The 2014 NFL Draft is finally here, and months of research, speculation, and prognosticating can end. The event itself is one of the league’s biggest, but the build up to it takes on a life of its own as every fan, analyst, and sportswriter try to figure out who will be taken, and by which team. This weekend will determine which rumors were true, and what were just smokescreens, but trying to mock the draft is one of the best parts of the year.
The FanSided network has gotten in on the act, and conducted a mock draft done by the editors of each of the team sites. You can find the entire results here. The Cincinnati Bengals had the 24th pick of the first round, just as it will tonight. With that pick, they selected:
Darqueze Dennard, Cornerback, Michigan State
Fuller is a well-rounded, talented player who could make a difference in the secondary. With Adam Jones and Terence Newman getting older, the team needs to add youth, and if Dre Kirkpatrick can develop into the player they envisioned a few years ago, they could have a nice set of corners along with Leon Hall. In today’s NFL, teams have to have at least three starting caliber cornerbacks, and Dennard, Kirkpatrick, and Hall could be just that. Dennard has good size, and is a very good man-to-man player. He moves quickly on the ball, and is fluid in his movements. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but his anticipation is good, and he doesn’t have to rely on recovery speed. He’s also a plus in the run game, where he is fine sticking his head in to make a play. The Bengals get a top 15 talent here.