The Cincinnati Bengals have had one of the better defenses in the NFL over the last two seasons - it's largely responsible for the team's two consecutive post-season berths - but our friends at Cincy Jungle have been reinforcing the unit all the same in this year's mock draft. Josh Kirkendall explains why below.
|37. Cincinnati Bengals||Alex Okafor, Texas||DE||6'4"||264||SR|
Josh Kirkendall: "Even with four players that surpassed 6.5 quarterback sacks during the 2012 season, there are questions. We’re entering the contract year for Michael Johnson (currently on the franchise tag) and Carlos Dunlap - who has never played a full 16-game schedule - will be entering the final year of his rookie contract, as well. Ideally the Bengals use Okafor in rotation, but specifically inside during nickel situations, receiving a significant number of snaps during the game, mainly during pass rushing scenarios. This gives the Bengals an option for the future, but further solidifies a defensive line that continues to neutralize a league obsessed with throwing the football."
Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:
The Bengals don’t have a ton of pressing needs in the draft. Getting Kenny Vaccaro in the first round fills the biggest need. While running back is an option here, the team can sit on the position until a later pick. With the uncertainty surrounding Dunlap and Johnson, drafting Okafor would be a savvy move. Okafor may not be a dynamic, high-upside pass rusher, but there typically isn’t at this point in the draft.
|22||Damontre Moore||DE||Texas A&M||6'5"||250|
|29||Manti Te'o||LB||Notre Dame||6'1"||241|
|33||Jamie Collins||LB||Southern Miss||6'3"||250|
|1||21||Cincinnati Bengals||Kenny Vaccaro||S||Texas|
|2||37||Cincinnati Bengals||Alex Okafor||DE||Texas|