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2016 NFL mock draft: Cincinnati Bengals pick up DT Kenny Clark

In the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, Cincinnati fills a big need on defense with a big player from UCLA.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, the Bengals were able to sit back, watch some wide receivers get drafted and still get the best one in Laquon Treadwell. Landing a receiver like Treadwell lets the Bengals to go defense and rely on the strength of this year's draft. That's what Jason Marcum of Cincy Jungle did with the No. 55 overall pick in our mock draft.

55. Bengals: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

Marcum: While wide receiver is viewed as the Bengals’ biggest need, another position that needs to be addressed early is defensive tackle. UCLA's Kenny Clark is one of the best in this draft, and he’d be a big steal at this point.

Heck, Clark has been occasionally mocked to teams near the end of Round 1, but with so many quality prospects at this position, it’s not surprising to see one of them slip into the 50s. Whereas the past two drafts have been wide receiver-heavy, defensive tackle may be the deepest position in this draft.

So that helps the Bengals land Clark here, and gives them an eventual upgrade over Domata Peko. Peko has been playing far too many snaps in the Bengals defense, which has led to him being worn down by the time the playoffs rolled around. That has been a big reason why the Bengals have continuously been gashed on the ground in the postseason, whether it’s by Fitzgerald Toussaint, Jordan Todman, Ronnie Brown, Dan Herron, Danny Woodhead or Ryan Mathews.

When those are the guys gashing you for big yards, you know you’ve got issues. The 6'3, 314-pound Clark is exactly the kind of nose tackle the Bengals should draft with Peko aging, not to mention 2016 is the final year of his deal. Having a guy like Clark to rotate with him throughout the season will keep Peko and the other tackles more fresh so they can make deep playoff runs.

Analysis: In a loaded defensive tackle class, Clark may get overlooked. He's a versatile big man who is capable of playing over the nose, but he's just as good playing in the center/guard gap. Getting Clark at this point is a good value.

Dan's Top 5 players remaining

  • 40. Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
  • 41. Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
  • 43. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
  • 46. Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
  • 51. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh

Bengals picks

  • 1-24: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
  • 2-55: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

Coming up at noon ET we have a pick coming up from Danny Kelly of Field Gulls making the choice for the Seahawks..

Complete draft results:

First round

1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo Bills - Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama (Link)
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State (Link)
21. Washington - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor (Link)
22. Houston Texans - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Link)
23. Minnesota Vikings - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Link)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (Link)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - William Jackson, CB, Houston (Link)
26. Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida (Link)
27. Green Bay Packers - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (Link)
28. Kansas City Chiefs - Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (Link)
29. Arizona Cardinals - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss (Link)
30. Carolina Panthers - Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson (Link)
31. Denver Broncos - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Link)

Second round

32. Cleveland Browns - Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State (Link)
33. Tennessee Titans - Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State (Link)
34. Dallas Cowboys - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville (Link)
35. San Diego Chargers- Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State (Link)
36. Baltimore Ravens - Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (Link)
37. San Francisco 49ers - Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (Link)
38. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia (Link)
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State (Link)
40. New York Giants - Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia (Link)
41. Chicago Bears - Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (Link)
42. Miami Dolphins - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame (Link)
43. Los Angeles Rams - Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State (Link)
44. Oakland Raiders - Darian Thompson, S, Boise State (Link)
45. Los Angeles Rams - Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (Link)
46. Detroit Lions - Jeremy Cash, S, Duke (Link)
47. New Orleans Saints - Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford (Link)
48. Indianapolis Colts - Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State (Link)
49. Buffalo Bills - Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB, Boise State (Link)
50. Atlanta Falcons - Keanu Neal, S, Florida (Link)
51. New York Jets - Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn (Link)
52. Houston Texans - Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas (Link)
53. Washington - Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame (Link)
54. Minnesota Vikings - Su'a Cravens, LB/S, USC (Link)