Mike Mayock has updated his top five players at every position heading into the NFL Draft and we’re taking a look at the offensive side of the ball to see where the Bengals’ targets rank with two weeks to go until the draft.
1. Leonard Fournette, LSU
2. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
3. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
T-5. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
T-5. Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
Rise: Mixon (previously No. 5 in special exceptions), Samuel (NR)
Fall: Samaje Perine, Oklahoma (5)
Running back has been a position to which the Bengals have been heavily connected and Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon have all visited Cincinnati to meet with the team. Mayock ranks Fournette as the draft’s best back, followed by Christian McCaffrey, Cook, Alvin Kamara, Mixon and Curtis Samuel (the latter two of whom are tied as the fifth best backs in the draft). The Bengals have at a minimum attended the pro days of all six of these players and Kamara, Mixon and Samuel could be Round 2 targets for Cincinnati.
1. Mike Williams, Clemson
2. John Ross, Washington
3. Corey Davis, Western Michigan
4. Zay Jones, East Carolina
T-5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC
T-5. Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
Rise: Williams (2), Ross (3)
Fall: Davis (1)
Wide receiver is less of a need, but also a possibility for the Bengals in the early rounds of the draft. Washington’s John Ross is visiting Cincinnati this weekend and the Bengals have met with most, if not all, of the receivers listed in Mayock’s top five at some point during the pre-draft process. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bengals select the receiver they feel is the best in the draft with the No. 9 overall pick. Pro Football Focus strongly believes the Bengals should grab Western Michigan’s Corey Davis, who Mayock ranks as the draft’s third best receiver. If the Bengals want Davis, trading back into the later portion of Round 1 could be an option.
1. O.J. Howard, Alabama
2. David Njoku, Miami
3. Evan Engram, Ole Miss
4. Gerald Everett, South Alabama
T-5. George Kittle, Iowa
T-5. Jordan Leggett, Clemson
Rise: Leggett (NR)
The Bengals have one of the best tight ends in the NFL on the roster. But, Tyler Eifert has a lot of trouble staying healthy and Alabama’s O.J. Howard is considered a top 10 pick in the draft. The Bengals have been scouting tight ends, including Clemson’s Jordan Leggett, who ranks tied for fifth on Mayock’s list.
1. Cam Robinson, Alabama
2. Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
3. Garett Bolles, Utah
4. Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
5. Antonio Garcia, Troy
Rise: Robinson (previously No. 2 interior OL), Moton (T-5)
Fall: Ramczyk (1), Bolles (2), Garcia (3), Roderick Johnson, Florida State (4), Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M (T-5)
Offensive tackle is a big need for the Bengals, but there’s no player at the position worthy of the No. 9 overall pick. The Bengals could and likely should wait until Day 3 to select an offensive lineman in this year’s draft.
1. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2. Dan Feeney, Indiana
3. Dion Dawkins, Temple
4. Pat Elflein, Ohio State
T-5. Ethan Pocic, LSU
T-5. Dorian Johnson, Pitt
Like offensive tackle, there’s no guard or center worthy of the No. 9 overall selection for Cincinnati. The team is likely to select a center at some point in the draft with Russell Bodine entering the final year of his rookie deal. On top of that, with Kevin Zeitler gone to Cleveland, a guard could be selected, too. But, Rounds 1 and 2 are unlikely positions for the Bengals to draft any offensive lineman. Lamp is the only borderline Round 1 prospect from this position group while Feeny, Dawkins and Johnson are considered Round 2 prospects. Centers Elflein and Pocic are borderline for Rounds 2-3 and could be in contention for selection by the Bengals, though, the team has more immediate needs to address early in the draft. Still, if any of these players is the best available at a point in which the Bengals are on the clock, expect that player to be selected.
1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
2. Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
3. Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech
4. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
5. Davis Webb, California
Rise: Watson (2), Trubisky (3), Mahomes (4)
Fall: Kizer (1)
The Bengals are unlikely to draft any of the best quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft. Though, the team has met with Mahomes II. That could be due dilligence in case he gets selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the heir to Ben Roethlisberger’s throne.