In SB Nation's latest mock draft, put together by Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar, the Bengals used their No. 21 overall pick on Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien.
I'm still under the assumption that the Bengals get a deal done with Andre Smith. If not, this pick becomes D.J. Fluker. That leaves Cincinnati open to go after Cyprien, a talented safety prospect that can run and hit. Another wide receiver or a running back could get some consideration with this choice, but Cyprien could have a bigger impact on the team.
It's clear that if the Bengals are unable to re-sign Andre Smith, they'll have to draft a right tackle to replace him and the obvious candidate would be fellow Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker.
However, if they can re-sign Smith, they will be able to worry about filling holes that existed in the 2012 season. One of those holes was at strong safety. The Bengals used aging veteran Chris Crocker, now an unrestricted free agent, as a stop gap in 2012 and are looking for the future of the position.
Both Cyprien and Kenny Vaccaro, considered the top safety in the draft, have been linked to the Bengals. Vaccaro has been going earlier and earlier in recent mock drafts leaving Cyprien or a linebacker for the Bengals at No. 21.
The big thing between now and the draft is Smith. Good teams can't remain good if they allow their best free agents to leave for greener pastures. Smith and the team may be far apart on a deal right now, but they have time to come together and hammer something out. If they do, the Bengals will be in much better position during the draft in late april.
For the complete first-round mock, go here.