Well, for the last five years, we’ve heard about taking the best athelete on the board, versus taking a position of need. So far, that hasn’t seemed to really pan out much for the Bengals. I believe that to be the case because the Bengals don’t have the scouting department to be able to definitively cast who the best athelete available is. This year, with Cincinnati picking at number nine, we have several need positions, and several players available in or around that pick that could be no brainers when the time comes. Let’s take a look at a couple of these players, and the position in which Mel Kiper Jr. has them projected in the first round.

5. Chris Long Sr. DE Virginia
7. Aqib Talib Jr. CB Kansas
8. Vernon Gholston Jr. DE Ohio State
9. Ryan Clady Jr. OT Boise St.
11. Phillip Merling Jr. DE Clemson
13. Leodis McKelvin Sr. CB Troy 
16. Calais Campbell Jr. DE Miami

Any one of these defensive lineman could probably compete for a spot on the d-line rotation. However, do we let some of our third or fourth year players who so far hasn’t shown much as a backup get more playing time and see how they perform? Talib in the backfield could make for a strong tandem with Leon Hall. Having a rookie and second year guy on the corners though could spell disaster. At some point, Cincinnati needs to have leadership there, not some veteran who’s playing out his contract looking to leave the team in hopes of finding another starting job (remind you of anyone?).