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Mel Kiper Jr. Mock Draft 1.0: Wisconsin RB Montee Ball For The Bengals

It's here. Mel Kiper's first mock draft of the season and for the Bengals, it's a need. Whether or not you want to use a first round pick on a running back is up for debate.

Gregory Shamus

People love the draft. Passionate about the predraft process. In fact we're certain some love the draft season greater than the regular season. Weird. But we'd argue that the same applies to fantasy football in one twist form or another.

Even with the final four preparing for this weekend's championship round, Mel Kiper Jr. released his first Mock Draft of the year (In$ider). For the Bengals it's an obvious need -- though disputes will certainly surface as to using this need in the first round.

With the No. 21 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, Mel Kiper Jr. has the Cincinnati Bengals selected Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.

In terms of pure draft value, Ball might be a bit of a reach on my board at this spot, but in terms of fit, it's hard to find a better one among teams drafting in this range. Once fully healthy, Ball showed off a quick burst into and through the hole, and the ability to do major damage on the second level, both making defenders miss and simply running through tackles. If Cincinnati is healthy at guard to start the season (the Bengals weren't in 2012), Ball is a player who could take some pressure off Andy Dalton in 2013 by improving its ground game. A "nose for the end zone" is a bit of a throw-away phrase, but Ball truly has it.