The Bengals have made it clear they weren’t happy with their offense in 2017.
After taking John Ross and Joe Mixon in the first two rounds, they’ve added another playmaker in Round 4. It comes in Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Josh Malone. He becomes the second SEC player to join Cincinnati along with Auburn Tigers defensive end Carl Lawson, who was also drafted in Round 4.
The 6’3”, 208-pound Malone caught 50 passes for 972 yards (19.4 avg.) and 11 scores this past season. Despite the great production, Malone was projected to be drafted in the Round 4-5 range, so getting him here was good value.
In fact, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper had Malone ranked as his seventh-best prospect coming into Day 3. Most draft services have Malone rated as a top-100 prospect, the highest being No. 78 by Kiper.
The Bengals were expected to add multiple receivers in this draft, and Malone was an ideal candidate on Day 3 after Ross went in the first round. Malone is more of a bigger possession receiver with good speed that will play on the boundary, whereas Ross is a small burner that will play in the slot and boundary, so their games will compliment each other.
Josh Malone Strengths:
- Ability to stretch the field with top end speed
- Strong hands; can make tough contested catches
- Size; big target in the red-zone
- High upside: still has untapped potential
Josh Malone Weaknesses:
- Lack of explosiveness; he has top end speed, but it takes time for him to pick up steam
- Inconsistency; sometimes disappears in games if he’s not involved early
- Lacks balance in his game; he’s a formidable vertical threat, but needs work in other areas
How do you grade the Bengals’ Round 4b selection of Josh Malone?
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