Now that the first wave of NFL free agency has come and gone, there's no question what the Bengals' biggest need is heading into the 2016 season.
After watching Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu both leave to sign big deals elsewhere, wide receiver is the favorite to be the position addressed in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. It's easily the thinnest position on the roster, not to mention, the group is an injury to A.J. Green away from being the worst group of receivers in football.
That's why most mock drafts now have the Bengals going with a wide receiver with the 24th-overall selection. It's a familiar player getting a lot of love as Baylor Bears receiver Corey Coleman continues to get hyped up for the Bengals. The latest mock draft from SB Nation has the Bengals grabbing Coleman with their first-round pick.
As expected, the Bengals lost Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones in free agency. Coleman can alleviate those losses. He's a big-play wideout who can get vertical with his speed or create separation underneath with his shiftiness and athleticism.
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco also has the Bengals grabbing Coleman with their first-round pick. We've gone over Coleman being a possible target for the 24th pick, so don't be surprised if he ends up being the Bengals' first-round pick.
However, Bleacher Report's Eric Galko has Coleman off the board when the Bengals pick, so he gave them TCU Horned Frogs star Josh Doctson instead. But, he even admits the burner, Coleman is a better fit.
Josh Doctson offers some of the best ball skills of any receiver in the 2016 draft, plucking in traffic at an elite level and offering immediate value as a 50-50 ball receiver. Pairing him with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert gives Andy Dalton multiple options on third downs and threatens defenses across the field.
If available, Corey Coleman may be a better fit for the Bengals offense thanks to his versatility to play inside and more vertical-stretching ability.
Doctson is also who CBS Sports' Dane Brugler has the Bengals snagging in Round 1. Depending on who you ask, most regard Fuller as high as the second-best receiver, or as low as the fifth-best and not even a first-round pick.
Over at NFL.com, their four-man crew all have a different player landing in Cincinnati. Daniel Jeremiah has Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson going to the Bengals, which would actually be a good pick since he'd likely be the best player on the board (Scouts Inc. has him ranked 11th overall).
The latest mock draft from fellow NFL.com analyst Charles Davis actually has the Bengals taking Ole Miss Rebels star LaQuon Treadwell with the 24th pick. Few expect him to fall all the way into the 20s as Treadwell is viewed as the top receiver prospect and a possible top-10 pick, so getting him here would be a massive steal.
NFL.com's Bucky Brooks tabbed Notre Dame Fighting Irish receiver Will Fuller to the Bengals. He's been previously mocked to the Bengals and would be a nice addition, but maybe a bit of a reach at 24. That's also who CBS Sports' Rob Rang has going to the Bengals.
Finally, NFL.com's Lance Zierlein has Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee going to the Bengals, as does Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke. Our own Anthony Cosenza and Cody Tewmey did a great breakdown of Lee and how he might fit with the Bengals.
Personally, I don't see linebacker being the pick. There's just not one in this draft worthy of that pick outside of a few guys that would double as defensive ends and outside backers. A 'true' 4-3 linebacker is just not a need for this team.
Two notable players who were mocked to the Bengals a lot early on but aren't anymore are Ohio State receivers Michael Thomas and Braxton Miller. Both have been mocked to the Bengals at various points this offseason, but not as much since the Scouting Combine.
It seems as though the so-called draft experts are learning what the rest of the NFL knows and that's neither guy is worthy of that high a pick, no matter how much potential they may have. Be sure to read what Mike Mayock said about those two and the other top receiver prospects.
Of all these mentioned players, which do you like the most for Cincinnati?