The NFL draft is just a week away and there are still many different directions the Cincinnati Bengals can take. The biggest need still is in the secondary, and luckily for the Bengals there are several quality safeties that should be available.
But safety isn’t the only need. The Bengals played footsie with James Harrison for the past week, but so far nothing has come of it. As a result, selecting a linebacker is still on the table. And Andre Smith remains unsigned, meaning the team could go with a tackle.
What follows is my prediction for who the Bengals are going to take with their 10 picks in the seven rounds.
Let’s take a look.
The Bengals’ biggest need is safety, and Kenny Vaccaro is the best one in the draft. If Vaccaro goes earlier than the Bengals at No. 21, look for the team to possibly go with Florida’s Matt Elam.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bengals go with a receiver, a tackle or even a running back. But I’m betting they go safety.
(Previous pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas)
The Bengals appear not to 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, the team will grab him.
(Previous pick: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State)
The Bengals need a second back to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis. 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, someone who is strong and dependable and who can carry the load.
(Previous pick: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama)
The Bengals will pick up a wide receiver sooner rather than later. 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: Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech)
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: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU)
The Bengals’ linebackers underachieved all season long. 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)
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)
Holloman is an incredibly big and athletic player who could provide depth at the linebacker 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)
Riddick is projected by several mock drafts to slide down to the later rounds, and he could be a steal. He has been a force on the national runner-up Irish and comes into the league with momentum.
(Previous pick: Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame)
The late rounds are usually reserved for depth and special teams. The Bengals pick up a solid linebacker to end their draft.
(Previous pick: Michael Clay, LB, Oregon)