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Bengals mock draft 2017: Reuben Foster the favorite for No. 9

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Mock drafters continue to peg Foster to the Bengals in Round 1.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another mock draft pegging Reuben Foster to the Bengals.

The latest offering from SB Nation once again has Foster landing in Cincinnati with the No. 9 pick, which has become the heavy favorite to happen heading into the draft.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama

At some point when the fascination for the Bengals at the No. 9 pick became a wide receiver or a pass rusher, it was forgotten they could still use a middle linebacker. Foster should still be in play for the Bengals. He can replace Rey Maualuga and give the Bengals a linebacker with range.

While you may think the Kevin Minter signing prevents this from happening, Minter is only here on a one-year deal, so the Bengals should not alter the Bengals’ draft plans in a big (or any) way.

If anything, the only impact that signing Minter should have on the Bengals’ offseason plans is that it gives the Bengals more reason to cut Rey Maualuga, who is on the final year of his deal anyhow.

Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but regardless, if Foster is the best player available at No. 9, Cincinnati should take him. He’s too good of a prospect to pass on just because you have Minter and/or Maualuga for one more year. Foster is the kind of guy who could be a star for the next 8-10 years, long after Minter and Maualuga are gone from the Bengals and NFL.

Sticking to the Foster-Bengals theme, SB Nation also did an analysis on which prospects are getting mocked to NFL teams the most thus far. you’ll be shocked to hear Foster is the guy who most often lands in Cincinnati.

And frankly, the percentage for Foster should probably be higher since Corey Davis and Mike Williams likely won’t be the pick. Wide receiver is not a top need, and neither of those guys appear to be worthy of the No. 9 pick.

You can probably also cross Solomon Thomas off too. He’d be a home-run get at No. 9, but it’s looking more and more like he’ll be off the board by then, possibly as high as No. 2 to the 49ers.

Derek Barnett is a great pass-rusher, but it’s hard to see the Bengals using a top-10 pick on a 6-foot-3, 259-pound guy who looks more like a 3-4 outside backer in the NFL.

It would be a major surprise if Jonathan Allen is still on the board there, but he’d be a great get for the Bengals.

In other words, this pie chart might as well be Foster getting 50-70 percent of the votes, and then ‘the field’ being the only other option.