Nor do I watch game film. I watch a ton of college football, but in no way, shape or form do I know how to properly judge and evaluate collegiate talent.
That being said, I think mock drafts are interesting. You can't tell me that every time you see a mock draft, any mock draft, you don't take a peek to see who they have the Bengals taking in the first round. Below, I have compiled potential selections for all eleven draft picks for the Bengals. Again, I'm no guru...but:
1) I want to weigh in on the Andre Smith debate (and why the Bengals should NOT take him)
2) It would be quite hard for me to do worse than one playoff appearance in 19 years and the worst record in the four major professional sports since 1991.
We are going on the following assumptions in the first round:
- The Bengals do not trade up or down in the #6 position.
- Aaron Curry, Jason Smith, and Eugene Monroe are all taken in the top 5 of the draft.
Even for the straight-laced Bengals, it's hard to believe that they will actually draft eleven players this weekend. They will probably package some picks (the compensatory picks are not available to trade) and end up taking somewhere between 7-9 players. But, let's just assume they do select a player with all eleven picks.
Here we go:
Round 1, Pick 6 (6)
BJ Raji, DT, Boston College
Here's why: Frankly, the WDR writers are split on this pick. About half of us still want the Bengals to take a very large man to protect the blind side of Carson Palmer. Whether that is Andre Smith or Michael Oher. In my opinion, Oher might still be available at #20 or later in the first round, and investing over $20 million guaranteed on Andre Smith is just too much of a risk. The guy blew the two biggest job interviews of his life, and he has the tag of being lazy and overweight. In another city, Andre Smith makes sense at #6. But in Cincinnati, who exactly is going to kick his rear to get him in shape? Bengals need to stay away and focus on a run-stuffing tackle that can move the pocket. The 'positive' drug test was proved false, and remember that 31 teams passed on Tank Johnson until the Bengals signed him in early April. A future of Pat Sims and BJ Raji at defensive tackle is something you can build a defense around...especially in a division that features run-first teams like Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Round 2, Pick 6 (38)
Eric Wood, C, Louisville
Here's why: Even if the Bengals have to trade some of their picks to move up to take Wood...do it. They need to flat out go get this guy. He has been called the 'most prepared player in the nation' and the Elder grad would provide stability and leadership to anchor the offensive line. No matter how much spin the Bengals put on their offensive line...it is a fact that the running game (and offense in general) has not been the same since Rich Braham was at center. That better change Saturday evening.
Round 3, Pick 6 (70)
Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina
Here's why: Meredith is a smart, tough player who played through injuries during 2008 (never missed a game) and while a starter at left tackle, is willing and able to play different positions on the line. The versatility for someone who can actually perform at a high level at tackle and guard is something we haven't seen since Eric Steinbach was here. In short, the guy is intelligent, plays with a mean streak, and knows his assignments.
Round 3, Pick 34 (98) (Compensatory selection)
David Veikune, DE, Hawaii
Here's why: Going on the WDR principals of the Bengals desperately needing to get pressure on the opposing quarterback, Veikune is a guy who has above average top end speed and plays with an edge. He also has a variety of pass rushing moves, which would immediately be more than the one that Justin Smith had during his entire tenure as a Bengal. When Antwan Odom or Robert Geathers gets hurt this season (trust me, it's happening), Veikune could be a valuable guy who will produce immediately.
Round 4, Pick 6 (106)
Tyrone McKenzie, OLB, South Florida
Here's why: I was sold on McKenzie for two reasons. He is a solid, reliable open field tackler and the guy just flat out produced whether it was at Iowa State or South Florida. With the way the Bengals have lost LB's the past few years due to injury and being the least drunk driving down Kellogg Avenue (Hi Odell!), you can always be stocking that position.
Round 5, Pick 6 (142)
Herman Johnson, OG, LSU
Here's why: The guy is massive (6'7", 364, biggest player in LSU history) and he could literally be a huge force in the running game. He needs some polish, but so did Stacy Andrews and that worked out pretty well (for the Eagles at least). Started every game for LSU the past two seasons at left guard, piling up numerous first-team All-American honors.
Round 6, Pick 6 (179)
Ian Johnson, RB, Boise State
Here's why: Most famous for the game-winning touchdown in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, but Johnson is just a football player who makes things happen. He is a leader that understands the value of team. He would be an excellent compliment to Cedric Benson, help out in the passing game, and be the kind of presence in the locker room the Bengals desperately need.
Round 6, Pick 36 (209) (Compensatory selection)
Roy Miller, DT, Texas
Here's why: High character guy who is durable, strong (500 lb bench press), and one hell of a run stopper. I'll say it again...WE NEED TO STOP THE RUN IN THE AFC NORTH.
Round 7, Pick 6 (215)
Johnny Knox, WR, Abiene Christian
Here's why: Above average blocking skills, returns punts and kickoffs...oh...and the dude can absolutely fly (4.34 40-yard dash at the combine). He's on the bad side of 6' but he can be an immediate deep threat that actually produces for the Bengals. Basically the anti-Chris Henry.
Round 7, Pick 40 (249) (Compensatory selection)
Glover Quin, S, New Mexico
Here's why: He can play both corner and safety, team leader who is the first one in/last one out at practice, excellent ball skills and he was a playmaker on defense while with the Lobos.
Round 7, Pick 43 (252) (Compensatory selection)
Ian Campbell, DE, Kansas State
Here's why: Sounds like a special teams ace with a history of blocking field goals, who also has a knack making plays at end. Leader, captain, and someone who worked his way up to a scholarship after joining the team as a walk-on.