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Bengals Gab’s draft day ‘Little Board’

Bengal Blogger offers up his list of players the Bengals could select with their 17th and 21st picks in tonight’s first round. Stick with BengalsGab.com for reaction to Cincinnati’s selections. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

I set out today to write a big board for tonight’s opening round, but who needs to see where Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon and other top prospects rank when they won’t be available by the time Cincinnati goes on the clock?

Instead of messing with that, I elected to create a “Little Board” with just players who could be available at 17. To determine eligible players for this list, I went to NFL.com’s mock drafts and eliminated any player who was selected in the top 12 of all four of its top “experts'” drafts. There were 10 players on that list.

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Fletcher Cox, Ryan Tannehill, Luke Kuechly and Dontari Poe are unavailable for my Little Board, but at least 11 guys need to be ranked to ensure we get through pick No. 21. So, for your draft-watching pleasure, here’s the official Bengals Gab Little Board, ranking the top 11 players for Cincinnati to consider assuming the 10 above are gone.

1. Mark Barron, S, Alabama Easily the best player not listed above in my book. Barron is one of the 10 best players in this draft and I’d be giddy if this all-around safety fell to No. 17. He’d be a day-one starter and upgrade Cincinnati’s secondary greatly.

2. David DeCastro, G, Stanford Though I don’t know if I’d want a guard at No. 17, DeCastro is arguably the most complete player on the board at this point.

3. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama He can cover and he can hit. Kirkpatrick is the ideal cornerback for AFC North play.

4. Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina Not likely to be around at 17. Ingram is an incredible athlete for his size who can move around the defensive line and add to Cincinnati’s already deep rotation.

5. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame I don’t buy some of the hype about him being a better prospect than Justin Blackmon, but at 6-foot-3 and 220 lbs., Floyd would be a fantastic No. 2 option behind A.J. Green. Oh, and he’s not afraid to get in there and block.

6. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina Another athlete, like Ingram, who I’d be surprised to see available at 17. Coples has a reputation for being lazy (like Bengals end Carlos Dunlap had coming out) but showed an ability to dominate at the Senior Bowl.

7. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina Things went pretty well the last time Cincinnati took a South Carolina corner in Round 1, didn’t they? Many are ranking Gilmore as a No. 2, but Kirkpatrick is just more polished at this point. I would not be upset with Gilmore if the top two corners are gone.

8. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor A deceptively quick receiver who knows how to get open, Wright brings a different skillset than that of the bigger, stronger Michael Floyd. Floyd may be the more solid, safer pick, but Wright could develop into an explosive player in the mold of Desean Jackson.

9. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse NFL Network’s Mike Mayock loves him, and that’s almost good enough for me on its own. At 6-foot-5, 247 lbs, Jones fits in with other ends on this roster in terms of size.

10. Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia Andrew Whitworth 2.0. Glenn is a versatile player who could potentially play either tackle or guard spot. Would be an instant upgrade on the interior of the Bengals’ line with potential to move outside if need be.

11. Janoris Jenkins, CB, No. Alabama Couldn’t leave him off the list. Would have been the No. 1 corner in this year’s draft if not for off-the-field issues.

There you have it!

I expect at least one, if not both picks tonight to be on the defensive side of the ball. After the Bengals have spent back-to-back-to-back first rounders on offense, it’s time to bring some top-flight talent in to add to the defense. Ideally, I’d want a defensive back and either a wideout or guard, but I wouldn’t complain if the Bengals walked away with a DB/DL combination and looked to add to the o-line and receiving corps on day two.


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