Cincinnati Bengals' Mock Draft: Post-Free Agency Predictions for Every Round
The 2013 NFL draft is approaching as rapidly as a runaway freight train, and teams are starting to get their war rooms ready. With the free-agency period over, it’s time to reassess where the Cincinnati Bengals stand.
This is my third mock draft for this year, and while I have several changes at the top, the rest remains the same. The Bengals use of the franchise tag on defensive end Michael Johnson the current delays in re-signing offensive tackle Andre Smith are the biggest contributors to changes this time around.
Let’s take a look at the Bengals’ 10 picks in order.
First Round: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Sam Montgomery’s unfortunate comments have dropped the LSU star's stock a bit, but with the franchising of Michael Johnson, it was unlikely that the Bengals would have gone for a defensive end in the first round anyway.
The Bengals’ biggest need is safety and Vaccaro fits the bill. If Vaccaro goes earlier than the Bengals at 21, look for the team to possibly go with Florida’s Matt Elam.
(Previous pick: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU)
Second Round: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
The Bengals appear to not be close in re-signing Andre Smith and, as a result, will have to pick up a tackle in the draft.
It’s an unfortunate situation because Cincinnati has other needs it could address instead.
Watson has been rising up the charts and may not be available when the Bengals draft early in the second. But if he is there, the team will grab him.
(Previous pick: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee)
Second Round: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The Bengals need a second back to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and the Alabama bruiser could be the answer. This is a very strong draft for running backs, and the Bengals have several options at this spot. But Lacy is their style of back—strong and dependable who can carry the load.
(Previous pick: T.J. McDonald, S, USC)
Third Round: Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
The Bengals will pick up a wide receiver sooner rather than later and Rogers will be the most talented one left in the third. Rogers has some baggage, but his skills will overcome his off-field problems.
(Previous pick: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU)
Fourth Round: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
The Bengals recently agreed to terms with free agent Terence Newman but they still need to upgrade the cornerback position. Mathieu will do that and will also immensely help the return game.
(Previous pick: Braden Hansen, G, BYU)
Fifth Round: Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama
The Bengals’ linebackers underachieved all season long, and although Johnson would not be an instant upgrade, he will certainly help. Cincinnati re-signed Rey Maualuga and Johnson will provide quality depth.
(Previous pick: Nico Johnson, LB, Alabama)
Sixth Round: David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State
The Bengals have issues on the interior line, and the versatile Quessenberry can address those issues. Quessenberry played all three positions at San Jose State and will be able to step in right away at either guard or center.
(Previous pick: David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State)
Sixth Round: DeVonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina
Holloman is an incredibly big, athletic player who could provide depth at the linebacking position. There are some questions about his abilities, but that’s why he has slipped to the sixth round.
(Previous pick: DeVonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina)
Seventh Round: Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame
Riddick is projected by several mock drafts to slide down to the later rounds. If he does so, he could be a late-round steal. He was a force on the national runner-up Irish and comes into the league with momentum.
(Previous pick: Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame)
Seventh Round: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon
The late rounds are usually reserved for depth and special teams. The Bengals pick up a solid linebacker to end their draft.
(Previous pick: New selection, compensation)