With the draft less than a week away, what the Cincinnati Bengals will do with the bevvy of draft picks at their disposal remains a question of contention.
The Bengals have a number of holes, and Marvin Lewis is keeping characteristically quiet on the topic of what their strategy might be come draft day.
The Bengals are poised to snag some real talent in the first round, and while we cannot be certain who will don stripes in 2012, there are a number of scenarios that could play out.
Perhaps the most popular combo doing the rounds looks something like this:
Round 1, Pick No. 17: OG David DeCastro, Stanford
David DeCastro is a best-case scenario for the Bengals at No. 17 (unless you're still clinging to the hope that Trent Richardson falls).
There stands a very real chance that DeCastro will not be available at No. 17, but if he is, expect Cincy to take him.
He would provide an instant upgrade to the Bengals rickety o-line, and would be able to surpass ageing Bobbie Williams.
Gilmore seems to crop up around this area on the vast majority of mocks, and at this stage in the first round, he would be a great selection for the Bengals.
Cincy's defensive backs were woefully exposed in the wild-card matchup with the Houston Texans, and Gilmore would help to re-build the Bengals' legitimacy while Leon Hall fully heals.
Round 1, Pick No. 17: CB Dre Kirkpatrick/S Mark Barron, Alabama
Assuming DeCastro is gone, and working from a best-player-available standpoint, one of these two Crimson Tide alumni could fall as far as the Bengals at No. 17.
Kirkpatrick has already paid a visit to Paul Brown Stadium, and he would provide a fearsome presence in the backfield.
Similarly, Barron would provide instant improvement and would also fill the void (if you can call it that) left by Chris Crocker.
Round 1, Pick No. 21: OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia
Cordy Glenn finds himself on a lot of Bengals mock drafts, and for the most part, rightfully so.
He is the next best guard after DeCastro and has the versatility to play tackle also, something the Bengals would relish.
However, there are concerns about his weight, and with the lessons from Andre Smith still fresh in the team's memory, Cincy might be weary of adding him.
Round 1, Pick No. 17: CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
If Kirkpatrick goes in the Top 10, Gilmore becomes a highly-prized talent instantaneously. This could see the Bengals pull the trigger at No. 17, if other big names are also gone at this point.
Round 1, Pick No. 21: WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
Kendall Wright is slipping a little in discussion this week, but he has been touted for quite some time as a first-round talent.
The Bengals need a No. 2 wide receiver and Wright would match up well across the field from A.J. Green.
He's not a big player, but he gets more than expected out of his frame. His 4.6 40-yard dash time doesn't do justice to how fast he is on the field, and despite Marvin Lewis insisting that the Bengals are OK at receiver, Wright could prove too appealing to let pass.
Other prospects of note:
With the theory that Marvin Lewis has more control over the Bengals draft board than in years past, they may stick to filling needs in 2012. However, Mike Brown is known to be a sucker for the best player available, and if any of the following fall to the Bengals, they could take a long hard look.
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Post your first-round scenarios in the comments section below.