Will Michael Thomas be available when the Bengals make a selection with the 24th overall pick? A consensus has come to believe that Thomas won't be picked until the Bengals are on the clock or later, but NFL.com's Chad Reuter sees otherwise.
Reuter really seems to like Michael Thomas--so much so that he believes Mike Zimmer's Vikings will take him with the pick before Cincinnati's 24th overall selection.
Teddy Bridgewater will only get better with more trustworthy receivers. Thomas' 40 times (solidly in the mid-4.5s) won't blow you away, but he was among the quickest receivers at the combine (6.8 seconds in the three-cone drill) and he has good size, measuring 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds (with 10 1/2 inch hands).
So who did the Bengals end up taking with the 24th overall selection in Reuter's mock draft? A familiar name in Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman.
Free agency has weakened the Bengals' receiving corps, and Coleman's speed works well to complement A.J. Green.
It will be interesting to see what the Bengals do with their first round selection, considering how there will likely be at least one player available to the team most mock drafts believe will fall earlier in the draft.
Should the Bengals take a wide receiver with their first round pick, or should they stockpile defensive talent and nab a receiver in the second round, third round or even later rounds of the draft?
Moving on. Reuter didn't just mock the first round; he mocked the first five rounds of the draft. So did he fill the Bengals' needs as well as he could have? That's up to you to decide.
Round 2: OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Round 3: S T.J. Green, Clemson
Round 4: DT Maliek Collins, Nebraska
Round 5: OLB Beniquez Brown, Mississippi State
I like the way Reuter attacked the Bengals' positional needs, but there's no chance the Bengals take an offensive tackle in the second round of the draft. Even if Ifedi were to fall that far in Round 2, or if Laremy Tunsil were to somehow fall to the Bengals in Round 1, Cincinnati would be better suited filling another positional need, as they're set at tackle with Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher as the bookends of the future.
I like T.J. Green's athleticism, but his lack of production leaves reason for concern. However, drafting a high-ceiling safety in Round 3 would be a great move for the Bengals, in the case that Shawn Williams isn't the team's long-term answer or leaves as a free agent next year. Maliek Collins and Beniquez Brown both make sense, but neither pick gets me excited.
I give this draft a C grade. While Reuter's mock has the Bengals filling most of their positional needs, it wastes a high draft pick on a position that Cincinnati won't attack until at least Round 4, and it doesn't have the Bengals taking an edge rusher until at least Round 6.