There is only one game left in the season (I refuse to acknowledge the Pro Bowl as an actual game), which means we are one game away from full blown offseason coverage.
The Bengals currently have the 12th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, and they are sitting in an area where they can see who falls to them before deciding whether they want to possibly trade back or not.
It looks like there will be quite a few quarterbacks taken in the top 10, which means the Bengals will be able to pick up one of the star players who inexplicably falls to them.
Who could that be?
Well with the help of Todd McShay’s updated Top 32 we can see what prospects could be around, and which ones are dropping in stock.
Players left at 12
Right now McShay only has two quarterbacks ranked in his top 12, and since there will probably be at least three or even four taken before the Bengals pick that will leave them with a few players who could conceivably help them next season.
12. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: Evans is the 12th-ranked prospect for McShay, and he talks about him being a complete linebacker who can essentially do it all, all while lining up at multiple positions. A guy like this could be a great addition for a guy like Teryl Austin. Austin wants to build his system around his players, and having a guy who can fill multiple roles could make his job a lot easier. The only real downside, as McShay notes, is he has to check out medically.
13. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: The order of the top tackles in the draft is something no one can seem to agree on, and a big reason is difference in philosophy. It comes down to a matter of either wanting to take a risk on a guy with a big ceiling or play it safe with a high floor but little room to grow. Brown represents the huge ceiling player who could end up being one of the best in the NFL. On the flip side, he could also fail to develop at all, and you could be left with a bust.
15. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: McGlinchey represents the safest of the top tackles to pick. He has a high ceiling, but odds are is he will never end up playing at that All-Pro level. Instead, he could end up being a solid piece of an offensive line for a long long time. Not the flashiest pick, but he could help the Bengals right away.
Players who are ranked before 12
7. Tremaine Edmunds, OLB, Virginia Tech: Edmunds has quickly risen up draft boards. He was ranked as McShay’s 31st prospect last time, but he has flown all the way up to seven, and possibly out of the Bengals’ reach. Edmunds is a very athletic linebacker, and he is super young. He will be 19 when he is drafted. He is also 6’5 and plays between 240 to 250 pounds. You would never guess that by the way he is able to fly around the field though. The age may scare some teams, but for a team like the Bengals they love take developmental players.
8. Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia: Interestingly enough, this is the first time I’ve seen Smith ranked behind Edmunds. This could be a very interesting development if it holds up through the combine. In all reality, the Bengals may see one of these linebackers fall to them, because not many teams in front of them need a linebacker. Smith led one of the best defenses in the country last season, and his sideline-to-sideline ability was a huge part of that. That is something the Bengals sorely need to add to their defense to take the next step.
Players who have fallen too far back
25. Connor Williams, OT, Texas: Once viewed as an easy top 10 selection, Williams has been falling down mock drafts and draft boards quickly. He is another guy with a high ceiling, but it appears teams and analysts are waiting to hear back on his medical reports after he tore his MCL and PCL last season.
31. Billy Price, C, Ohio State: Price would be a dream come true for Bengals fans who have had to sit and watch Russell Bodine get blown up for four years. He is a solid center who could help the Bengals right away. It is possible he could be a target for the Bengals if they trade back. If he falls into the second round, the Bengals would also be grateful to snatch him up.