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Bengals mailbag: Final thoughts before Round 1 of the NFL Draft

We answer some last minute questions about the 2018 NFL Draft including what happens if Mike McGlinchey falls, when the Bengals will draft a tight end and more.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Texas A&M
Frank Ragnow has a strong possibility to be the Bengals round 1 pick
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The draft is quickly approaching with only a few hours left until the first pick is made and then only another couple hours before the Bengals will make their first round selection. With that in mind, we took some questions about the draft and will answer them as well as possible.

The first question comes from Facebook and asks in what round the Bengals may address the tight end position.

In free agency, the Bengals were somewhat surprisingly able to retain the services of Tyler Eifert for the 2018 season. This eliminated the early need for a tight end and with how shallow of a class this is for tight ends I could see them avoiding the position altogether. If they do draft one, I would expect it to be someone who had an unexpected fall or a late rounder. If they feel the value is right, it could come late in Round 3 or on Day 3.

Other than the top offensive linemen, there are some good options for the Bengals. Though, I’d like the first round pick to be a lineman. There are two positions I like after the obvious picks of Mike McGlinchey and the centers. The first is guard with guys like Isaiah Wynn and Will Hernandez; there’s also Connor Williams who could convert from tackle to guard. I also like a guy like Jaire Alexander who would give the Bengals the option to get out of Dre Kirkpatrick’s contract or let Darqueze Dennard walk after this year. Alexander could also provide an upgrade at punt returning, too.

The realistic worst case scenario for the Bengals comes down to two guys for me and they are Kolton Miller and Da’Ron Payne. Miller has serious technical problems that I don’t trust the Bengals to fix. Payne was incredibly up-and-down in college and that was while playing on a loaded Alabama defense. This is a guy who only had three sacks and five tackles for loss in his college career.

The guy I least want to see in the AFC North is Lamar Jackson. Jackson may not ever play 16 games in one season in his career, but he will always be tough to defend and can completely take over games on his own. The Jackson to the Ravens at 16 talk has me worried as Joe Flacco doesn’t scare me at all, but Jackson definitely does.

There have been a lot of rumors that the Bengals are interested in Jackson and I might have been more willing to believe them if Marvin Lewis was no longer in Cincinnati. With Lewis still the head coach, that seems unlikely so we need to look beyond the first round. A guy like Luke Falk who is kind of like Andy Dalton is someone I could see the Bengals drafting in the fourth, or maybe a high upside guy like a Chase Litton in the fifth.

I don’t think McGlinchey falls to 21, but if he does and the Bengals get him there, I think the team would strongly consider a trade up later on, even as rarely as they do it. They aren’t going to roster 11 draft picks anyway and they know they need to get a good day one starting center in this draft. If the Bengals draft McGlinchey at pick No. 21 and two of the top three centers are off-the-board shortly after, they could trade back into Round 1 to get the third center.