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TJ's 2013 Mock 2.0


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At this point, though I am greatly disappointed by it, I am pretty much assuming that the Flesh Zeppelin will not be returning to the Bengals. I think he is gambling some team with playoff aspirations will lose their starter at ORT to a season ending injury and then they will play his asking price. It says a lot to me that money is the only thing he cares about - frankly, in many ways we are better off without such a player. Every player should have some care about money, no doubt, but it should never be the ONLY concern, imho

So anyway, he is gone for purposes of the following mock.

First up, I am going to list three possible picks at each pick number through round 4, as I would be happy with any of the three at that spot, and it is virtually impossible to figure out who will slide to our pick However, as each pick fills a need, that need should not be addressed again until round 5 or later.

Second, although the team clearly needs to bolster the offense more than the defense, I just see the needs we have (RB and OL) not quite falling right in the bottom third of the first round, and in turn there is a ton of talent on defense here. So the first round pick at least will probably go to defense

Third, I am firmly in the camp that says Jones or Sanu will emerge as a WR2, so I will not be drafting one early

Finally, in many mocks, our 1st round pick addresses the Flesh Zeppelin's absence. The two most common picks in these cases are either DJ Fluker or Menelik Watson. I don't like either player as a FZ replacement. Fluker is all power and no movement, and he will be a liability in pass protection. He really should be a guard. Watson is an athletic freak, yessir, no problems there, but he is 4 years older than the typical senior recruit, and he has only played the position for a year. I'd consider Watson with a later round pick, maybe 4-5, but some team will draft him much earlier on potential. Not us, I hope.

so on with the show......

Round 1

A Arthur Jones LB Kansas State http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1619684

I love this guy as demonstrated in Mock 1. One of only 12 players at the combine to receive a grade above 90. I think there is a good chance Chicago takes him just ahead of us, but they could go OL instead.

B Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1695617

I love this guy too, and I have seen him in the top 10 in some drafts and in the lower 20's in others. I think he gets devalued as a Guard and slides. Extremely powerful with long arms, 4 year starter. I think he takes over immediately for Boling who was solid but unspectacular.

C Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664330

Projected to go as early as 12th in some mocks I have seen, but could fall due to perceived lack of foot speed and devaluing of the safety position. I have not been high on him but have come around due an article in Football Outsiders (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/futures/2012/futures-texas-fs-kenny-vacarro) that I think you should all read that shows he has successfully covered both Keenan Allen and Tavon Austin. The fact that Zimmer brought him in for a personal look-see also speaks volumes to me. I believe he has the versatility to play free or strong, or cover a slot receiver, running back, or TE; and this only improves his value more

Round 2A

A RB Eddie Lacy http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664330

All the tape I have watched shows me a guy who is big, reasonably fast, fairly elusive, and very hard for the first tackler to bring down. He looks natural as a receiver as well. He also has about half the treadwear on him (350-ish carries in college career) as most of the other top-tier RBs in this draft class, who averaged around 600 carries apiece. Along then same lines, when you look at his stats, keep in mind he was playing only about half time. This is a bellcow RB, and I believe he will be available with our "Carson" pick in round 2. I am not worried about his injury status.

from http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/shutdown-50-alabama-rb-eddie-lacy-154751676--nfl.html : Perfect build for a power back -- outstanding musculature with a big lower body and consistent leg drive. Impressive "foot frequency," especially in short spaces -- keeps his feet tapping and moving while waiting for lanes and gaps. Goes from stop to start in a hurry and moves through the hole with speed and authority. Very quick laterally to move from gap to gap, and keeps his eyes downfield to exploit openings as they happen. Will occasionally explode outside from between the guards with his lateral quickness. Looks to bounce quickly when things aren't open inside. Excellent vision; will slash away from defenders to holes some backs wouldn't see. Cut-and-go style makes him an ideal zone runner. Very powerful player who will blow through bounce tackles and rip past back-seven defenders. Will bull and spin out of trouble for additional gains. Consistently falls and vaults forward at the tackle to gain extra yardage. As aggressive as he is, shows patience at the line; he won't generally outrun his blocks. Strong blocker who will square up at the point of attack and sustain protections. Effective weapon on quick screens and swing passes. Has a decent juke move to evade in the open field. Outstanding sense of balance allows him to regain his footing when avoiding tackles, and he runs through trash very well

B Alec Ogletree MLB Georgia http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737114/alec-ogletree

Yeah, I hear ya. A very talented Georgia linebacker with drug and alcohol problems, been there done that already. Something tells me this guy isn't quite the headcase Odell was, and if he didn't have these warts, he'd be gone by pick 20 at the latest. Oh, and I want a MLB because I want to keep 55 at weakside, where he has been pretty damned effective.

B Kevin Minter ILB LSU http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664390/kevin-minter

I like the production and non-stop motor on this guy. As sure a tackler as there is in this draft. He did not test particularly well, but I think he is one of those guys who is simply a better football player than an athlete. I do however suspect he will be a 2 down MLB rather than a 3 down MLB. Taking him over Ogletree at this point as I have decided Ogletree is too huge a risk on severe character issues, despite outstanding raw physical ability

C Matt Elam SS Florida http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737092

I figured in the last mock he'd last til 3 due to his size.....well, I've reconsidered after additional research, and I honestly think we'd have to be very, very lucky for him to slip this far, but if we failed to get Vaccaro in r1, and he was still here, he'd have to be the pick. I really like the speed and attitude this player brings.

Round 2B

A Barrett Jones OC Alabama http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1632207/barrett-jones

I freakin *love* this guy, and he only drops this far due to a lis franc injury that he was tough enough to play through at the National Championship game. I don't care if we have to PUP or shelve him for 2013, just get him in Stripes

B David Amerson CB NC State http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737246/david-amerson

A tall cornerback with legit 4.3 speed who has THIRTEEN interceptions in 2011. Yeah, he wasn't as effective in 2012, so he gets picked lower. This is the guy who we need to cover Torrey Smith. Yeah, we have plenty of corners, but also a lot of age at the position even considering Kirkpatrick.

C Khaseem Greene LB Rutgers http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1724998/khaseem-greene

D Giovanni Bernard RB Wisconsin http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737248/giovani-bernard

He'd go higher if not for a history of injury. Good speed and hands

Round 3

A Terron Armstead OT Arkansas Pine Bluff http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1767688/terron-armstead

Athletic freak who chose this small school because the coach there was the only one who would allow him to participate in track events as well as be on the football team. I think he falls this far due to being raw and playing against inferior competition. We draft him now and groom him to take over eventually for Whitworth, who remains a good player but is fading.

B Darius Slay CB Mississippi State http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1665311/darius-slay

6 foot and 4.3 speed - another attempt get us a guy who can cover Torrey Smith

C Christine Michael RB Texas A&M http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664173/christine-michael

Terrible name, great rb. Very good size/speed ratio, and enormously strong (27 reps) Injury history and attitude concerns are flags.

D Shamarko Thomas S Syracuse http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1682114

Experienced at both corner and SS, with 4.3 speed. He is short at 5'9" but sturdily built, good instincts, top tackler at Syracuse in 2012. Stronger than most linebackers - 28 reps. Extremely motivated to succeed - head of his family since the death of both his parents in recent years

Round 4

A Brennan Williams ORT North Carolina http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664351/brennan-williams

Here's my Flesh Zeppelin replacement. 1st round talent with an injured shoulder currently. Can heal while Collins plays for now.

B Zaviar Gooden OLB Missouri http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1679504/zaviar-gooden

Fastest linebacker in the draft. Replacement for Migraine Boy and/or Skuta. Probably more Skuta, since he actually got on the field

C Josh Evans FS Florida http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1708343/josh-evans

Coverage safety with a chance to start, played all 4 years as Florida. According to this article on Florida's pro day (http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Pro-Day-Review-March-16th.html) Evans ran a 4.48 40 and tested out better than Elam

D Le'Veon Bell RB Michigan State http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1762561/leveon-bell

This is a big powerful runner, decent but not great speed, with good blocking and pass catching talents. Leading rusher in the Big Ten, for what its worth

Round 5

A Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1737120/marcus-lattimore

This is a luxury pick. I doubt anyone picked at this point or below can help us in 2013, but this guy could be PUP'ed or IR'ed for the whole year in 2013 and should come back fully ready to go in 2014, and could at that point not only start, but potentially star.

B Chris Faulk OT LSU http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664212/chris-faulk

Very light feet and long arms make this guy a prototypical OT, who has played both right and left while at LSU against top notch competition since his freshman year. This is my final attempt at replacing the Flesh Zeppelin

C Steadman Bailey WR West Virginia http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1664860/stedman-bailey

Not as fast or as heralded as his teammate Tavon Austin, but more productive with a much better YPC. Potentially competes for the WR2 sport.

Rounds 6 and 7

In rounds 6 and 7, I would expect them to try to pick up athletic specimens who have the chance to contribute immediately on special teams but could be groomed for a need position in time

Probably need (in no particular order)

1) a "power" DE, similar to Jumpy Jr, who isn't getting any younger or cheaper. I hear they've brought in a kid from Princeton for a look-see who appears to fit that mold. I'd prefer to see Still getting these "power de" reps, but the team seems to have other plans

2) they'll need at least 2 running backs, so if they've only taken one to this point, pick another

3) I can't believe this Quinn guy is the best third TE out there. Seriously. So pick up a two-way TE in these two rounds.

4) Finally, our kicker could use some competition, particularly given how fragile he has been, and in any case kicker is one of those spots that there are usually really good players still available in late rounds. Would like to see http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1620544/caleb-sturgis chosen in round 6 to meet this need.

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Random thoughts:

Round 1: Cooper will result in many cranial implosions across Bengaldom. I wouldn't mind because I agree that Boling was OK but not outstanding, but the general fan consensus seems to be that Clint is a Golden God and that G would be a complete waste of the pick. So I hope they take him of course! But I would not object to any of the three you name. Trouble is, I can see scenarios where all three are gone. So what do we do then? I would still consider Fluker if he's there, he could be BPA. Really, tho, I might consider trying to trade down. Not sure that you will get a better player at 21 than you could at, say, 30 or even 40.

Round 2: The more I read about Ogletree the less interested I am. If he's there in, say, the 4th I'm fine with it. Amerson is an interesting option later on.

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You may have 2....no, go ahead and make it three.....pennies for your thoughts :-)

I too see any of those three players being gone by pick 21, but I think it is fairly unlikely that ALL THREE are gone at that point. Course, nothing is certain til we get to that pick on draft day :-). Arthur Brown in particular - my favorite of the three, as you can see - is a very late 1 or an early 2 in almost all mocks

I only list Ogletree because I think he will be the best linebacker by far available at pick 2A, unless of course Brown is there, in which case I will be THRILLED to have Cooper or Vaccaro plus Brown with those first two picks. I completely understand your wariness here.

How far down do you think Amerson and his 4.3 speed will go? Do you think he makes it to our round 3 pick? Would you rather have him or Slay at the r3 pick slot?

Regarding the cranial explosion with Cooper - on some boards, the guy is top 10, with some folks liking him better than Womack. And honestly, I'd rather infuse some pop into our offense with our top pick than with our defense, and to me the best place to do that is on the offensive line. If there was an Adrian Peterson available, I'd be telling a different story, but there isn't - so GIMME A LINEMAN and let those heads explode. When our line is dominating the line of scrimmage week in and week out in 2013, we'll see if those exploded heads don't heal up nicely.

As I said, I don't like Fluker at all.

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I wouldn't mind another OG in the first in the least. While I like Boling and think he will continue to get better, if they thought they absolutely needed another OG, I would roll with it. I just don't think it's the priority other spots are. That being said, BPA should be the rule of thought in our range.

Fluker ?? He offers even less than Dre's pass blocking skills, but probably about the same in the run game.

I would rather just sign Dre still, but that situation is pissing me off more and more each day.

I wouldn't mind seeing them trade down in the first, pick up another low 3rd, and take a RT then.

Ogletree ?? Yeah, he irritates me, but the team has had talks with him and Rey is on a two year deal.

Oh yeah, Rey still sucks, so there's that. A MLB wouldn't surprise me in the least.

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I think Amerson is there at 2b but not 3. I call him an interesting choice because it isn't clear that he would be a fit at corner due to doubts about his ability to play man coverage in the NFL. However...I've seen several writeups project him to FS. I know they just re-signed Nelson last year, but that was only a four-year deal, he turns 30 this September and he will consume about $9 million in cap space in 2014 and 2015 combined.

I'm not saying they should or will cut Reggie, but I can see scenarios where he ends up on the chopping block because they have to give giganto-money deals to other guys. In which case having Amerson on the roster could be...interesting.

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I would rather just sign Dre

Keep in mind this Mock takes it as assumed that Dre is gone

I'd write it the same if the assumption is that he signs for one year

I'd write it differently if the assumption he is back long term

Oh I saw that.

My thoughts still remain the same in regards to what I think is the best for the team and Smith.

However, those thoughts are becoming less and less with each day that passes.

If we get to the draft and this is still lingering, f*ck him.

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I don't really like any of the MLB's in this draft all that much.

That being said, it still wouldn't suprise me to see them take one at some point in the draft.

Minter ?? Nope, not really a fan there either.

If the best thing that can be said about a player is:

At least they don't have drug and alcohol problems, that doesn't do much good.

I don't want that to be the reason we take a sub average player.

I would prefer they don't take any of them.

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I don't really like any of the MLB's in this draft all that much.

That being said, it still wouldn't suprise me to see them take one at some point in the draft.

Minter ?? Nope, not really a fan there either.

If the best thing that can be said about a player is:

At least they don't have drug and alcohol problems, that doesn't do much good.

I don't want that to be the reason we take a sub average player.

I would prefer they don't take any of them.

You really need to read up on Arthur Brown

There is a great deal to like

He played MLB in college although he appears as an OLB on most lists

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Wraith: Thanks

Army: AB is plenty big enough for MLB. I'm not the only one who thinks so....read this as a recent example: http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/2013-NFL-Draft-Alec-Ogletree-Arthur-Brown-headline-linebackers/6232d5d7-56a1-419b-9123-150c681fe9cf

The popular outcry is to move 55 to the MLB spot, but geez, he was wonderful at WLB so why make him learn a whole new spot AND add playcalling responsibilities......just let him continue to succeed at that spot. Honestly, we don't even know if he is the type of player who can call defenses....we know he can flat out play, but if we add that extra responsibility, we may lose his production. I dont want that and I know you dont either. Brown on the other hand has been playing MLB all year, is used to calling defenses and so there'd be less transition time and a better chance he'd succeed

55 to MLB and Brown to WLB - both would have to learn a new position

55 stays at WLB and Brown to MLB - both would be at their natural positions

Oh, and shedding blocks? Re-read his stuff - thats one of AB's strengths

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From everything i've seen, there is no one in the organization that has said Burfict is going to the middle.

That was something created in the media outlets and didn't come from Marvin and Co.

However, Burfict's natural position is in the middle, where he played through college.

He excels in what Zimmer has him doing on the outside so I am good with leaving what works alone.

I will leave it like this:

If Zimmer thinks Brown can stay in the middle, I will be happy with that call.

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Thats cool

In fact, now that you said that, I think Marvin or Zimmer did say something about the speculated move of 55 to the middle being nothing more than media speculation and not something they'd actually announced (and by implication, planned)

Which I, a dumbass website participant, hope remains purely speculation.

Keep 55 at weakside where is a proven commodity

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early unofficial word is good - VERY good

*If* this holds up, I don't think he lasts til 2A, and I wouldn't mind trading up a bit - our 2A and our 4 (or a 5 and a 6) to pick up a late 1B - to get him

Mark Edwards ‏@MarkSportsStar 52m

Lacy runs the 40 again. We have 4.4 again. Unofficially.

Mark Edwards ‏@MarkSportsStar 57m

We have Eddie Lacy at 4.4 unofficially.

video of the 40: http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/04/watch_former_alabama_rb_eddie.html

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