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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals Select RT Menelik Watson At 21

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In Pete Prisco's latest mock draft, the Bengals select offensive tackle Menelik Watson to replace Andre Smith. Which leaves me scratching my head in frustrated bemusement.


Looking at recent mock drafts for the Bengals, one might almost think Andre Smith was already wearing another team's uniform. While it's true that mock drafts essentially serve the purpose of identifying needs and then potential players to fill those needs, many of them are beginning to smack of laziness.

Take Pete Prisco's latest mock draft for example. According to the CBSSports analyst, the Bengals will be selecting offensive tackle Menelik Watson with their 21st pick in the draft. And why will the Bengals be doing this, you ask?

They haven't re-signed Andre Smith yet, so we put a replacement in here.

Gripping stuff.

I get it. Andre Smith remains an unknown. Until he signs a new contract with the Bengals, they must operate under the assumption that right tackle is one of their biggest needs in the draft. But show a little effort, for goodness sake.

Watson is an extremely raw prospect with only two years of football experience under his belt. Originally hailing from Manchester, England, he grew up playing basketball before switching briefly to boxing and then finally football. This begs the question, how motivated will he be to play a sport he's only played for two seasons? Moreover, Watson was billed as an athletic prospect with tremendous upside, but his combine performance ranked him near the bottom in most categories.

So let's review.

Why is Andre Smith facing a lukewarm market? Because of his off-the-field concerns. Namely weight issues and a pending charge for bringing a handgun to an airport. So then why would the Bengals select Watson to replace him, if Watson himself has a number of off-the-field concerns? Taking Watson would be the very definition of a side-grade (rather than an upgrade). He would offer nothing new to the team except a new round of potential headaches.