NFL Network draft titan Mike Mayock says the Bengals have enough ammunition on their roster that they don't have to reach for any position when they pick with Nos. 17 and 21 in the first round of April's NFL Draft.
Speaking on a conference call setting up next week's coverage of the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Mayock said the ideal Bengals pick is a cornerback. But with LSU's Morris Claiborne and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick figuring to be gone by then as the only sure bets at corner, he says they're still OK.
"With the loss of Johnathan Joseph you'd like to get a corner that can compete right away," Mayock said. "If they've got a guy they like, fine, go get him. But they can sit there and take the best player. They don't have to reach as much as they have in the past."
Mayock can sense the end of the Cedric Benson Era but he thinks the only first-round running back is Alabama's Trent Richardson and he won't be there when the Bengals pick. He thinks they could get a good offensive lineman at either spot.
"They've done a good job there but they have to keep upgrading it," he said.
Mayock indicated that the first half of the first round is going to be deep with wide receivers and defensive tackles, two more spots where the Bengals could use some help. After covering their Wild Card loss in Houston and the Pro Bowl for NBC, Mayock is impressed with where the Bengals sit.
"From being around them a little bit and seeing them in the playoffs, we tend to ding them a little too much," Mayock said of Cincinnati's draft history. "Then you go to the Pro Bowl and see they've got four players under the age of 25. That's impressive."
Mayock's analysis anchors 50 hours of programming that the NFL Network plans to beam from Lucas Oil Stadium Feb. 23-28.