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2018 NFL Mock Draft: Are the Bengals going to reach for an offensive tackle?

The Bengals try to fix their offensive line, but do they need to stay at 12 to do that?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Big 12 Championship Game - Oklahoma v TCU Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Now that the Super Bowl is over it is officially the offseason, which means it is mock draft season.

The first mock draft from SB Nation following the Super Bowl is out, and they are sticking with the obvious pick for the Bengals, which isn’t a bad thing.

12. Cincinnati Bengals: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

If the Bengals want to return to being a playoff team, fixing the offensive line once and for all has to happen. Brown is a mauler of an offensive tackle who makes up for athleticism with his sheer size.

I don’t think anyone would question a mock draft that has the Bengals taking an offensive tackle. It is an obvious need, and correcting it will significantly improve the Bengals next season.

Some may argue which offensive tackle the Bengals take, though. Brown seems like a very high-ceiling prospect, but at his size he could struggle with quicker pass rushers in the NFL. If he develops correctly though he could be a franchise left tackle for the Bengals for years to come.

What really is troubling about this mock draft is this pick by itself isn’t bad. However, the rest of the draft makes it seems like the Bengals are reaching here at 12 when they still have quite a few players that I think they’d be happy to take still on the board.

In fact, aside from the linebacker Roquan Smith, who was taken at 11, the Bengals still have just about all the familiar faces that have been mocked to them still left at 12.

This leads to the obvious question of if the Bengals end up in this situation, should they trade back?

When the Bengals get on the clock they have players like Brown, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, offensive tackle Connor Williams, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey and even center Billy Price. I’ll even throw in the safety Derwin James because I have seen him mocked to the Bengals a few times.

With this many names sitting there at 12 that could easily come in and help the Bengals next season, the Bengals should seriously consider moving back, especially if they can stay in the teens while doing it.

In this draft, quarterbacks Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson are still available with the Cardinals and Bills obviously looking at quarterbacks, and even teams like the Chargers and Washington could end up drafting a quarterback of the future. The Bengals could be in a spot to offer one of these teams the chance to take one of these guys before any of these other teams could swoop in before them.

That would allow the Bengals to move back and still probably have a few choices with their pick. Guys like McGlinchey and Williams have been falling further and further back in recent mock drafts, which means even if the Bengals lose out on Brown they could end up with one of those two.

The Bengals should really be drafting quite a few offensive linemen to come in and compete this season so the extra pick could be put towards the offensive linemen collection as well.

Clearly, this mock draft doesn’t have trades in it, so that has an affect on where players end up in the first round, and we are working with the benefit of seeing where these players end up in the first round.

The hypothetical remains though, should the Bengals pick there guy they want more than any other, or draft their second or third choice while gaining another draft pick later in the draft?