After it once looked as though Alabama safety Landon Collins was a lock for the top 15 picks of this year's draft, it now looks like there's a real possibility he falls to Cincinnati at 21.
Well, at least if you listen to the many mock drafts across the internet. Scott Wright of Draft Countdown is the latest to have the Bengals going with Collins in his latest mock, but could see an offensive tackle going here as well:
The Crimson Tide know a thing or two when it comes to pass defense, producing a first rounder from their secondary in four of the past five years including the last three in a row. Landon Collins will follow in the footsteps of Kareem Jackson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dee Milliner and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
An all-around performer, Collins is physical, aggressive and likes to hit but is also athletic enough to make impact plays in coverage. Collins is exactly the type of versatile playmaker that NFL teams are looking for at the safety position these days and should be a hot commodity on Draft Day.
It's also time to think about the future at offensive tackle since Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are entering the final year of their respective contracts. Blockers in the mix include Andrus Peat of Stanford, Ereck Flowers of Miami (FL), D.J. Humphries of Florida, La’el Collins of L.S.U. and T.J. Clemmings of Pitt.
As for his second-round pick for Cincinnati, Wright has Texas A&M offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi as the pick, saying, "Arguably a Top 10 talent but slides due to inconsistent senior campaign and major knee injury."
Ogbuehi was once viewed as a sure-fired first-round prospect, but he regressed this past season before tearing his ACL in the Aggies' bowl game. Even with a full offseason to recover, no one is likely taking a chance on him in the first round, and even taking him here might be a reach. Because he won't have to play as a rookie though, it probably won't deter the Bengals from drafting him, and he'd essentially be in for a redshirt year in 2015.
As for the third round, Wright has the Bengals taking Fresno State safety Derron Smith, saying, "Lacks prototypical size and has some durability concerns but is equal parts fast and aggressive."
I'm not really sure how he has the Bengals taking two safeties in the first three rounds. But, this may be a good pick if Cincinnati misses out on Landon Collins in the first round. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein does has Smith rated as a "2nd or 3rd-round pick" while comparing him to Chargers safety Marcus Gilchrist:
Lacks ideal size for the position, but checks off just about every other box teams will be looking for. Smith's ability to match up in space against slot receivers and his willingness to get downhill and tackle will be coveted. Smith must learn to play under control as a tackler, but he should have a shot to come in and compete for a starting-safety or slot-corner job quickly.