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2013 NFL mock draft: Kenny Vaccaro to Cincinnati Bengals

Upgrading the safety position could make a good Bengals defense great.


The Cincinnati Bengals have made two straight (albeit brief) playoff appearances thanks in large part to arguably the league's most underrated defense; the team ranked No. 7 in the NFL in total defense in 2011, and No. 6 again last year. There are still ways to upgrade that defense, however, and it could start with a youth movement at the safety position.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
21. Cincinnati Bengals Kenny Vaccaro S 6'1" 215 SR

Josh Kirkendall: "After employing veterans (Chris Crocker) and transferring aging cornerbacks to safety (Nate Clements), the Bengals need to re-invest in a position that they've neglected for some time, upgrading a defense that ranked inside the top-seven last season. With no help through free agency and a roster full of special teams talent, the Bengals look continue building a sustaining defense with the cornerstone safety that they're looking for."

Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:

Because there has been no activity on Andre Smith, trying to figure out what the Bengals might do in the first round is a challenge. If the Bengals need a right tackle, this could be a spot for Alabama’s D.J. Fluker. But if they don’t go after an offensive lineman in the first round, safety is a good way to go. Forget veteran or convert players being safeties. If the Bengals don’t draft a starting safety this year, they may be forced to start Taylor Mays. Yikes. Vaccaro is the best safety in the draft this year, and is the kind of player that should be able to start as a rookie. He may not be available with this pick, but if he is, the Bengals would be smart to pull the trigger.

That wraps up the first full week of picks in our 2013 NFL mock draft; we'll be back at it on Monday morning with the Rams and Turf Show Times on the clock. See you then!

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
11 Bjoern Werner * DE Florida State 6'3" 266
19 Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame 6'6" 250
20 D.J. Fluker * OT Alabama 6'5" 339
21 DeAndre Hopkins * WR Clemson 6'1" 214
22 Damontre Moore OLB Texas A&M 6'5" 250

2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

No. Team Player Pos. College
1 Kansas City Chiefs Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
2 Jacksonville Jaguars Geno Smith QB West Virginia
3 Oakland Raiders Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
4 Philadelphia Eagles Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
5 Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU
6 Cleveland Browns Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
7 Arizona Cardinals Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
8 Buffalo Bills Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
9 New York Jets Chance Warmack OG Alabama
10 Tennessee Titans Dee Milliner CB Alabama
11 San Diego Chargers Star Lotulelei DT Utah
12 Miami Dolphins Desmond Trufant CB Washington
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
14 Carolina Panthers Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
15 New Orleans Saints Alec Ogletree LB Georgia
16 St. Louis Rams Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
17 Pittsburgh Steelers Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
18 Dallas Cowboys Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
19 New York Giants Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
20 Chicago Bears Arthur Brown LB Kansas State
21 Cincinnati Bengals Kenny Vaccaro S Texas