In SB Nation's latest mock draft, the Bengals used their No. 21 overall pick in the first round on a safety. However, that safety isn't Texas' Kenny Vaccaro, the defensive back usually given to the Bengals in the first round. The latest safety to be mocked to the Bengals is Florida International's Jonathan Cyprien.
This pick has typically been a linebacker like Arthur Brown of Kansas State. But the Bengals brought back Rey Maualuga, which might take linebacker out of the discussion in the first round. Right tackle D.J. Fluker has also been a popular choice for Cincinnati, but Andre Smith remains a free agent and is running out of places to sign. So lets assume that Smith returns to the Bengals. If he does, that opens Cincinnati to going after whomever they think is the best safety left on the board. Cyprien would fit nicely next to Reggie Nelson.
Possibly the reason Cyprien was given to the Bengals at No. 21 was because Vaccaro went to the Cowboys at No. 18.
Cyprien is a talented safety and is considered one of the hardest hitters defensive backs in the 2013 draft class. He has enough speed and range to be solid in pass coverage and enough power to play in the box as a pass rusher or in run support. Really, one of the biggest differences between Cyprien and Vaccaro is the fact the Texas product is much more well known.
The Bengals have Reggie Nelson as free safety but have struggled to find a strong safety over the last few years. Players like Taylor Mays and Chris Crocker, among others, but haven't found a long-term answer for the position. The Bengals have somewhat neglected the position in the draft over the last few years. If they use their first-round pick on a safety this year, the team's secondary could be in better shape than it has over the last few years, especially if Dre Kirkpatrick finds his place opposite Leon Hall.