The Bengals continued their streak of stellar drafts in 2012 and look to repeat in 2013.
The 2013 NFL Draft is set to begin on Thursday, April 25 which is now only a month and a half away. All 32 NFL teams have now comprised a big board listing all prospects in order due to the value they would bring to the team.
The Bengals have had some very solid drafts over the last few years by letting the draft flow to them and selecting their best player available (BPA) from their big board.
Over the next slides, we will take a look at what the Bengals big board could potentially look like at this time.
Based on positional strength, player ability and team needs, we will delve into the Bengals top 15 players overall and also break down the top prospects at each position. Later, we will take a look at some late round sleepers that could provide great value to Cincinnati.
There are plenty of options for the Bengals in the 2013 draft due to different team needs. There is not one position that is an absolute necessity but plenty that they can use to bolster a talented, young team. This is a great position to be in heading into a draft.
Earlier this offseason, head coach Marvin Lewis made it very clear that every position was open during the draft aside from starting quarterback. More than likely, due to selecting two last year, the Bengals will also stay away from wide receivers early. Finally, with the selection of Orson Charles last year to pair with Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati will not be looking for a tight end either.
These aforementioned positions will not be listed in the following slides due to the lack of need for the Bengals organization.
Be sure to check in each afternoon for updates and player movement on the big board after events such as pro days and free-agent signings.
All stats and player information via CBSSports.com
Jarvis Jones should top the Bengals' big board with his athleticism at the linebacker position.
The Bengals top 15 overall players will be where the big board begins. These players are strategically ranked to determine the BPA during their selection. Based on game film, pure talent, interviews, athleticism and the overall need for the position, this top 15 has been determined.
1. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
At 6'2", 245 pounds, Jones is an absolute force at the linebacker position. He can play both inside and outside and has the strength to take on any larger opponent on the offensive side of the ball. An immediate starter and game changer, Jones would be a great addition to a young linebacker corps.
2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel (6'6", 306 lbs) is a dominating force at left tackle. He is easily the most complete offensive lineman in the draft. He could easily play either tackle spot which makes it ideal for Cincinnati due to the possibility of losing Andre Smith in free agency.
3. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Milliner, who stands at 6'0" and weighs in at 201 pounds, is the former counterpart of current Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. The Bengals are thin at the position at the moment, and Milliner possesses great size and speed to stick with the best NFL receivers. Players of this caliber are tough to come by at the cornerback position.
4. Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
At 6'7", 306 pounds, Fisher is very similar to Joeckel. He also has the ability to play both guard spots and excels in run support as well as pass protection. With the current question marks along the Bengals offensive line, Fisher is another player that could come in and start from the beginning.
5. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
An absolute force at defensive tackle, the 6'2", 311-pound Lotulelei can play both of the inside defensive line positions. This would make his combination with Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins an absolute nightmare for offensive lines. The already stacked Bengals defensive line would get an even greater boost with this addition.
6. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd is a very athletic 6'3", 297-pound defensive lineman that can either play 3-4 defensive end or 4-3 defensive tackle. He has a very strong frame which allows him to use his strong arms to chop offensive linemen. He can also make himself thin and squeeze though gaps and penetrate into the backfield.
7. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Warmack (6'2", 317 lbs), is a shorter yet very thick interior lineman. With the Bengals searching for an answer at left guard, Warmack would be a plug-and-play type lineman—similar to last year's first round selection, right guard Kevin Zeitler. With Warmack, the Bengals offensive guard position would be shored up for a long time.
8. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Vaccaro, at 6'0", 214 pounds, would finally shore up the strong safety position once and for all in Cincinnati. The Bengals struggled to find a player to start opposite Reggie Nelson last year. Four different players started and each had fairly poor results. Vaccaro has great agility and can play sideline-to-sideline very well. He would certainly be slated as a starter immediately.
9. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
At 6'4", 241 pounds, Mingo is a very lean and strong defensive end. He is explosive off the snap and does not mind contact despite being built in a slighter manner than most defensive ends. He does, however, possess great strength and can wrap up ball carriers in the open field. He would be a great addition to an already explosive defensive line rotation in Cincinnati.
10. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.
Werner stands at 6'3" and weighs 266 pounds and uses his great frame and strength to bully offensive linemen back on their heels. Great against the run and the pass.
Update: Werner will hold stong at the 10 spot even though the Bengals re-signed Robert Geathers to a three-year contract on Tuesday. He could still be a valuable understudy to the veteran.
11. Lane Johnson, LT, Oklahoma
At 6'6", 303 pounds, Johnson is a very capable starter at left tackle at the next level. With current left tackle Andrew Whitworth struggling through injuries, he could be a great fit to replace Whitworth when the time is right.
12. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah is a large defensive end at 6'5", 271 pounds. He has great speed and athleticism along with great vision that allows him to find the ball carrier in the backfield. He struggles with a lack of stamina, but in the Bengals defensive end rotation, he could be an excellent fit.
13. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Richardson is 6'2", 294 pounds and has extremely light feet for a player of his size. He is able to twist inside to get the edge on offensive linemen and uses his speed to chase down ball carriers from behind. This is another defensive tackle that would make a monstrous pairing with Atkins.
14. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
At 6'2", 311 pounds, Cooper is a very athletic guard that is able to pull very well in the running game. He also has a very strong lower frame which allows him to sustain impact from opposing defensive tackles. He is very difficult to get past while blitzing due to his quickness and great vision.
15. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Ogletree is a fearsome linebacker at 6'2", 242 pounds. He plays with vicious tenacity and does not shy away from contact. He can play both outside and inside linebacker and would make a great pairing with Vontaze Burfict. His stock dipped slightly after a DUI, but it should not knock him out of the first round.
Eddie Lacy looks to be the top running back prospect in this year's draft.
1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama, Round 1
Lacy at 6'0", 220 pounds is the top prospect at the running back position in this year's draft. He is not only elusive but finishes his runs with authority. He maintains a patented spin-move that has caused defenders trouble in the past. He would be a great addition to the Cincinnati backfield and could take over as the primary back in the near future.
Update: Lacy did not work out during the Alabama pro day as he is still nursing a hamstring injury. However, this is not enough to remove him from the top position.
2. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, Round 2
Bernard stands at 5'10" and weighs 205 pounds. He is not a prototypical every-down back, but can provide explosive change of pace. Possibly the most electrifying running back in this draft class, he is elusive in the open field and rarely gets caught from behind. He also has great hands and can contribute frequently in the passing game.
3. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State, Round 2
Another very shifty running back, Randle weighs in at 6'0", 204 pounds. He is a strong and explosive runner. Rushing for over 1,100 yards for Oklahoma State and scoring 14 touchdowns, he was one of the biggest playmakers on a very high-powered offense.
Update: Randle will hold strong at the three spot after his pro day. He bested his combine 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuttle at Oklahoma State's pro day. He may have increased his stock slightly with his performance.
4. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, Round 2
At 5'10", 205 pounds, Franklin is exactly what the Bengals are looking for in this year's draft. He would come in and have an immediate impact alongside BenJarvus Green-Ellis as a change-of-pace back. With great agility, Franklin can shift from sideline-to-sideline with ease and use the entire field to his advantage to break big runs.
5. Andre Ellington, Clemson, Round 3
Ellington only stands at 5'10" and weighs 199 pounds. He does not have the size to one day become an every-down back but can easily maintain a role as a change-of-pace back. If the Bengals are committed to spelling a workhorse back, Ellington would be a great fit in the offensive scheme.
Luke Joeckel is one of the best offensive tackle prospects to enter the draft in the past several years.
1. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, Round 1
Joeckel is the prototypical prospect at tackle and has scouts across the NFL starstruck with his athletic ability and high ceiling. He could easily be the top selection in this year's draft.
2. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, Round 1
Fisher has practically the same attributes as Joeckel and has recently skyrocketed up draft boards. Easily a top-five prospect, Fisher will make an immediate impact on an NFL offensive line.
3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma, Round 1
Yet another great prospect at the tackle position, Johnson comes in ranked third at his position. He is solidified as a left tackle, which is why he is not graded quite as high as the two aforementioned players.
4. D.J. Fluker, Alabama, Round 1
Fluker is an interesting prospect in this year's draft. He is an absolute force on the offensive line and has decent athletic ability for his size. However, at 6'5", 339 pounds, scouts must wonder if he will have the same weight issues as Andre Smith early in his career.
5. Kyle Long, Oregon, Round 2
At 6'6", 313 pounds, Long is a very athletic tackle. He has great durability and stamina after playing quickly in a fast-paced Oregon offense. He should do very well at the next level on an offense that likes to run the no-huddle.
Chance Warmack is the top prospect at the guard position this year.
1. Chance Warmack, Alabama, Round 1
Warmack is an instant plug-and-play guard that can bolster the interior of an offensive line immediately. Look for him to be the first guard off the board—most likely a top-10 selection.
Update: Warmack had a very solid workout at his March 13th pro day at Alabama. He has only bolstered his stock even more and will easily be the first interior lineman taken in the 2013 draft.
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina, Round 1
Cooper is the only other guard in this year's draft class with a first round grade. He is very steady at the position and shows great awareness. He, like Warmack, will be an instant plug-and-play starter.
3. Larry Warford, Kentucky, Round 2
One of the largest guards in the draft, Warford weighs in at 332 pounds and only stands at 6'3". This height to weight ratio may be troublesome to some teams, but if it is kept under control, he could be a great anchor against a nose tackle.
4. Justin Pugh, Syracuse, Round 3
On his pro day, Pugh pumped 22 reps of 225 pounds which showed scouts that he is recovering nicely from his shoulder surgery. This is good enough to get him inside the top five at the moment.
5. Brian Winters, Kent State, Round 3
Winters drew great attention during his pro day in which 24 NFL teams were present. There seems to be growing hype around this guard which has pushed him into the top five at his position.
This is a very thin draft at the center position, but Alabama's Barrett Jones leads the way.
1. Barrett Jones, Alabama, Round 2
Jones probably would have gone higher than his current round two grade, however, he played in the National Championship Game with torn ligaments in his foot. He was unable to participate in most combine drills and will still be limited at his pro day.
Update: After his pro day, Jones was not sure where he stood in the eyes of the NFL scouts present at the workout. He still should be the top center taken this year, but his draft stock is unstable.
2. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin, Round 2
Frederick anchored a great Wisconsin offensive line that allowed running back Montee Ball to rack up huge gains throughout his collegiate career. Frederick will be seen as a typical hard-nosed Wisconsin lineman which will allow him to be selected by the second round.
3. Brian Schwenke, California, Round 3
Schwenke really helped his draft stock after a great showing at the Senior Bowl. He was seen as being able to take on larger defenders than scouts once thought he could handle. After solid workouts his draft stock is rising slightly.
Update: Schwenke did not participate in drills at his pro day, electing to stand by his combine numbers. His draft stock seems firmly in place, however, due to a thin class at the center position.
Due to the lack of depth at the center position in this year's draft, these are the only three players that have received higher than a fourth-round grade.
Star Lotulelei is the favorite at the defensive tackle position heading in to April's draft.
1. Star Lotulelei, Utah, Round 1
Still projected as a first round selection, Lotulelei was diagnosed with a heart condition recently. He is seeking a second opinion but still plans to fully participate on his March 20 pro day. If he is able to be full-go, he should be worthy of a top-10 pick.
2. Sharrif Floyd, Florida, Round 1
Floyd is a very versatile defensive tackle that can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. This may increase his draft stock into the realm of Lotulelei. Depending on certain team needs, he could be a top-10 selection as well.
Update: Floyd say out Florida's pro day with an ankle injury. This is not enough to move him out of the second spot after previous workouts.
3. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, Round 1
On Richardson's pro day, he impressed scouts by increasing his 40-yard dash time from his 5.02 combine time to the tune of 4.71. After an impressive workout, Richardson has practically solidified himself as a first round selection.
4. Kawann Short, Purdue, Round 1
Short did not work out at Purdue's pro day as he was nursing a hamstring injury. He will work out at a personal pro day at Purdue on March 26. He is noted as another first round candidate for the 2013 draft—a great pro day could see him climb into the top half of the first round.
5. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State, Round 2
Hankins is a larger tackle weighing 320 pounds. He has great athleticism for his size but has been known to run out of gas later in games. He would be best suited for a defensive scheme that allows for rotation.
Barkevious Mingo is one of the fastest defensive linemen in this year's draft class and the top defensive end prospect.
1. Barkevious Mingo, LSU, Round 1
Even though Mingo is being worked out as a linebacker due to his straight-line speed, his natural position is defensive end. Mingo has been adding weight because he would like to retain the same position. Still, he is the top defensive end prospect in the draft this year, and his professional position will be determined by the team that drafts him.
2. Bjoern Werner, Florida, Round 1
If Werner has more experience, he could easily be a top-five selection. However, he is seen as a great prospect with a very high ceiling. He should go in the top half of the first round to a team looking for a great pass rusher.
3. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU, Round 1
Ansah is a very interesting prospect. He is lightning fast for a man of his size and stature and has a knack for getting in the backfield. However, he is not strong with his arms and lacks the technique to chop blockers away. His ceiling is very high with the right coaching staff working with him.
4. Dion Jordan, Oregon, Round 1
Jordan is 6'6" and 248 pounds—he ran a 4.6 second 40-yard dash at the combine. His speed and athleticism for his size is outstanding. He recently had surgery on his right shoulder that did not allow him to use the bench press. The surgery hurt his stock slightly but will be a first round selection.
5. Datone Jones, UCLA, Round 1
Jones is 6'4" and a very solid 280 pounds. He has the ability to play both left and right defensive end. With defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's love of pass rushers, Jones could definitely be a possibility for the Bengals at pick 21.
Jarvis Jones tops the Bengals big board and also the linebacker prospects in this year's class.
1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia, Round 1
Jones is projected to be a top-half selection in the first round of this year's draft. He would certainly be a great addition in Cincinnati, but the Bengals would have to trade up for his services. Jones should certainly become a very good linebacker at the NFL level.
2. Alec Ogletree, Georgia, Round 1
It is very rare that the top two linebacker prospects in a draft come from the same school, but that happens to be the case here. Ogletree may be around when the Bengals pick at 21 overall due to his DUI earlier this offseason. However, if he has a great pro day, his stock could rise up very quickly once again.
3. Arthur Brown, Kansas State, Round 1
Brown has great physicality and is a prime example of a stack and shed linebacker. He has a great base that allows him to get great leverage and rip through an offensive line. Brown is another linebacker that could be hovering around by the time the Bengals are on the clock and would be a great addition to a thin linebacker corps.
Update: Per Matt Miller, Brown looked good at his pro day on March 12th. He was able to bench and answered questions about his shoulder. This should solidify him as a first round prospect.
4. Kevin Minter, LSU, Round 1
At 6'0", 246 pounds, Minter is not a typical inside linebacker at the NFL level. He also does not have the type of speed to allow him to make an easy switch to the outside. He does, however, have great instincts and is a smart player. He will need the right coaching staff to guide him into his NFL position.
5. Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, Round 1
During his senior season, many thought Te'o would be a top-10 pick. However, after a terrible showing in the title game, a poor combine and some off the field issues, his stock has dropped quickly. He will most likely still go in the first round, but it will be late.
Dee Milliner highlights this year's cornerback draft class.
1. Dee Milliner, Alabama, Round 1
Milliner is built like a prototypical NFL cornerback. He certainly helped his case by running a blazing 4.37 40-yard dash at the combine. With his great play on the field and his strong workouts, Milliner is a lock for a top-five selection in the draft.
Update: Milliner did not work out at his pro day due to injury, but this will in no way affect his draft stock.
2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, Round 1
Rhodes is a very physical corner that uses all of his 6'2", 210-pound frame. He loves to jam wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and knock them off their routes. He has nice speed for his size—he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine—and has great hands. Rhodes will be selected in the top half of the first round.
3. Desmond Trufant, Washington, Round 1
Trufant is the type of corner that Mike Zimmer loves. He is not afraid to get dirty and is always willing to help in run support. He has great closing speed and it showed after his blazing 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine. At 6'0", 190 pounds, he fits the mold of an NFL corner. Trufant should be available at the 21st overall selection if he is considered Cincinnati's BPA at that point.
4. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, Round 2
Banks did himself a huge favor in his pro day. He ran a slightly faster 40-yard dash and above all, looked great in positional workouts. That may be enough for him to climb back into the first round, but he will likely be a second round candidate.
5. Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Round 2
Taylor was a large reason why the Boise State defense had the fourth-ranked pass defense in 2012. He is a very instinctive player and has great speed for his position—he ran a 4.39 second 40-yard dash at the combine. If the Bengals are searching for a cornerback in the second round, Taylor could certainly be their guy.
Kenny Vaccaro continues to impress scouts and is the clear-cut top safety in this year's draft.
1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas, Round 1
Vaccaro has been impressive throughout his final season with the Longhorns and also in his workouts at the combine. He should certainly be a top-half pick in the first round of the draft. It is looking like the Bengals would have to trade up if they would like to add this top-notch safety to their roster.
2. Matt Elam, Florida, Round 2
There is a large drop off from Vaccaro to the rest of the safety class this year. However, Elam comes as a nice consolation prize. He stands at only 5'10" and weighs 208 pounds, but he plays with a great amount of physicality. To sweeten the deal, he is very instinctive and quick to cover ground. Elam would certainly be a huge upgrade for the Bengals if they choose him with their early second round pick.
Update: Bengals secondary coach Mark Carrier was at the Florida pro day to watch Elam. This could prove to link the Bengals to this player in the early second round.
3. Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International, Round 2
Cyprien has been an incredible story this year. Coming out of a small school, his tremendous athletic ability and work ethic have made him stand out. He continues to impress after a very strong showing at the Senior Bowl and again at the combine and his pro day. All 32 NFL teams were present at his workouts this past Thursday at his pro day.
4. Eric Reid, LSU, Round 2
Reid is a very athletic safety that has great downfield vision. He is very well known for his bone-crushing hits from the free safety position. He has a perfect build for the safety position at the NFL level. One drawback is that he does not have long speed to allow him to close quickly on a deep ball.
5. Phillip Thomas, Fresno State, Round 3
Thomas has similar characteristics as Reid at the safety position. He has a great build and great vision, but many scouts are concerned with his straight-line speed. Thomas did impress during the Senior Bowl which boosted his draft stock. He will need to continue to impress in workouts if he wants to squeeze into the second round.
Mike Gillislee could be a diamond in the rough as a fourth round change of pace back.
There are always gems waiting out there in the draft and every team hopes to strike gold. The Bengals have absolutely done so in the past—Geno Atkins rings a bell.
These are the top five sleepers that the Bengals should look for during rounds four through seven.
1. Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida, Round 4
Gillislee may not be an every-down back at the NFL level but certainly provides the much needed change of pace that the Bengals are looking for. He is not only explosive in the running game but has great hands and is an above average pass protector as well. He could certainly be a very valuable selection at this point of the draft.
2. Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri, Round 4
Gooden could be the answer to the Bengals weak side linebacker question with Burfict seemingly moving to the middle and Thomas Howard still unsigned. A great athlete, Gooden has a great frame and is very explosive in a straight line—perfect for a weak side linebacker. It is his natural position and he may be able to come in and contribute immediately.
3. Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon, Round 5
Mellette has great size for an NFL receiver—6'3", 217 pounds. He has great hands and has shown his ability to create a large catch radius. He does not have blazing speed but would be a very reliable possession receiver. The Bengals are thin at the position right now and could groom Mellette to be a reliable contributor down the road.
4. Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard, Round 5
Juszczyk has great size as a West Coast NFL full back. He stands at 6'1" and weighs 248 pounds. He is a great lead blocker that has the strength to de-cleat defenders. What makes him special is the fact that he is able to get involved in the passing game as well. He has very soft hands and led Harvard with 52 receptions during his senior year.
5. Patrick Lonergan, C, LSU, Round 6
Lonergan has perfect size for the Cincinnati offensive line. He checks in at 6'3", 308 pounds. He is thick enough to take on large nose tackles, yet not overwhelmingly tall when in front of Andy Dalton. A good athlete, but raw. He will need to be coached up to the position but could turn into a starter in the future.