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Zach5690

Zach5690 Mock

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So I used to do mock drafts on the old forum all the time. Now that the season is over here goes nothing...

1) Jaylon Smith - LB ND
Best LB in the country. Falls to us due to injury. None of our draft picks contribute immediately anyways, so we can afford to redshirt him.

2)Shawn Oakman - DE Baylor
Worth a shot. Look at the man. Hopefully he will be what margus hunt hasn't been.

3) Kyle Murphy - OT Stanford
I know we took 2 OT's early last year, but Andre smith is a free agent and we don't know Ogbuehi's status. I think this guy has a bright future in the NFL.

4) Keanu Neal - FS Florida
Reggie Nelsons contract is up. This guy will be a special teams contributor from day 1.

5)Evan Boehm - C Mizzour
Bodine is less than impressive and TJ Johnson is a free agent. Boehm has great size and initial push.

6)D'haquille Williams - WR Auburn (formerly)
Was one rated a first rounder but got dismissed from Auburn. Low risk high reward here. These guys tend to turn things around when it comes to getting paid.

7)Whoever

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If Smith falls that far he would be tough to pass by but I doubt that happens, even with the injury.

I'm ready to end the Hunt experiment but don't know if they are.

Ogbuehi is fine, he was playing in the last few games. If they take an OT it will be very, very late.

Would like to see both a center and a safety higher. A lot will depend on FA.

Welcome aboard!

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One name I keep seeing in mocks right around the Bengals' 24th pick is Ohio State CB Eli Apple.

Though Apple was highly-recruited out of high school, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer wasn't sure of what he had during the New Jersey native's first year on campus. But Apple was diagnosed with an iron deficiency that prevented him from giving full effort on the field, in the weight room, and in the classroom. Once that was under control, Meyer and the rest of the coaches saw Apple begin to fulfill his potential. Apple (whose given surname was Woodard, but changed it to honor his stepfather) started 14 of 15 games as a redshirt freshman during Ohio State’s run to a national title. In fact, he sealed the Buckeyes’ win over Oregon in the championship game, intercepting Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota's final collegiate pass. For the season, he totaled 53 tackles, 5.5 for loss, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups. Although Apple’s statistical production decreased in 2015 (33 tackles, two for loss, one interception, eight pass breakups), Big Ten coaches recognized his ability to shut down opposing receivers by voting him second-team all-conference.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

 Good height, weight and arm length combination. Clean footwork in transition with natural ability to mirror and match from press coverage. Won’t open hips early and rarely turned around off line of scrimmage. Has foot quickness in short spaces to maintain feel for his man. Extremely competitive when ball is in the air. Has play strength to redirect receivers from their routes. Aggressive hands in coverage and fights hard to disrupt the catch by any means necessary. Finished with 22 passes defensed over last two years. Scouts praise him for work ethic and technical improvement over last two years. Will come downhill against run and is diligent with contain responsibilities.

WEAKNESSES

 Can be slow to diagnose and anticipate quarterback’s plans. Average reactive athleticism. Doesn’t feature the balance or twitch to rocket forward and challenge throws if he’s not shadowing his man. Won’t always play to his size as a tackler. Dragged 18 yards after a catch against Penn State. Shows some stiffness as an open field tackler and allowed four broken tackles this season. Slow to turn head and find ball on deep throws. Becomes Mr. Grabs if he senses receiver is getting over the top of him or when he’s trying to crowd the top of routes. Had four holding and seven pass interference penalties from 2014­-2015.

NFL COMPARISON

 Trumaine Johnson

BOTTOM LINE

 Highly recruited two­-year starter who is entering the draft as a draft eligible redshirt sophomore. Apple’s size and strength allows him to compete against physical receivers, but he also has the talent to mirror and match as a man defender. Covering for longer could be challenging early on after playing with talented defensive fronts who ravaged quarterbacks. Apple will have to learn to trust his feet rather than grabbing so often or he’ll find that quarterbacks and refs will find him often.

Just FWIW. I haven't really dug into the mock-o-sphere yet this time around but from glances here and there it looks like there's a lot of expectation right now that the Bengals will take a linebacker, as Zach suggested. I'm still thinking secondary but we'll see.

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Depending on what happens in free agency, I won't rule out WR in the first.
Not that it would be my first or even second option, but it's obvious they need another playmaker.
LB and CB are almost a guarantee in the early rounds by my account.

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Maybe, I dunno. They've still got Mario Alford, James Wright (who looked promising before he got hurt) and Jesus bumming around, so I'm not sure how much a priority WR is even if they lose Jones and/or Sanu.

At LB, Burfict and FNR are going nowhere. I think Lamur could definitely be upgraded but the coaches have long had a hard-on for him for some reason. We'll see if that changes with Haslett. If it doesn't, my objection to using a high pick on a LB is, where will he play?

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I would have liked to have seen what Alford could have done more this season, but it never came to be.
His stats at West Virginia were very solid and his speed is crazy.  Still not sure what they feel they have there.
I like Wright as well, but don't think any of these guys are keeping them from addressing the position.
I could certainly be wrong.

Agree that if they remain sold on Lamur, there isn't much changing.  I just can't see how that continually happens.
I see Lamur as a nice backup option, but not a starter.  I see the defense taking a step forward should they address the LB corps.

Still in full agreement that CB remains a high priority for this team.
Safety will most certainly be addressed pending the outcome of Iloka and Nelson.
I would like to see both return, but that appears costly.  Maybe tag Iloka ??

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Tagging Iloka is definitely an option. I think it's like $8 million for a safety this year, so it's a little high but not crazy money. That said, it doesn't feel like they will go that route. They couldn't reach a deal last year, which tells me either the Bengals didn't want to spend big on the position or Iloka was asking for too much (or both). Shawn Williams stepped up his game as well last season so I'd think they are even less inclined now to open the vault. And like I said elsewhere, Iloka's comments over the last few months make it sound like he expects to be leaving (and perhaps wants to).

Given how well Nelson played this past season I'd almost rather take that money and offer him a two year deal, maybe $10-11 million total. I know, he's 33 in September, but he's been an iron man (missed just 3 games in 6 years) and his last two years have been the best 2 years of his career, with 1.5 sacks, 27 passes defensed and 12 picks combined. 

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Yep, could very well see that being the case and have to admit in the play of Williams lately.
I have voiced my displeasure with that pick, but he really did step up.

It certainly will be an interesting year in regards to what happens with the players in free agency.

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