As we drift deeper and deeper into our Mock Draft, there are less and less glaring weaknesses on the teams involved. Such is the case with Cincinnati, a playoff team in 2009 that lost its opening-round game to the Cinderella Jets.
By all accounts, this is a Bengals team ready to contend again, especially in a division where the Browns are still rebuilding and the Steelers are apparently ripping apart at the seams. Cincinnati's got talent on both sides of the ball -- there are still a few spots that could use an upgrade, though, and the draft board presents plenty of options.
Earl Thomas and Kyle Wilson flying off in the few picks prior to No. 21 limits things on the defensive side of the ball -- but not entirely. USC safety Taylor Mays is still available, as is tight end Jermaine Gresham, who didn't make much sense for any team selecting before now, but could be the perfect middle-of-the-field weapon for the Bengals' offense.
Oh yeah, and Dan Williams, a potential top-15 pick, hasn't found a home yet, either.
Previous Pick: Texans -- Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State; Next Up: Patriots
(Note: The poll is now closed. Click here for the latest on the 2010 NFL Mock Draft, Fans' Picks Edition)
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: Some teams may hesitate using a first-round pick on a tight end. They'll be missing out. Gresham has a rare combination of size (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) and pass-catching ability that could make him an absolute force in the right NFL scheme -- think Tony Gonzalez potential, especially in the red zone. Sure, his blocking could use some work, but he would immediately give Cincinnati an advantage in the passing game.
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: Considering that on draft day, the Bengals will probably consider taking Jared Odrick or reaching for UCLA DT Brian Price at this spot, they would do backflips if Williams sidestepped the top 20 picks. Cincinnati has a decent DT up front in Tank Johnson -- and he just signed a four-year extension -- but Williams would be an upgrade, even if it took him a few weeks to crack the starting lineup.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State: Is this position the top priority for Cincy in the draft? Not even close. But the Bengals have yet to offer Cedric Benson, a guy who's been banged up in recent years, an extension on his contract that expires after 2010. And Larry Johnson, who stepped in to take some carries last season, left in free agency. So Matthews could be a nice addition, and he would be a great pass-catching complement to Benson's hard-nosed attack.