The only people who know what the Bengals are going to do in the 2016 NFL Draft are the people in the Bengals' front office who are handling the draft strategy. Even then, they don't know what other teams are going to do, so even they probably couldn't make an entirely accurate mock draft for the team.
Even so, mocking the draft and trying to figure out who will end up going to which team is fun. We found the latest attempt at guessing the team's big board and mocking all seven rounds from Chris Roling at Bleacher Report, who has some interesting ideas for what the Bengals should do.
Top 100 Big Board
A team's big board is typically their strategy for who they will want to draft if these players are available. The Bengals are known for utilizing the "best player available" strategy in the draft, based on their own big board. Rolling has some interesting names on this list for the Bengals that you might not expect. In particular, having defensive back Jalen Ramsey at the very top and the first wide receiver appearing at No. 7.
Granted, Ramsey has virtually no chance of falling all the way to No. 24 for the Bengals, so it's pretty unlikely that him being at the top of this list will be all that relevant. Then again, assuming some crazy unrealistic scenario in which he does fall, would the Bengals really pick him over other talented players who are a better fit like Myles Jack, Joey Bosa, or Josh Doctson?
As expected, the top wide receiver on their big board is projected to be Doctson, whom many analysts and experts have as a potential Bengals pick. A popular non-receiver pick for them in many mocks, Vernon Butler, is projected as their third highest rated defensive tackle (19th overall).
Round 1, Pick 24: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Despite having been a popular pick for the Bengals for months, the buzz around Doctson and the Bengals doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon. He's one of the best YAC contributors in the draft this year and would be an excellent complement to A.J. Green in the receiving game. There's talk about a few other teams, particularly the Vikings who pick at No. 23, taking Doctson ahead of the Bengals. However, it's a pretty safe bet to say that he'll be right at the forefront of their minds if he's available at No. 24.
Round 2, pick 55: Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
The idea of the Bengals picking up a center early in the draft is one that has been criticized as 'unlikely'. While some (such as myself) believe the Bengals need an upgrade at center over Russell Bodine, the Bengals don't have a history of picking centers early in the draft. Furthermore, as good of a player as Martin is, the Bengals might not be interested in the post-injury product. If he's available, the Bengals may consider Martin, but it's not likely they pull the trigger.
Round 3, pick 87: Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
Roling makes a good point about the Bengals' DT position here. Geno Atkins is one of the best in the NFL, but as solid as Domata Peko can be he's also 31-years-old. Hargrave hasn't received quite the same buzz as some of the other early prospects, but he could develop into a solid starter next to Atkins while Peko finishes up his career. The Bengals also attended SC State Pro Day, and took a look at Hargrave.
Round 4, pick 122: Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois
The Bengals have a problem with defensive end depth now that Wallace Gilberry has packed his bags and moved to the Lions. Margus Hunt and Will Clarke haven't developed as expected at the position, so what's the plan if Carlos Dunlap or Michael Johnson potentially get hurt, or when they are free agents in 2018? Ward is both lengthy and powerful, so he should be a great addition to the Bengals' line if they can get him.
Round 5, pick 161: D.J. White, CB, Georgia Tech
Although Leon Hall has yet to sign with another team and there's no guarantee that he won't come back, the lack of information surrounding the situation is a pretty bad sign for a reunion. Assuming he doesn't come back, the Bengals will need to shore up their cornerback depth. White would be a great pick up this late in the draft. He is a player who could end up starting in the NFL, so picking him up in the fifth round would provide incredible value.
Round 6, pick 199: Travis Feeney, OLB, Washington
With Emmanuel Lamur leaving this offseason for the Vikings, bringing in some depth at outside linebacker is probably a good idea. They already brought in Karlos Dansby in free agency, but finding a player in the draft to provide competition and longevity couldn't hurt. It's certainly not a prime need, so waiting until the sixth round makes sense. However, Feeny doesn't necessarily seem like the right fit. He has a unique blend of size and speed, but also had plenty of issues with missed tackles in college, an area at which the Bengals already struggle.
Round 7, pick 245: Tre Madden, RB, USC
Running back doesn't really seem to be a need of any kind for the Bengals. They've got Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, Rex Burkhead, and Cedric Peerman all on the roster. That's really more running backs than you need on one team. With the hole at safety having not been throughout this mock so far, taking a flyer on at running back instead seems silly.