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Bengals among 4 teams to draft 5 players ranked in top 100 of 2018 NFL Draft

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The Bengals were one of only four teams to draft five players ranked in Mike Mayock’s top 100 prospects list.

Miami v Duke Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

A team does not need to have a top 10 pick or make an epic trade to have an impressive NFL draft. The best drafts are good from top to bottom and feature players who offer great value at every position. The Bengals may not have had the flashiest draft, but they are in a small group of teams who selected five players ranked in Mike Mayock’s top 100 prospects in the 2018 draft class. The other three teams who fall into this boat are the Broncos, Colts and Giants. No team had more than five draft picks in Mayock’s top 100.

The Bengals’ first round pick Billy Price led the group. Price was selected 21st overall and ranked 45th by Mayock who may have been more concerned about Price’s pectoral muscle than the Bengals are. Price is the likely starter at center for the Bengals this fall and projects to be a major upgrade at the position. Prior to his injury, Mayock had Price ranked as the draft’s top center, but the injury pushed him down the draft board.

Second round safety Jessie Bates was a stand out at Wake Forest. The Bengals selected him 54th overall and Mayock ranked him 53rd. Bates was the fourth ranked safety on Mayock’s list and will compete for the starting free safety position for the Bengals this fall.

Sam Hubbard was expected to be a second round pick, but the Bengals were happy to see him fall to the third round. Mayock had him ranked 57th and the Bengals got him with the 77th overall pick. Hubbard is one of the more skilled pass rushers in the draft and will likely be a contributor for the Bengals defense in 2018.

The Bengals selected a linebacker with big upside with the 78th pick in the draft. Malik Jefferson is a great athlete coming off his best college season. He was ranked 77th on Mayock’s top 100. He’s seen as a developmental pospect, but could be thrown into the lineup early with the suspension of Vontaze Burfict. He’ll also likely contribute on special teams.

When the Bengals drafted Mark Walton with the 112th pick in the draft, it was not well received by some fans who didn’t see running back as a need. Walton started off 2017 with a bang and was having a great final college season before being sidelined by an ankle injury. The Miami running back was a player who the Bengals had ranked much higher than were he was drafted, as did Mayock who ranked him 86th.

The Bengals selected five players in Mayock’s top 100 despite only having four of the top 100 picks. They got great value out of their mid round picks by adding talent at multiple positions. Five top 100 players sounds like a nice haul and in addition to those guys, the Bengals had six additional picks. Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin even said the seventh round picks the Bengals got were ranked much better than where they were drafted on the Bengals’ board. It seems like the team got a strong draft class, but we’ll have to wait to see how things play out on-the-field.

Bengals Draft Picks Ranked Among Top 100

Player Draft Position Mayock Rank
Player Draft Position Mayock Rank
Billy Price 21 45
Jessie Bates 54 53
Sam Hubbard 77 57
Malik Jefferson 78 77
Mark Walton 112 86