It's very tough to predict the first round of the NFL draft; that became apparent on Thursday night. It's even tougher to predict the second round. Predicting whom each team wants from the fourth round on is essentially impossible, but that won't stop me from trying.
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
A torn ACL and a failed drug test at the combine dropped Mettenberger, but his physical talent will make him an appealing addition to the Bengals. He needs to be developed and find greater consistency on the next level.
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Thomas is an exceptional physical talent who needs excellent coaching to develop more consistency.
Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford
Fleming is a very big offensive tackle who too often shows off heavy feet in pass protection. He does have good strength and length with the ability to transition his power as a run blocker, but he needs a lot of work with his technique in pass protection to compensate for his feet.
Telvin Smith, LB, Florida State
Smith is an undersized linebacker who some believe should move to safety. He doesn't really have the range to be a safety, but he is a very athletic linebacker who should excel working the middle of the field. He may be short, but he plays heavy and hard through contact.
Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
Red flags and a relatively underwhelming combine performance dropped Breeland down the board. He is a talented player, but he also comes with some risk. That risk is minimized the further he falls down the board. The Bengals could definitely use a player with his talent.
Wesley Johnson, C, Vanderbilt
Johnson may be too small to handle the big defensive linemen in the AFC North, but there will come a point in the draft where his combination of awareness, intelligence and comfort in space will become appealing to the Bengals.
Seantrel Henderson, T, Tennessee
A failed drug test at the combine has hurt Henderson's stock. He wasn't ever expected to go in the first round and it would have been a reach to select him in the second round, but based on talent he should be a third rounder. Henderson would be a developmental athlete at the left tackle position for the Bengals.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
Kevin Pierre-Louis is a converted safety. He would fit as a weak-side linebacker and complement the rest of the linebacker corps. He needs to bulk up a bit and be more physical working through contact.
Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Colvin is an impressive athlete at the cornerback position who should have gone higher in the draft. However, he tore his ACL during Senior Bowl practice and will likely miss all of his first season in the NFL. The Bengals are the kind of team who can afford to stash a player for a year and reap the rewards of his talent later on.
Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
Lynch is a freakish athlete who needs to be developed before assuming a role in the Cincinnati defense. His technique is very sloppy and inconsistent, and there are also questions about his motor.
Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State
Being too top heavy and having less-than-ideal arm length will hurt Larsen's stock, but he has some talent as a run-blocking center. His quickness, in particular, stands out.
AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
McCarron was a very good college quarterback, but he is not a great pro prospect. He was too reliant on his teammates in college, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the tools to develop into a decent backup, even a starter. As a later pick, he has good value.
Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
The Bengals have a variety of talented receivers who fill different roles behind A.J. Green. If they do lack one thing, it's a big, physical receiver (other than Green) who can consistently win at the catch point.
Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State
Wenning is a very talented passer who started four years in college. As an all-around player, he is wanting, but his throwing ability makes him a somewhat enticing developmental player.