After two disappointing seasons in a row, the Bengals come into the NFL Draft with several needs to fill. Their biggest move of the offseason involved adding an offensive linemen in Cordy Glenn and they are likely to add at least one more in the early stages of the draft. With the departure of Russell Bodine, the center position is the most obvious need, but they could also afford to upgrade the right side of the line. On offense they may also look to add a wide receiver who can compete or depth at tight end, running back or quarterback. Defensively, they could add depth and developmental players at linebacker and defensive back. On the defensive line they could use both an early down nose tackle and an interior pass rusher. They may also look to add a kicker who can compete with Randy Bullock for the job and an offensive or defensive player who doubles as a return specialist.
With draft week here, it’s time for our latest seven-round 2018 Bengals mock draft!
Round 1, pick No. 21
Mike McGlinchey - Offensive Tackle - Notre Dame
If McGlinchey falls to the Bengals at 21, drafting the top offensive tackle with the 21st pick will be too good to pass up. McGlinchey played left tackle and has the size to play the position in the NFL, but the Bengals would start him off at right tackle. His strength and athleticism as a run blocker will be a huge upgrade and help to establish Joe Mixon as one of the league’s top rushers.
Round 2, pick 46
Frank Ragnow - Center - Arkansas
Ragnow is the best center in the draft and though he’s often available in the second round of online mock drafts, the chances are dwindling that he lasts until pick No. 46. With that said, I still grabbed him here. He is strong and athletic and has a great understanding of when to come off of double team blocks. Ragnow can do everything the Bengals will want their center to do and he is ready to be a day-one starter.
Round 3, pick 77
Duke Ejiofor - Defensive Line - Wake Forest
Ejiofor is not the most athletic defensive end in the class, but he is one of the more polished pass rushers. Couple that with his size at 6’4”, 270 pounds and Ejiofor is a great candidate to play the edge on early downs and kick inside in pass rush situations. Adding another skilled pass rusher to the inside will create more opportunities for Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Carl Lawson.
Round 3, pick 100
Dane Cruikshank - Safety - Arizona
Cruikshank is a multi-purpose safety who can play in the deep field or rolled down into the box. He had 134 tackles and 5 interceptions over the last two seasons at Arizona. He has excellent speed and could develop into a starting option with some coaching.
Round 4, pick 112
Christian Sam - Linebacker - Arizona State
The Bengals love productive college players and Sam is coming off of a great season where he had 127 tackles. At 6’1”, 244 pounds he fits the profile of the big run stuffing linebacker that the Bengals tend to lean toward. He is an excellent athlete who plays faster than his tested speed.
Round 5, pick 151
Byron Pringle - Wide Receiver - Kansas State
Pringle comes with some baggage, but the Bengals have never shied away from that in the past. He is an excellent deep threat who runs great route. Pringle has some huge upside and could be the compliment to A.J. Green that they have been searching for.
Round 5, pick 158
Siran Neal - Defensive Back - Jacksonville State
Neal is one of the more versatile defensive backs in this year’s draft. He can play safety and outside corner, but may fit best as a nickel corner, where the Bengals have Darqueze Dennard entering free agency after the 2018 season. He has great speed and is an excellent tackler.
Round 5, pick 170
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi - Edge - Toledo
Olasunkanmi is 6’1”, 248 pounds and showed a lot of raw potential as a pass rusher at Toledo. He his quick, agile, and has really fast hands. He had 8.5 sacks in 2017, which was his best season statsitically. He could be an interesting pass rush specialist for the Bengals.
Round 7, pick 249
Daniel Carlson - Kicker - Auburn
Carlson has made 100% of his tackles throughout his four-year career at Auburn. His field goal percentage dropped off a bit in 2017, but he was very impressive in 2015 and 2016. Carlson could push Randy Bullock for the position.
Round 7, pick 252
Du’Vonta Lampkin - Defensive Tackle - Oklahoma
At 6’4” and 335 pounds, Lampkin is a massive prospect at defensive tackle. He is strong and can hold a gap, but only started two games in college. He has a lot of question marks with his technique and maturity, but has a lot of upside for a seventh round pick. He could develop into an excellent nose tackle for the Bengals.
Round 7, pick 253
Boston Scott - Running Back - Louisiana Tech
Scott would give the Bengals a third running back who can be used in in both the run and the pass game. He ran for over 1,000 yards last season and was used as a receiving threat as well. Scott is only 5’6” and 200 pounds, but is quick and shifty. He would be an interesting change of pace back who could get a handful of touches in each game. Scott has met with the Bengals at Louisiana Tech in addition to coming to the stadium for a workout, showing the team is very interested in him. If he goes undrafted (and isn’t selected here by the Bengals) look for him to be signed as an undrafted free agent.