Cincinnati Bengals 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Week 1: 7 Rounds
Cincinnati Bengals Seven-Round Mock Draft
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off of two consecutive trips to the NFL Playoffs, and with a young team flush with talent, are looking to take even further strides in 2013. In order to do this, they will need to continue to add good players to the roster, solidifying the team's depth at some positions, or strengthening a weak spot in other cases.
The consistently good teams in the league build their roster, not through high-priced free agents, but through the NFL Draft. The Bengals have done just that over the past several years, picking wisely, and putting together a formidable group of players that have become annual contenders. This year's draft will be important for keeping the momentum going.
The Bengals are expected to address linebacker, safety and running back in this draft, as those are the three biggest weaknesses. However, as of right now, right tackle Andre Smith is also a free agent. If he isn't brought back, tackle is suddenly a very big need as well. Wide receiver is another position that could be upgraded if the right player is available. The key for Cincinnati is to get guys that will help them win, no matter the position. Drafting players at positions of need is nice, but taking the best player available is a strategy that has worked for the elite team for years. The Bengals have an extra pick early in this draft thanks to the Carson Palmer trade, and need to make the most out of it if they want to continue their run of success. Here is one potential draft haul for the Bengals.
First Round: Jonathan Cyprien, Safety, Florida International
The Bengals have been searching for a long-term solution at safety for a few years now and Jonathan Cyprien could bring an end to the search. Able to cover the whole field, and with nice instincts, he could take over for Chris Crocker and team with Reggie Nelson to form a dynamic safety tandem, one that dominates for years to come.
Round Two (A): Robert Woods, WR, USC
Cincinnati added two wide receivers in last year's draft, but Robert Woods is such a talent that if he's available, they might not be able to pass him up. Woods was a bit overshadowed this past season, but he's got size, speed and incredible hands. His route-running is also elite and he would be a steal in the 2nd round.
Rounds Two (B): Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
As of now, starting right tackle Andre Smith remains unsigned. Add left tackle Andrew Whitworth's age as a factor and the Bengals need to start adding depth on the line. Menelik Watson could be an option if he's still available with this pick. An athletic big man who could start on either side, he'd be an alternative if Smith isn't brought back.
Round Three: Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
One of the weaknesses of the offense of the Bengals last season was the lack of a breakaway threat at running back. Joseph Randle changes that immediately. Bringing an uncanny quickness and burst, he would be a homerun threat every time he touched the ball. He's also an adequate blocker and a good receiver. He makes the offense much scarier.
Round Four: Tharold Simon, CB, LSU
The Bengals have several free agents at the cornerback position and might not be able to bring all of them back. They used a 1st round pick last season on Dre Kirkpatrick, but depth could be an issue. Tharold Simon is a big raw corner who has the talent, with some good coaching, to be a contributor in the secondary in a few years.
Round Five: DeVonte Holloman, LB, South Carolina
Linebacker is another position where depth could be a concern. If the Bengals don't take one of the top guys early in the draft, DeVonte Holloman could be an option in the later rounds. Holloman is a versatile player who can excel in coverage, being a former safety. He has good value at this point in the draft.
Round Six (A): Vince Williams, LB, Florida State
Vince Williams is another player that could be brought in for LB depth. He has upside, bringing speed and a nose for the ball with him to the NFL. He's a hard hitter and will be a quality backup and spot starter. He could also develop into a starter with a few years worth of hard work.
Round Six (B): Onterio McCalebb, RB, Auburn
Onterio McCalebb brings one thing to the Bengals: speed. Too small to be an every-down back, the diminutive RB will be a toy to use creatively in the offense and on special teams as a dangerous return man. He will be an injury risk with his small size, but he'll be lethal with the ball in space.