With the 53rd pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select Miami (Florida) running back Lamar Miller. NorthLeft12 is serving as the Bengals' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
While there were other possible and very worthy selections at this spot, it was pretty obvious to me from my initial review of the draft and what the Bengals wanted coming out of the draft that one of the second tier of running backs (Doug Martin, David Wilson and Lamar Miller) would be available and would be at the top of my board at No. 53. Personally, Miller was my third choice out of those three, but that reflects more about his youth and his current inexperience at the position than his ability and potential.
Lamar will be turning 21 the day before the draft and has only two years of college experience (one as a starter). The bad news is he has no idea how to pass block and pick up the blitz and does not know very much about running pass routes. He also tends to look for the big play and is not as physically strong as his size would make you think he should be.
The good news is that his inexperience means that he has not been worn down by carrying the ball a lot in college, and his deficiencies are correctable with some good coaching and hard work.
The great news is that Lamar has outstanding speed (fastest RB in this class with a 4.40 40), amazing acceleration, good vision, great hands and an ideal size (5'11" and 212 pounds) for an NFL running back. He is also a tough and determined runner who will get better if he has the desire to. Loaded with potential, Miller could be the best running back to come out of this draft. He falls into a perfect situation to start his career as part of a committee with BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
The other candidates for selection that I looked at were WR Mohamed Sanu, OG Amini Silatolu, DE Andre Branch and DE Chandler Jones. Sanu came the closest to Miller in value and impact for the Bengals. A number two WR to pair with A.J. Green is definitely needed and while Sanu would be an outstanding big target, physical, possession receiver, I think I can get someone with a similar skill set later. Same for those other positions. All in all, this draft fell almost perfectly for the Bengals.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.