It's April and we're two more Mock Monitors away from the 2012 NFL Draft. You know what that means? It's time to bring out the big guns.
ESPN.com's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay join the fray in our Mock Monitor, version 10.0, where things get just as confusing as they've always been throughout the process.
Kiper introduces a new name to the fold, as our Daniel Cox highlighted last week, in Illinois offensive tackle Jeff Allen. McShay sticks with a name we've seen before — Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry — as the Falcons' pick at No. 55 overall.
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Knox Bardeen, Bleacher Report's new NFC South blogger, also weighs in with his opinion, projecting the Falcons will take Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen in the second round — a name we've seen bouncing about on the Mock Monitor for the past 10 weeks.
A new name, however, would be that of Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley (pictured above snagging an interception), who debuts on the Monitor and moves his way into a three-way tie for the consensus pick with Dwayne Allen and Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, another name new to the Monitor.
Bentley's not a name you've heard here yet, but he's also likely not one you've heard all that much period, if at all. The small school defensive back is known as an aggressive yet speedy commodity in the secondary. He ran an unofficial 4.43 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but scored a paltry 31.5 in the vertical jump, so he can't jump out of a building like Falcons CB Brent Grimes.
There's a contingent of experts who also think Bentley will be relegated to special teams duty for at least the first few years of his career, which would be fine in the Falcons' case as the cornerback spots are pretty well sealed up with Grimes and Dunta Robinson.
Certainly a raw talent, Bentley has been climbing the boards lately, once thought of as a late-round pick who is creeping toward the top/middle portion of the mock projections. We'll keep an eye on his progress as we get closer to April 26.
For now, vote.