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2013 NFL mock draft: Alex Okafor to Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy plans ahead at DE with their first second-round pick.

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

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.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
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.

We've got one more pick coming your way at 3PM ET, when the Arizona Cardinals and Revenge of the Birds will make their second-round pick.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
22 Damontre Moore DE Texas A&M 6'5" 250
27 Barrett Jones C Alabama 6'4" 305
29 Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 6'1" 241
32 Khaseem Greene LB Rutgers 6'1" 241
33 Jamie Collins LB Southern Miss 6'3" 250

2013 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

Bengals picks

Rd # Team Player Pos. College
1 21 Cincinnati Bengals Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
2 37 Cincinnati Bengals Alex Okafor DE Texas
2 53 Cincinnati Bengals