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  1. Hokie Mock 1.0

    Hope you guys are doing well! It's certainly been a while since I've posted - last year's disastrous season took away much of my will to post! But alas, I'm bored on a Sunday and have been doing some (very amateur) draft scouting the last couple of weeks. This mock will assume that the Bengals make no more major additions this offseason, though I suspect some small deals are still coming (maybe Pacman back on a 1 year vet min deal, maybe a veteran OT for depth, etc.). For the record, I like what the Bengals have done this offseason (outside of yet another Burfict suspension... ugh). I believe it's an absolute certainty they'll take an interior lineman within their first two picks, and I also think they could make another draft trade. They've definitely been more active than typical this offseason, which is great to see. Anyway, without further adieu... 1. Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St. While an OC/OG is the most popular pick at 21 (for good reason), the Bengals really need to inject some athleticism into their LB corps, and that was before Burfict's four game suspension kicked in. The Brown signing was nice as he's a solid run defender but he can't do much in coverage and Nick Vigil has struggled to date. Vander Esch is how you draw up a LB. Great size and length (6'4, 34 inch arms) and posted a 39.5 inch vertical at the combine (to go with a 4.65 40). Performed very well in the agility drills as well. Does a great job of following a QBs eyes and doesn't often bite on fakes. Sure tackler who has also shown some rushing ability. Hasn't totally filled out his frame yet but his upside is immense. No chance he falls to the Bengals in the 2nd round and I like the interior line options in round 2 more than I like the LB options, so I'm going LB here. Can step in day 1 in nickel packages and provide an upgrade in the coverage game. The Bengals need a LB they can really build around as Burfict is becoming less and less reliable. 2. Billy Price, OC, Ohio St. As I mentioned earlier, if the Bengals don't go with an interior lineman in round 1 they certainly will in round 2. Price was a borderline 1st round talent but a partially torn pec may have hurt his stock a bit. He's expected to be ready for training camp however, so I don't see it greatly affecting his stock. Price is very strong - he was expected to flirt with 40 bench press reps prior to his injury, and that is something that matters to the Bengals (they like to take OL with a high number of bench reps). Highly intelligent and plays with a mean streak. Very good hips and gets good bend. He does need to work on his footwork a bit and play with more control. Would step in and be a day 1 starter, and be a big upgrade to Bodine. 3A. Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana I suspect TE is a position the Bengals will be targeting in rounds 3-5 in the draft. Eifert is back on a one year deal but has had a very difficult time staying healthy (plus, if he breaks out in 2018, he'll likely be commanding a huge deal next offseason). Kroft has been a nice, steady player for the Bengals; however, with so many Bengals TEs heading towards free agency next year, getting one on a cheap rookie deal that they can groom seems like a given. Thomas tested well at the combine and is a physical player who plays with a chip on his shoulder. He's raw and needs to work on his route running as well as blocking technique (hand placement needs work). I think he's a good guy to develop for a year then can step into a larger role in year 2. It's highly unlikely that all three Eifert, Kroft, and Uzomah are back next year. 3B. Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech The Bengals seem to be looking for added safety depth, as evidenced by them making a run at Kurt Coleman. Emunds has good size for the position and tested well at the combine. He's been an impact starter for the Hokies but there are some durability concerns, as he is coming off shoulder surgery. He's quite good at covering tight ends, something the Bengals have struggled with over the years. Biggest thing with him is he has to improve his open-field tackling, as it's something he struggled with during his time at Virginia Tech. The Bengals are looking for a safety that can help them create turnovers and I think Edmunds would be a nice addition here. 4. Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt St. There are currently three openings on the Bengals OL (OC, RG, RT). I believe one will go to someone they draft in round 1 or 2 (Price in this mock) and the other two will be filled internally. My best guess currently is we draft a center then have Westerman/Redmond/Hopkins compete for RG and Fisher/Hopkins/Ogbuehi (lol)/Hart (lol)/veteran cheap add compete for RT. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bengals take an mid-round OT to groom, with little expectation of playing right away. Cappa therefore fits the bill here. Cappa has great size for the position but isn't terribly athletic. Cappa has strong hands and loose hips - at this point he needs a chance to show what he can do vs NFL-level talent. I can get on board with the Bengals letting Fisher have one last shot at RT while they groom a mid-round guy to hopefully compete next year. 5A. Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri The Bengals could use some another DE after the loss of Chris Smith to the Browns. Frazier fits the mold of what the Bengals typically like in their DEs (tall!). Frazier has a high motor and relies more on skill than athletic ability. Has a variety of pass rush moves. Needs to get better at setting an edge. Has potential to become a quality rotation DE. 5B. Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College The Bengals have a lot of talent in their secondary but I suspect they'll try to add a CB between rounds 3-5, especially if they don't bring Pacman back. Yiadom is tall and long, and ran well at the combine. Productive college player who has good ball skills. His man coverage skills need some work but he can contribute on special teams immediately and may be a future contributor in base packages down the line. Adds depth. 5C. Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn Let's try this again. First, there's nothing wrong with Randy Bullock. He was actually a 90% kicker last season and only missed one kick inside of 40. The problem is the coaching staff doesn't trust him to try long kicks, as evidenced by him only attempting one from 50+ last season (he made it). Carlson has made 13 career field goals from 50+ at a 62% clip (that's good). Also an accurate kicker, as he's made 90% of his kicks from inside 40. His accuracy dropped a bit this past season, however. It would be nice to see the Bengals take a chance on a kicker (they did) and actually stick by him, but this would be a pure competition yet again. 7A. Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame The Bengals don't have a great deal behind Mixon/Gio at this point. Adams was a highly productive college player who has the speed to take it to the house. Has very good size for the position and was a team leader. While his top end speed is great, it takes him a while to get going. He'll do whatever is necessary to help his team win - I could see him carving out a Cedric Peerman-type role on the team. 7B. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Mid Tennessee St. Classic size/speed combo that scouts love. Over 25% of his catches in college went over 25 yards. Routes need a lot of work and has small hands. Type of guy you draft on day 3 and hide on the practice squad and hope to develop. 7C. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky Athletic LB with good speed and burst. Has excelled in special teams so he'd have a shot at sticking on a roster. I have no idea how to pronounce his name.
  2. Week 2 Texans @ Bengals

    Good. He should be angry. They should all be angry. I'd rather they blast each other/coaches/ownership/hot dog vendors/etc. before they give you the standard "we just gotta get back to work" BS cliche answers the coaches are going to give you. Pacman not holding back either. Maybe these guys realize what we all do - way too much damn talent to be this ******* bad.
  3. Week 2 Texans @ Bengals

    Well... I don't really even know where to begin. First thing, the offensive line wasn't THAT bad tonight. No, not great, or even good... but it was okay-ish. Special teams were fantastic. The defense was very good outside of one busted play. Unfortunately, giving up one backbreaking play per game has became their M.O. I've came around on Dalton in recent years, but something is wrong with him. He's always been a guy who has had happy feet in the pocket, but he's also played behind a good offensive line and had a good coordinator for most of his career. He no longer has either, and the results have been horrendous. He is panicking on virtually every pass and the weak OL has clearly gotten in his head. He's missing easy throws now and his decision making has been putrid. It's becoming more and more obvious that Dalton just isn't capable of playing well unless he is in an ideal situation (good coordinator, good offensive line, good skill players). He's missing two of those three ingredients and we're seeing that he just isn't a guy who is going to win you a game by himself. Zampese is ******* clueless as an OC and is easily the worst we've had since Brat. He should have been fired yesterday, but remember, this is the Bengals. They don't make bold moves. The reality is this is the team we're stuck with. It's a potentially very good defense with Burfict but the OL issues aren't going away. Whitworth and Zeitler aren't coming back, and Zampese isn't about to get fired. We're going to play in a lot of low scoring games and are likely looking at a 6-10 type season. We're going to GB next week - there's another loss. 0-3 teams don't make the playoffs. The reality is wholesale changes are needed. The Bengals have grown stale. Marv has had two different eras as Cincy's coach (Palmer/Chad and Dalton/Green) and he's accomplished little with both. I give the guy credit for changing the culture here, but the writing is on the wall - it's just not going to happen. It's time to move on. Unless he miraculously turns this season around (don't hold your breath), he likely isn't coming back next year. A new coach will come in - the big question is will he have the opportunity to clean house, or will Mike insist on trying it again with the old gang? I suspect the latter. I had high hopes for this season. Weak schedule, a promising draft, team was pretty healthy going into the opener, etc. I never dreamed we'd start 0-2 with two games at homes. But, here we are. And given what's ahead (at Green Bay), it looks like the season may be over before it ever began. It's a shame. Feels like it's going to be a wasted year of some of our best guys' primes.