In Kiper’s latest mock, he stayed true to his belief that CB has to be addressed early in the draft, and he kept Michigan State’s Darquez Dennard in this spot:
Analysis: This is a pick I’m staying with, as I like both the fit and the fact that the Bengals have few major needs, but corner is certainly one.
To quote the previous mock, “there are some concerns going forward at a couple of spots, with both age (Adam Jones and Terence Newman are north of 30) and health (Leon Hall ended the season on injured reserve), so the Bengals don’t just need depth, they could use a player capable of starting.”
Dennard can start, and he brings a physical style and an ability to press combined with great awareness and the ability to defend like he’s in your jersey without simply grabbing.
Several mock drafts have Dennard going as high as No. 10 to the Detroit Lions, and it will be a minor miracle if the All-American and Jim Thorpe award winner.
Ironically, Dennard beat-out Joyner for the Thorpe trophy, which is handed out every year to the nation’s top college football defensive back.
Sufficeth to say, the Bengals would be happy to get either one of these players in the first round, as they’ve both shown the potentioal to be instant-impact players in Year 1.