With the thirty-fifth pick in the 2011 BGN Mock Draft, apgj selects...
Jabaal Sheard - DE, Pittsburgh
This may be a surprise pick, or even a reach pick, but Mike Brown may surprise you. In the first round, I would've bolstered up the defense over any QB, especially Akili Smith 2.0, so that issue gets addressed here. A WR at #4 won't turn the team around either. And we could have went with a WR, like Baldwin, here at #35 but the defense needs as much of a boost as the offense. In a division with defenses like Baltimore's and Pittsburgh's, the Bengals will need to minimize their opponents' scoring like in 2009 when they had the 4th ranked D. We hit a home run last year with Dunlap in the 2nd (although it took 8 games for him to see significant playing time) so putting a force like Sheard opposite him should help get our pass rush back into the upper echelon of defenses.
Sheard has been kept fairly quiet all draft season, but lately a lot of boards have him going in the 2nd (I've even seen a mock draft with him going top 20 and Wes Bunting recently put him at #29 overall and going #32 to GB at NFP). Cincy has so many needs that BPA could almost be in play here. S, WR, OG, RB and even CB could also go here but this early, I believe you go DL. Sheard has some character concerns, but fighting and going through a store window can be overlooked, especially in Cincinnati. We'll call that intensity or tenacity. There's still plenty of depth elsewhere, and if Mike Brown could hire a scout or two, he'd realize that and choose wisely or trade down to load up on picks.
More after the jump...
With a rookie QB in a new, unstable offense, Zimmer's defense is going to have to try and keep them in games this season. The Big East Defensive Player of the Year would improve a pass rush that was missing during the first half of the season. He will have some big shoes to fill but plenty of veterans to learn from. His addition could mean injury-prone Odom and/or Geathers' days are coming to an end, which will free up several million dollars to spend elsewhere (but not on guys like Antonio Bryant). While the dominant teams in the AFCN get older, Cincy gets younger and surprise everyone... again.
Next on the clock will be KByars with the Denver Broncos.
Previous Picks: 1 - Nick Fairley 2 - Patrick Peterson 3 - Blaine Gabbert 4 - Cam Newton 5 - Von Miller 6 - Marcell Dareus 7 - Prince Amukamara 8 - A.J. Green 9 - Da'Quan Bowers 10 - Corey Liuget 11 - Robert Quinn 12 - Julio Jones 13 - Tyron Smith 14 - Jimmy Smith 15 - Mark Ingram 16 - Cameron Jordan 17 - Ryan Kerrigan 18 - Anthony Castonzo 19 - Mike Pouncey 20 - Adrian Clayborn 21 - Phil Taylor 22- Stephen Paea 23 - Brandon Harris 24 - Aldon Smith 25 - Gabe Carimi 26 - Torrey Smith 27 - Justin Houston 28- J.J. Watt 29 - Nate Solder 30 - Akeem Ayers 31- Derek Sherrod 32 - Cameron Heyward 33- Muhammad Wilkerson 34 - Allen Bailey