Their team is already set for the most part. For the Cincinnati Bengals is should just be about filling some roster holes in this 2014 NFL mock draft.
#24 – Derek Carr – QB – Fresno State
Cincinnati is one of those few teams in the league that can say they are legitimately a quarterback away from reaching the Super Bowl. Andy Dalton has had three cracks at winning a playoff game. His shortcomings are becoming too obvious. It’s time to draft some competition. Derek Carr has the size required, but more importantly the strong arm and mobility Dalton lacks.
#55 – Terrence Brooks – FS – Florida State
Success on defense is built around the front seven for the Cincinnati Bengals but they’ve lacked a playmaking presence at safety to take advantage. Terrence Brooks is an undersized but rangy athlete who is always around the ball and keeps his head on a swivel.
#88 – James Gayle – DE – Virginia Tech
Michael Johnson was a tough loss at defensive end and needs replacing. James Gayle has an explosive first step with good strength but hasn’t yet been able to fully realize his potential as a pass rusher. Marvin Lewis can show him how.
#123 – E.J. Gaines – CB – Missouri
Cornerback is getting old or beat up for the Bengals and is in need of a youth infusion. E.J. Gaines is their classic type: less worried about his limited size and focused on playing tight coverage and making secure tackles.
#164 – Seantrel Henderson – OT – Miami (Fla.)
Lewis has proven as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals that he loves reclamation projects if he feels the talent is high enough. There is no more intriguing physical specimen in any 2014 NFL mock draft than Miami tackle Seantrel Henderson. If Lewis could get through to him, they might have one of the most talented blockers to come out of college in years.
#199 – Denicos Allen – OLB – Michigan State
Teams will get on him about his size but linebacker Denicos Allen overcomes all of it with great instincts, athleticism and a physical temperament. He can lend a huge hand on special teams early and work his way into the lineup.
#212 – Bennett Jackson – CB – Notre Dame
From a polish standpoint Bennett Jackson has a ways to go before he’s ready to play at the pro level but the athleticism and size are there for him to make a serious impact once he does.
#239 – Marion Grice – RB – Arizona State
Running back isn’t a pressing need for the Bengals but there comes a time when a team can’t bypass the chance to add another offensive weapon. Marion Grice is a good all-around back who can catch and pass protect while offering speed at the position.
#252 – Kerry Hyder – DT – Texas Tech
The loss of Geno Atkins last season should at least compel the Bengals to add more bodies to the defensive tackle position in case it happens again. Kerry Hyder is an intriguing late round flier with the hand violence and motor to become a factor as a rotational rusher.