well:
Once again the board breaks right for the guard-needy Bengals, who are in position to land the top-rated guard in the draft. With the depth at cornerback, DeCastro over Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick is the way to go at No. 17.
DeCastro has been considered all offseason to be the class of the guard class in 2012, and is a likely pick for the guard deficient Bengals. An interesting point to note, however, is that National Football Post's Dan Pompeii believes that no guards, including DeCastro, will be selected in the first round. If there is a team that needs guard help, it is Cincinnati, so it will be interesting to see the direction Mike Brown and the Bengals choose on April 26.
At No. 21, the Bengals select:
Dre Kirkpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama
Another familiar mock pick for Cincinnati, Kirkpatrick has remained consistent in his mid-to-late first round rankings unlike South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore who has shot up the rankings and goes 9th to the Seattle Seahawks in this particular mock draft. As with the DeCastro pick, Banks believes need trumps all else with this pick.
I wouldn't be shocked to see the Bengals grab a falling Dontari Poe or fellow defensive tackle Michael Brockers in this slot. But for now, I'm going to stick with the Bengals being driven by their needs, and give them the highest-rated available cornerback in Kirkpatrick.
David DeCastro and Dre Kirkpatrick: the boring, yet probable first round picks for the Cincinnati Bengals.
What do you think of this mock draft?
For more from Cincy Jungle, make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.