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NFL Mock Draft 2018: Projections for Bengals in Rounds 2-3

Billy Price fills the Bengals’ biggest need, but they will need to add more talent on day two of the draft in order to stay competitive in the AFC North.

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The Bengals came into this draft with many holes to fill, but none of them as big as the center position. The Bengals’ offensive line has struggled during the last couple of seasons, and while they do have some young players who could emerge at tackle and guard, they lacked any in-house options at center other than T.J. Johnson, who couldn’t beat out Russell Bodine for the starting job. If you can’t beat Bodine, you’re not good enough.

There were three centers in this year’s draft who were considered to have first-round potential, but in the days leading up to the draft Frank Ragnow had become the odds on favorite for the Bengals’ first pick. Ragnow was taken one pick before the Bengals’ selection, but the team seemed to be unphased and quickly chose Ohio State center Billy Price with pick No. 21.

By drafting Price with their first round pick, the Bengals addressed the team’s biggest need. Price is extremely strong and gets great movement in the run game. He has a mean streak which is something that the Bengals’ offensive line has lacked in recent years. He is excellent with his hands and generally plays with good technique. His biggest issue is that he can lunge at times, but this is a mistake that comes with his aggressive play style. As long as his pectoral injury heals in time for camp, he will be a day one starter in Cincinnati.

Although Price was an excellent pick, the Bengals may have been able to get him a little bit later in the draft. With his injury, and the fact that James Daniels was still on the board, he could have fallen to the end of the first round, or possibly even day two. The Bengals may have been able to trade back later in the round and still get him, or take another player and move up from their second round pick to get him.

The Bengals started the draft off strong by filling their biggest team need. Moving forward the team will likely add another offensive linemen to compete for a starting role on the right side. They will also look to add an interior defensive lineman who can pass rush. They still need to add depth at defensive back and linebacker, where the team struggled with injuries late last season. The Bengals may also look to add depth at running back or wide receiver. With that said, here’s a Day 2 mock draft for the Bengals in Rounds 2 and 3.

Day 2 Mock

2nd round - 46th overall - Will Hernandez - Offensive Guard - UTEP

Will Hernandez, not unlike Billy Price, is a bad man. Hernandez is a big, strong player who has demostrated the athletic ability to pull to the outside. He has a demeanor that matches Price’s and putting the two next two each other in the lineup would create some huge holes for Joe Mixon to run through.

3rd round - 77th overall - Maurice Hurst - Defensive Tackle - Michigan

Due to the heart condition that caused him to be sent home from the NFL combine, Maurice Hurst is a bit of a medical question mark. He is the best defensive tackle in the draft and makes an incredble number of plays in the backfield. Hurst is an every down defensive tackle and the Bengals could take a huge step forward defensively by pairing him with Atkins.

3rd round - 100th overall - Dane Cruikshank - Safety - Arizona

Bengals’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin personally worked Dane Cruikshank out at his pro day. Cruikshank has the size to cover tight ends, the range to play in deep field zones, and the tackling ability to play in the box. He would give the Bengals the speed and versatility needed at the safety position.

Here are the remaining players from SB Nation’s Top 100 players list:

16. Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College

17. Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan

20. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

21. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

22. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

23. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

29. Connor Williams, OT, Texas

31. Harrison Phillips, DL, Stanford

33. Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

36. James Daniels, C, Iowa

37. Sam Hubbard, Edge, Ohio State

39. Ronald Jones II, RB, Southern California

40. Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

41. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

43. Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

44. Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

45. Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

47. Tim Settle, DL, Virginia Tech

48. Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

49. Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State

50. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

51. James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

52. Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh

53. Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

54. Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest

55. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

56. Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon

57. Uchenna Nwosu, Edge, Southern California

58. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn

59. Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

61. Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee

62. Arden Key, Edge, LSU

63. Jaylen Samuels, TE/WR/RB/FB, North Carolina State

64. Austin Corbett, G, Nevada

65. Justin Reid, S, Stanford

67. DJ Chark, WR, LSU

68. Braden Smith, G, Auburn

69. Rasheem Green, Edge, Southern California

70. Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

71. Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan

72. Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

73. Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

74. Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State

75. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge, Oklahoma

76. Geron Christian, OT, Louisville

77. Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State

78. Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama

79. Duke Ejiofor, Edge, Wake Forest

80. P.J. Hall, DL, Sam Houston State

81. Fred Warner, LB, BYU

82. DeShon Elliott, S, Texas

83. Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa

84. Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

85. Marcus Allen, S, Penn State

86. Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin

87. Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana

88. B.J. Hill, DL, North Carolina State

89. Hercules Mata’afa, Edge, Washington State

90. Nick DeLuca, LB, North Dakota State

91. Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida

92. Lorenzo Carter, Edge, Georgia

93. Kemoko Turay, Edge, Rutgers

94. Mason Cole, C, Michigan

95. Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State

96. Deon Cain, WR, Clemson

97. M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina

98. Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State

99. Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin

100. Dante Pettis, WR, Washington