BENGALS DRAFT CENTRAL: Updated Mocks, latest news, draft tracker & more* * *
Posted: 4:50 p.m.
Mock me once, shame on you. Mock me twice, shame on me.
Mock me three times?
Who knows? Just like the Bengals' pick at No. 9 in the NFL Draft if defensive linemen Sedrick Ellis and Vernon Gholston are gone. Which is what the third Bengals.com Media Mock Draft has confronting Cincinnati. As well as no running back Darren McFadden.
As one personnel type said this week, this is truly an evaluator's draft. "A thinking man's draft," he said, because except for Michigan tackle Jake Long there are no no-brainers. The only consensus on the top 2-9 players is that there is no consensus because the grades so wildly fluctuate depending on the observer.
So as we seek the future in honor of the late Charlton Heston's Soylent Green, feast on another Media Mock Draft through No. 8 to see what the Bengals could be staring at around 4 p.m., Saturday April 26.
1. Dolphins: T Jake Long, Michigan; Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Kelly believes he's in the minority because everyone is convinced Bill Parcells is going to take defense No. 1 overall. But Kelly argues you can't get the tackle at the top of the second round like you can the defensive end/linebacker, like a USC's Lawrence Jackson or Auburn's Quentin Groves, although some scouts are saying Groves won't get past the Steelers at No. 23.
And Kelly says that LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey may be in the Dolphins' plans, but the thinking there is that at 6-1, 315, he's more suited to play in a 4-3.
2. RAMS: DE Chris Long, Virginia; Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: But it is a close call over Dorsey, a player the Rams also love. They need sacks and are comfortable at tackle. If not Chris Long, they'd probably take Jake Long. Thomas believes one of the two Longs or Dorsey ends up in St. Louis.
3. FALCONS: DT Glenn Dorsey, LSU; Steve Wyche, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: For the third straight Mock, Wyche sticks with Dorsey. The Falcons are satisfied he's healthy and they need massive help inside. Could a starstruck franchise get starstruck by Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan? If Dorsey's not there, the pick would be Jake Long given that they don't have a left tackle to protect Ryan if they got him.
4. RAIDERS: RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas; Phil Barber, Santa Rosa Press Democrat: McFadden may not make as much sense as Ellis or Gholston, but, like Barber says, "McFadden has the Raiders written all over it," and the way so many gurus are split, that could also be too high for Gholston and Ellis. If he doesn't trade out of there (and he'll get some calls on McFadden), it would be hard to see Al Davis passing on McFadden's sheer athleticism.
But then, to show you the volatility of this draft, there are some draftnicks wondering if McFadden is the best running back on his team.
5. CHIEFS: T Ryan Clady, Boise State; Adam Teicher, Kansas City Star: For the second Mock, Teicher taps Clady, an athletic left tackle that can begin the Chiefs' healing along the front in the post-Willie Roaf era. You think the Bengals defense is depleted? The Chiefs need three starters on the offensive line, and they may figure they can get a quarterback in the second round with the 36th pick.
6. JETS: OLB Vernon Gholston, Ohio State; Rich Cimini, New York Daily News: Of course, the Jets may be thinking the same thing and could be gazing over the river to Delaware QB Joe Flacco in the second round.
Cimini figures if McFadden is there, the Jets are going to listen to any and all trades. They're emphasizing character and he can't see them giving $20 million guaranteed to a guy that has some nicks. Plus, they already have Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.
Gholston is the kind of guy that gives scouts ulcers in the Dan Wilkinson strain. Is he just a workout guy? The Jets think he can be a stand-up guy in a 3-4 even though he didn't do much dropping for the Buckeyes. But there is also some question, at 6-4, 265, if he can play end in a 4-3.
But the guy is clearly an athlete and the Jets have had no semblance of an outside pass rush since John Abraham. Yes, they dropped trillions on Arizona linebacker Calvin Pace in free agency to do that. But the Jets may be looking crosstown at the Super Bowl champion Giants.
You can never have enough pass rushers.
7. PATRIOTS: DT Serdrick Ellis, USC; Mike Reiss, The Boston Globe: The architect of the relentless "Reiss' Pieces" has always pieced the Pats with Ellis whenever they've been available as he tips his hat to a defensive line of Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork and Jarvis Green that has contracts up after '09.
Ellis is just about 6 feet and only about 310, far from a prototypical 3-4 lineman. But Reiss thinks he'd give the Pats a little bit more versatility and offers the reminder that Wilfork was coming to a new system when he arrived with the 21st pick in the 2004 draft. And if anyone can be flexible with a player and scheme, it's Pats head coach Bill Belichick.
8. RAVENS: QB Matt Ryan, Boston College; Ed Lee, The Baltimore Sun: The Ravens won't go up and get him, yet if he falls into their laps they probably won't turn him away.
But Ravens boss Ozzie Newsome isn't one of the the greatest personnel execs of his time for nothing. If Ryan is there, but a player with a higher grade (maybe Ellis, maybe Gholston) is also there, it's doubtful the Wizard would pick the QB. He'll go with defense and the grade. If the grade says so.
9. BENGALS ?????????? What's facing them here is stacking on defense, with, say, Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey, and Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin. Or, taking an offensive player, like Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly or Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas, at a position they could easily get in the second or third round.
But a Harvey (behind Robert Geathers and Antwan Odom) and McKelvin (lined up with Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall) gives the Bengals depth at tough spots to fill.