Mock drafts can be a bit tiring, overwhelming, and even irritating. Yet, even for someone like me -- who has expressed continued disgust regarding mock drafts -- there is value in them. If not for an excuse to review the position that a mock draft is addressing, they provide information on a likely top-50 pick. In other words, the actual mock is irrelevant to us. Well, me. What spawns from them is more to our overall point.
Lance Zierlein released his first mock draft of the season, giving Cincinnati Washington outside linebacker Shaq Thompson. He writes that the "Bengals need more speed at the linebacker position, and Thompson provides rare speed and versatility for the position."
Cincinnati, who currently has a safety-turned-linebacker, possesses speed with Emmanuel Lamur. Outside of that, the linebacker position is pretty pedestrian. In addition to that, the questions remain:
- Will Vontaze Burfict return to his 2013 pro bowl form after under going microfracture surgery? We should think that his approach to the offseason will be similar to Geno Atkins' -- all rehabilitation and limited, if any, work toward getting better.
- Will Rey Maualuga get re-signed?
Multiple mock drafts have Cincinnati grabbing Thompson, including Matt Miller (b/r) and NFL Draft Scout's Dane Brugler.