The second round of the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft rolls along. We're having each SB Nation blogger make selections for their respective teams. Josh Kirkendall, lead blogger of SB Nation's Cincinnati Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle, checks in to make the No. 54 overall selection in this year's mock. Take it away!
With the No. 54 overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois
Josh Kirkendall says: Much of Cincinnati's draft this year will be designed to improve the team's depth chart, unlike the agonizing past of desperately filling the roster with starters. After an offseason in which the Bengals had few players reach free agency, Cincinnati is largely taking their AFC North Champion squad into the NFL Draft. With starters, the Bengals are set. However, across the board, several positions could benefit with an infusion of new and improved talent; even quarterback is expected to be addressed late in the draft.
Another position that could stand a growth in talent and depth is the team's offensive line. However, we're not speaking in generalities here. With Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith figuring as the team's bookend starters, along with two backup tackles in Anthony Collins and Dennis Roland that saw extensive playing time in 2009, the team is all but set at tackle. Even center is solid, with the impressive play of Kyle Cook and last year's fourth round pick Jonathan Luigs sitting behind the starting center. However, the team could still use an upgrade at offensive guard.
After Bobbie Williams signed a two-year deal this offseason, the Bengals satisfied the team's goal of keeping the team's offensive line talent from last year. When his two-year contract expires, Williams will be closing in on 36 years of age. Even though Mathis and Livings were serviceable and decent in 2009, the team could work towards adding overall talent to help protect the living legend, Carson Palmer. Furthermore, after a season in which Cincinnati's offense ran the football 28 times more than passing it, the team needs to continue improving the offensive line if they elect to use the pass more as they've discussed.
By drafting Illinois guard Jon Asamoah, the Bengals can improve the overall talent at left guard. Livings and Mathis, two players that manned left guard, blocked well for running back Cedric Benson. However, the team could clearly bolster Palmer's protection. Even though the sacks against Palmer were down, the pressure was still up and Palmer was forced to deal with a few minor injuries throughout the preseason and regular season. If a guard is drafted high in the NFL Draft, the reality is that he could start as soon as kickoff weekend and the team's passing fortunes, combined with the infusion of talent among their wide receivers, would dramatically increase.
Mocking Dan reacts: As much of a steal as Dez Bryant was in the first round, Asamoah was a reach. Even if the team doesn't need a tight end, a safety like Morgan Burnett would be a good choice.
As for the selection of Asamoah, it's just a personal opinion. I have a couple guards rated higher than Asamoah, but the general consensus is that the Illinois mauler is the second best guard in the draft. If you're a believer of that thought then this is a solid choice.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Rob Gronkowski/TE/Arizona, 2 - Brandon Spikes/LB/Florida, 3 - Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida, 4 - Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois, 5 - Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of New England's selection of Saffold? Please be sure to check out Pats Pulpit for all of your Patriots needs.