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NFL Mock Draft: Bengals 'very high' on Landon Collins at Scouting Combine

Collins is easily the best safety prospect in this year's draft.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals don't have many need in terms of the team they'll field in 2015.

However, they may have several glaring holes on their roster once the 2016 free-agency period begins. That's when as many as 13 starters become free agents, two of whom are safeties.

George Iloka should be a priority to get re-signed, but Reggie Nelson will also be a free agent at age 32. There's a decent chance one or both of them need to be replaced next year, and that's why several mock draft are starting to have the Bengals taking Alabama safety Landon Collins.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King is the latest to peg Collins to the Bengals, and he also provided us with an interesting nugget as to why that was his pick:

Have thought all along Cincinnati would take the best offensive lineman here, and it’s certainly possible. But at the combine, Bengal folk were very high on Collins.

Collins, a Jim Thorpe Award finalist this past season, led Alabama with 103 tackles, three picks and 10 pass defenses in 2014. Collins played both safety spots and started three games at dime back during three seasons at Alabama, and Cincinnati coaches would likely find ways to get him on the field as a rookie.

That versatility might explain why they were high on him at the combine. After all, whether it's on the offensive or defensive line, the secondary or with the linebackers, the Bengals like versatile players.

However, Collins is easily the best safety prospect in this year's draft, and the chances of him falling as far as pick No. 21 aren't great, especially with a safety-needy team like the Eagles sitting there at No. 20. Collins might be a favorite of the Bengals, but they may need to move up to secure his services if they really want him.