2015 NFL Draft: Bengals Three-Round Mock

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Sep 20, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Benardrick McKinney (50) tackles LSU Tigers running back Kenny Hilliard (27) during the third quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

With the 53rd pick, the Cincinnati Bengals select….Benardrick McKinney.

He would be another tree in the Bengals linebacker core at 6’4”, 246 pounds.  The junior linebacker earned First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC honors in 2014.  Despite his draft stock falling quite a bit since profiling him during the season, McKinney is still a highly formidable, very coachable, and overall dominant linebacker.

Some of the reason for his “fall from grace” is some pundits don’t believe McKinney has the killer instinct that the game’s great linebackers possess while they also are unsure whether he can effectively cover tight ends.  With that said, McKinney is a stud and an absolute steal if he’s available at 53.

If McKinney isn’t available, other linebacker choices include Paul Dawson (6’0” 235 pounds, TCU) or Denzel Perryman (5’11″, 236 pounds, University of Miami (FL)).  And if no linebackers are available, the Bengals have the flexibility to draft the best player available.

Round Three gets kind of fun.  With two picks, the Bengals can take a moment to be choosey, but they still need to address a position that has been riddled with injuries and overall disappointment lately.

Next: Bengals Round Three Selection (Pick 85)