2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cincinnati Bengals 7-Round Projections
Marvin Lewis and the Bengals have their work cut out for them in 2011.
Larry French/Getty Images
The Bengals were the biggest let down in the NFL in 2010. They went out and actively pursued a few different receivers before entering the season. A solid running attack brought the Bengals to the postseason in 2009, but the team all but abandoned the run early on when Cedric Benson had trouble finding his groove. Now the team will part ways with Terrell Owens and likely Chad Ochocinco. Even franchise quarterback Carson Palmer is trying his best to leave, vowing to retire if he isn’t traded.
On the defensive side of the ball the team has a lot of youth, but not enough playmakers. They will move some people around on defense, but need to get more depth and playmaking ability. The secondary features two very good cornerbacks in Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall, but after that the Bengals are in trouble. There is Reggie Nelson and Roy Williams back at safety; however, both are past their prime and on their way out. The Bengals will have to rebuild their team starting with a new quarterback, but they will need to keep the opposing teams out of the end zone too.
The Bengals have a pick in every round, and two in round seven. With all early picks the Bengals should be able to get some of the best players available in each round. They will certainly employ that rationale by the end of the draft when they have picked up positions of need. The Bengals will try to add day one contributors with the first three picks, all of which I think will be on the offensive side of the ball.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 1 Draft Results
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
1.4 (4) A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The Bengals have much bigger needs than wide receiver, like at the quarterback position, but I don’t get the impression any team, let alone the Bengals, thinks very highly of this year’s class. I also don’t think the Bengals are in the position to draft a wide receiver this year considering they will be rebuilding for a few years and could wait on a receiver. The Bengals will take Green because he is a freak athletically. I don’t think Marvin Lewis would have a problem drafting a WR and then letting Ochocinco go, almost poetic justice.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 2 Draft Results
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
2.3 (35) Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
If I am right, and I usually am, the Bengals will wait on a quarterback until the second round. I doubt Jake Locker will still be available at this spot so Mallett should be the selection. Mallett draws physical similarities to Ben Roethlisberger, fitting for an AFC North team. He is big and can take a hit, something he will have to do a lot of in Cincinnati.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 3 Draft Results
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
3.2 (66) Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
I doubt that Ingram, Mikel Leshoure or Ryan Williams will be available when the Bengals finally take a running back in the third round. Cedric Benson should return, and the small yet quick Hunter is great compliment to Benson’s style. His size hurts his stock, but Hunter can play.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 4 Draft Results
4.4 (101) Jaiquawn Jarrett, S, Temple
If Rahim Moore is still available then I guarantee he is gone at the 101st pick, but since he won’t be the Bengals will address a need by taking Jarrett. Jarrett is moving up on a lot of boards because of his intelligence and work ethic. Jarrett is a good pick for the Bengals because he won’t necessarily have to start off at safety. The Bengals could use his intelligence and speed at the nickel corner position.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 5 Draft Results
5.3 (134) David Arkin, OG, Missouri St.
Arkin is a big strong guy that can play multiple positions. His stock has dropped this season because he spent his senior year at left tackle, out of his normal position as a guard. Arkin has all the intangibles to be an everyday starter (he started all 44 games of his college career), and the Bengals will get a solid lineman with a great upside.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 6 Draft Results
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
6.2 (167) Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
This is certainly wishful thinking for the Bengals who need to get tougher on the interior of their line and Fua will bring that. The Bengals really need a defensive tackle to step up and play immediately. The draft is defensive line heavy so they can still take a DT earlier than this, but there are also more pressing needs elsewhere. I doubt Fua drops this low but his stock has been slipping while the stock of others are rising.
NFL Draft Coverage: Cincinnati Bengals Round 7 Draft Results
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
7.4 (207) Mike Mohamed, ILB, Cal
Mohamed needs to add bulk to his frame. His instincts are there so he could compete from day one; however, he will have to take some time working with an NFL team and increase his strength before he can be considered an NFL starter.
7.43 (246) Adam Grant, OT, Arizona
The Bengals will add depth and size with 6’6” Grant.
Nick Sero is a contributor for TheSportsCannon.com, a fantasy sports website specializing in football and baseball. Quit sitting at the bottom of your league’s leaderboard and load up with information from the Sports Cannon.