clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Draft 2016: Mel Kiper's final rankings and how Bengals targets fare

New, comments

Among Mel Kiper's top 20 players are guys who've been commonly mocked to the Bengals this offseason.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The finish line is in sight as the NFL draft is almost here.

To help get through the next 24 hours, Mel Kiper put out his final rankings of the top 300 prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft. As you can imagine, many of the guys he ranked high have been touted as possible Bengals targets. The highest of which is TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson, who came in at 11th overall.

Of his top-50 prospects, we've seen Doctson, Baylor's Corey Coleman and Ole Miss' LaQuon Treadwell commonly mocked to the Bengals. Here's how Kiper broke them down:

11. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

A gifted pass-catcher, Doctson makes difficult catches look routine and is a wizard when it comes to creating space against tight coverage and snatching the ball in tight space when the coverage is good. He makes plays after the catch and is a diligent worker.

17. *Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

His length, ball skills and understanding of the nuances of route running and timing on contested catches make Treadwell an outstanding prospect. The question mark is straight-line speed, but there's little else lacking in his game. Treadwell can be an early-impact player.

22. *Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

He has both blinding straight-line speed and elite foot quickness, a combination that will make safeties back up toward whichever side of the field he lines up on. He does have the occasional drop, but he also makes contested catches. He can turn anything he catches in space into six points.

I really don't think Doctson is going to be on the board for the Bengals to grab at 24, as much as I want to see it happen. Either Coleman or Tredwell would be great picks, not to mention good value for Cincinnati at 24.

As for the defensive line, that's an area where some think the Bengals may go in Round 1. Alabama's Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson have been mocked to Cincinnati this offseason, as has Louisville's Sheldon Rankins on rare occasions. Here's how Kiper ranked them:

19. Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville

The rare interior defender who can win with his explosiveness, Rankins is also a powerfully built defender who can get blockers off balance in myriad ways. He's a perfect fit as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, but the versatility allows coordinators to look beyond that.

20. A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

He's a powerful, well-proportioned interior presence who can overwhelm you one-on-one and hold the point against a combination of blockers. Robinson can play too upright at times, but he has the potential to do more damage in the backfield than he has shown thus far.

21. Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama

The best run defender in the draft among linemen, Reed can hold the point against a locomotive and will destroy running lanes. If he gets a hand on a ball carrier, the play is over, and the blocking attention he requires makes those around him better.

Rankins and the Alabama duo of A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed have also been mocked to the Bengals. I'm not as high on Robinson or Reed as much as I am Rankins, but any of these three would be solid pickups. Rankins has been rumored this week to be rising up draft boards.

Here's a look at Kiper's full top 50:

1. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

2. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

3. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State

4. Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

5. Jared Goff, QB, California

6. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

7. Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

9. DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

10. Myles Jack, ILB, UCLA

11. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

12. Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

13. Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

14. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

15. Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State

16. Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

17. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

18. Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

19. Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville

20. A'Shawn Robinson, DL, Alabama

21. Jarran Reed, DL, Alabama

22. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

23. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

24. Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama

25. William Jackson III, CB, Houston

26. Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State

27. Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois

28. Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

29. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

30. Artie Burns, CB, Miami (Fla)

31. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

32. Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

33. Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M

34. Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi

35. Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson

36. Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State

37. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

38. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

39. Su'a Cravens, OLB, USC

40. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

41. Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame

42. Noah Spence, OLB, Eastern Kentucky

43. Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma

44. Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

45. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt

46. Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina

47. Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech

48. Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

49. Deion Jones, OLB, LSU

50. Keanu Neal, S, Florida

Kiper also points out that, "Ninety percent of the players in this group carry a Round 1 grade from at least one team, which means that if you get any of them in Round 2, you're looking at a reasonable value or better." Seeing guys like LSU linebacker Deion Jones isn't too surprising since he and most of these guys have been a Round 1 selection in at least one respectable analyst's mock draft.

So by Kiper's report, we should keep all of those guys on watch during the first round. The only prospects I've seen get virtually no buzz for Round 1 is South Carolina tight end Jerell Adams. Everyone on that list at some point this offseason has gotten at least some buzz as a possible late first-round pick.

The one name on that list that really looks out of place is Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. If teams really view him as the 23rd-best prospect, then there's at least a chance he falls to the Bengals at 24. He's one of those 'rushes to the podium to make the pick' type of guys for Cincinnati as he's an elite cornerback who can start Day 1 in this defense.

One other takeaway: Seeing Will Fuller at 31 does make me feel a little better if he ends up being the Bengals' first-round selection, though I'd much rather see Cincinnati trade back if Fuller is the best receiver on the board and they feel there's no other players worth the 24th pick.