I can be seen critiquing mock drafts all the time around here and criticizing the maker's Bengals picks. Instead of doing a full mock, I just want to focus on the Bengals because I don't know enough of the prospects to make one on my own.
Round 1: Patrick Peterson, FS/CB, LSU
It's no secret that I want Fairley, but he probably won't fall. Peterson would be a very good consolation prize, though. He is a freak of nature and his size makes him a guy who should be able to tear it up at FS in the NFL. The Bengals are in a division where every other team either has a dominant Safety or a Safety with great potential (Reed, Polamalu and TJ Ward are all in the AFC North) and having an impact Safety is becoming a must. Peterson could either be that guy for us or he could be an insurance plan if Jonathan Joseph walks in free agency. Peterson has done an excellent job at CB in college. Mike Zimmer loves having two lockdown corners to add flexibility to his playbook. If Joseph walks we will need another great CB, and Peterson could very possibly be that guy for us as well. With his freakish athleticism and great size, there WILL be a spot for him on the defense; he can find a home at FS or CB.Round 2: Marcus Cannon, OT/OG, TCU
Ah, Marcus Cannon... the man crush of CByers and I, and an ideal second round pick. It would be amazing to have a 360 pound behemoth anchoring the line, and Cannon could truly take our run blocking to the next level.. He is a freak of nature who could easily be moved inside to Guard or could be a backup plan at Tackle if
Lard Tits Andre Smith doesn't pan out. I find him to be an absolutely ideal second round pick and a guy who could help us compete with the huge, powerful defensive fronts of the Steelers and Ravens. We have a hole at Guard, but it could be filled with Cannon and there's nothing wrong with him as a backup plan should Andre Smith not work out.
Round 3: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
This is where it's time to take advantage of the North Carolina players' ineligibility. Austin is a monster who could easily fall this far, having not played in a year. He isn't as great of a prospect of Quinn so he could definitely fall to this spot, where he'd be a great value pick. If Fairley doesn't fall to us in round 1, Austin could provide a small consolation because he can be our next powerful DT. Him and Cannon could really improve the trenches on both sides, which is a huge priority in this draft. If Austin slips this far and the DT problem hasn't yet been addressed, the Bengals will almost surely grab him.
Round 4: Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
Greg Little is a 6'3, 220 pound receiver who could be a nice pickup to eventually play across from Jerome Simpson. I have been very critical of people who give the Bengals AJ Green because he could take playing time away from Jerome Simpson (who only seems to fit at the X position) but Little is a guy who could help out. He was another suspended UNC player (2 in a row for us!) but he can make an impact. He played his first two seasons as a RB, so he is very good at getting yards after the catch. His receiver skills were not polished the last time we saw him play, but he has had a year to work on that. He was projected as a first or second round talent but fell because of his suspension. This would be a good value pick in round 4.
Andy Dalton, QB, TCU This may be a controversial pick, but why not? We need a successor to Carson Palmer and he could be that guy. After addressing WR with our 4th rounder, it would make sense to get someone who has a shot at being the QB of the future with the 5th rounder. That way Palmer (who some say is weak mentally) doesn't have to worry about an NFL-ready QB looking over his shoulder, but we also have a talented guy who could help out in the future. I see this as a situation where everybody wins. Dalton has talent. He also showed that he can take on big defenses when he led TCU to a victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. He may or may not fall this far, but if he does I'd like to have him. (If I'm getting his stock way wrong and he's supposed to be picked much higher, please tell me.)
Okay, so there's no way Dalton falls to the 5th. This pick, if it's a QB, would probably be Kaepernick.
Round 6: no pick
Round 7: Allen Bradford, RB, USC
This is a guy that I give full credit to CByers for showing to me. I hadn't heard a ton about him because I don't get many chances to watch west coast games out here in Cincy, but Bradford averaged 7.4 YPC in his senior year. After checking out his highlights, I'm impressed. I feel like he has a very nice balance of power and speed. He isn't the most polished runner, but that can be fixed. If we resign Cedric Benson, Bradford would be buried on the depth chart behind Benson and Bernard Scott early on, but that's not something I'm worried about; there's nothing wrong with making a 7th rounder work his way up. He would get the ball sparingly early on and then, as Benson wears out, become the feature back. I'm of the belief that you can make a late-round guy a great RB with good blocking. We need a new RB soon and instead of wasting an early round pick on a sexy name, I'd like to pick up a workhorse later on.