We're just over a week away from the 2016 NFL Draft beginning.
That means the end of mock draft season is in sight! But, it's not here yet as ESPN's Mel Kiper has put out a new Grade-A mock that has Cincy going away from wide receiver in Round 1 and nabbing a defensive tackle instead.
The Alabama Crimson Tide, Pittsburgh Panthers and Ohio State Buckeyes are featured in the latest three-round 'Grade A' mock from Kiper, who thinks the Bengals should go defensive tackle in the first round.
Round 1 (24): A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Round 2 (55): Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Round 3 (87): Joshua Perry, ILB, Ohio State
Analysis: Free agency made a dent in the wide receiver depth chart, but with the top four options off the board (two in the previous two picks), I'm going with Robinson in Round 1 as an immediate help on the defensive line. This has been a roster built on good drafting and development, and taking a really good player at a perpetual need position for any roster is never a bad thing. I get the wide receiver help in Round 2 with Boyd, who could start early on opposite A.J. Green. Perry could help a linebacking corps that is aging and also faces the early-season suspension of Vontaze Burfict.
The 6'4", 307-pound Robinson is a more athletic tackle who consistently pressures the quarterback better than, say a guy like Domata Peko does. Robinson can play inside, but he plays more like Geno Atkins and can even rush off the edge.
Between CBS Sports' five-man mock team and NFL.com's four-man crew, six of those eight mocks have Robinson being off the board before the 24th pick, but the other two don't even have him going in Round 1. Based on that, it's hard to project exactly where Robinson will go, but it looks like he'd be solid value at 24.
As for Tyler Boyd in Round 2, he'd be ranked higher, possibly as a first-round prospect, if not for a poor 2015 overall. One of the biggest receiving stars of the past three years, Boyd caught 85 passes for 1,174 yards with seven touchdowns while being a Freshman All-American first-team pick in 2013.
Boyd followed that up with 78 grabs for 1,261 yards and eight scores in 2014 and looked poised to be a first-round pick in the 2016 draft as a true junior.
But Boyd was suspended for the first game of 2015 against Youngstown State after a DUI charge from an arrest in June. He still finished with a career-high 91 catches this past season, but only netted 926 yards and six scores. Pitt didn't have much of a passing game though as they were geared more towards the run, which helped lead to Boyd's drop in production.
Getting Boyd at this spot could be a nice steal for the Bengals if he lives up to his potential. He'd also likely be the No. 1 receiver on the board at this point with guys like Josh Doctson, Michael Thomas, Will Fuller, Laquon Treadwell and Corey Coleman off the board.
And in Round 3, Buckeyes linebacker Joshua Perry would be a nice value pick. He's projected as a second-round pick by CBS Sports. That comes after Perry helped lead OSU to the national title in 2014 while notching 124 total tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. He followed that up with 105 tackles and 7.5 TFLs as a senior.
Perry is projected as a 3-4 inside backer or 4-3 WILL in the NFL, so the Bengals may not have much use for him with Vontaze Burfict and Vinny Rey getting most of the WILL snaps.
Overall, how do you like this mock for the Bengals?