At this point, it’s hard to speculate how the Bengals will pick when they select at number 21 in this year’s NFL Draft. Certainly, Cincinnati is not looking to reach, and Head Coach Marvin Lewis has done well over the past two drafts getting great value at positions of need. This year, while defensive end and linebacker are both critical to depth needed in those positions, the strong safety position, which is essential to Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer’s total overall scheme, is none existent in terms of player personnel. Arguably, Kenny Vaccaro would provide the most value and fill a serious need if he falls to the Bengals, but that isn’t a guarantee. Three major threats exist that could take the top safety in the draft off the board before he has a chance to end up in stripes.
1-5. Kansas City, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Detroit – No way. The top 5 picks will all take top five talents, and Vaccaro simply isn’t that. Further, he doesn’t meet any of these teams’ needs.
6. Cleveland – Nope. The Browns are looking for trench work. The only way that becomes something different is if DeMarcus Milliner is still on the board, which is unlikely.
7. Arizona – The Cards could use some offensive line help… or something for an offensive line to protect. With Patrick Peterson in their secondary, Vaccaro isn’t even on their radar.
8. Buffalo – Ahhh no. Quarterback.
9. New York Jets – Rex Ryan drafts defense, but he’s looking for help up front. Even if Darrell Revis and / or Antonio Cromartie leave, the sentiment will be corner, not safety.
10. Tennessee – The Titians just signed George Wilson.
11. San Diego – Philip Rivers needs a new left tackle. Or a Guard. On defense, the Bolts need pass rushers before secondary help.
12. Miami – Not likely. More help on the line, both offense and defense. Fans are clamoring for a legit receiver too.
13. Tampa Bay – Moved up to draft Mark Baron last year.