We're so close to the 2016 NFL Draft kicking off, so we'll try to pass the time with some mock drafts that take a different angle than what we've become accustomed to.
At NFL.com, Chad Reuter has a seven-round mock draft out for all 32 teams. I personally like these kinds of mocks the most because it gives us a chance to look at some of the late-round guys who could end up in Bengal stripes.
The name at the top is one we've seen mocked to Cincinnati pretty often this offseason. Notre Dame star Will Fuller was one of the better college receivers in 2015, and he's once again being projected as the Bengals' first-round selection.
Here's a look at Reuter's full seven-round projection for the Bengals:
24. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
Fuller is a speed demon who will take advantage of openings created by A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. You're welcome, Andy Dalton and/or AJ McCarron.
55. Jonathan Bullard, DT, Florida
87. De'Vondre Campbell, OLB, Minnesota
122. Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah
161. Ronald Blair, DE, Appalachian State
245. Juston Burris, CB, North Carolina State
I'm personally not a fan of Fuller in Round 1, especially with Baylor's Corey Coleman and Ohio State's Michael Thomas still on the board. I would be very surprised to see Cincinnati pass on those two guys to take Fuller as every indication is they're better receivers, and NFL teams also view them as better prospects.
But while the first pick is questionable, I'm a big fan of the second pick. Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard was a monster along the Gators' defensive line this past season, racking up 63 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
This would be a massive steal for the Bengals, where he could be groomed to be a backup to Geno Atkins while also replacing Domata Peko on obvious passing downs. You could also sneak him in at end on running downs and occasionally on passing downs, where he's probably a better pass-rusher than either of Will Clarke or Margus Hunt.
The rest of the draft class is a bit iffy since guys like De'Vondre Campbell are talked of much heading into the draft. The Maryland outside linebacker made 92 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and a team-high four sacks this past season and is a solid coverage backer. He's the kind of guy that would help replace Emmanuel Lamur on passing downs while also playing some WILL.
Miles Killebrew is actually a better prospect and someone projected to go in Round 3, so getting him here would be a nice steal. Killebrew showed his physicality with 101 tackles in 2014 and 132 in 2015. He also showed solid pass coverage skills with three interceptions in 2014 and seven pass break-ups in 2015. He's a small-school guy though from Southern Utah, and we don't often see the Bengals dip into those ranks, though Killebrew is the kind of guy you make an exception for. And, the Bengals have met with him.
That may also be the case for App State pass-rusher Ronald Blair (go read BTB's piece on Blair), who racked up 32 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks over the past two seasons in the Sun Belt conference. At 6'2" and 284 pounds, he's actually one of the few defensive ends in this draft with the kind of measurables and production the Bengals like in pass-rushing prospects.
Finally, NC State corner Justin Burris is a quality DB who could earn a spot on the 53-man roster this year thanks to a lack of depth at this position. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein actually calls him a Round 4 or 5 prospect, so this would be a nice steal in Round 7.
Overall, I'd be fine with this draft class due in large part to how well the Bengals would have done after Round 1. And while we may not all be fans of Fuller, he is good enough to make a positive impact as a rookie, which is really what the Bengals will need in the short-term.
How would you grade this draft haul?