The Senior Bowl is the first chance we have at seeing real first-round talent, as well as some mid-round picks who could have an impact early.
The Bengals don’t have a ton of needs offensively outside of offensive line, but there is plenty of talent to watch for on that side of the ball when the North or South teams are on the field.
Here are the top offensive prospects for the North and South who will be playing in the Senior Bowl.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield is sitting just outside of the top quarterbacks, and depending on who you talk to he is projected to be a late first-round pick or going top five. There have been a lot of questions that have surrounded Mayfield aside from his off the field attitude, which personally I have no problem with. On the field, he ran an offense with a lot of running and short passes, so he never really showed off his quarterback skills down the field too often. It will be interesting to see if he can answer some of those questions at the Senior Bowl.
Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
O’Neill is quickly rising up draft boards, and he is projected to be the fourth or fifth offensive tackle selected. The Senior Bowl could be a good chance for him to show he can compete with the best pass rushers from across the nation. He is a converted tight end, so the athleticism is there, but does he have the strength? If he can show he does, then he could be on the Bengals’ radar if the trade back from pick No. 12.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
If the Bengals don’t manage to re-sign Tyler Eifert this offseason, Gesicki could be an ideal replacement. At 6’6 and 250 pounds, he scored 14 touchdowns over the last two years. He isn’t a great blocker, but the Bengals showed last season that they really need that mismatch at tight end for Andy Dalton.
Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State
Lazard is a big frame wide receiver who excels at 50/50 balls. With his 6’5 frame, we know he can easily box out defenders, but what he needs to show is his ability to gain separation consistently. Either way, the Bengals probably will shy away from receivers this season, but Dalton sure has missed having a Marvin Jones-type receiver since he moved onto Detroit.
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Another one of the top quarterbacks in this years draft, Allen is trying to propel himself up draft boards with a solid Senior Bowl outing. Allen will have the ability to show what he can do when he is playing with a more talented roster than Wyoming’s. It feels like Mayfield and Allen will be battling to see who will be the third quarterback taken in this game, and watching what these two do is worth watching all on its own.
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Goedert will spend the week fight his FCS stigma. He was a walk-on basketball player at South Dakota State as well, so add him to the tight ends who know exactly how to use their 6’5, 260-pound frame to give the quarterback an easy target. Right now, Mel Kiper has him ranked as his second-overall tight end. He is another possible Eifert replacement.
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Washington needs to show he has the route running ability to consistently beat defenders in the NFL. He has everything else you could want from a physical standpoint, and the Senior Bowl will be a chance for him to show he deserves to be picked higher than the mid-round grade he has right now.
Austin Corbett, G, Nevada
Corbett played tackle in college, but he is one of those guys who will have to kick inside to fit in the NFL. Kiper has him ranked as his second-overall guard, and he also has the possibility of playing center. He could be a guy the Bengals try and target if a player like Billy Price gets picked up before their second-round selection.