The top 10 of this year’s NFL Draft is becoming very interesting.
There seems to be a ton of blue chip pass rushers coming to the NFL as well as several other very talented defenders and offensive lineman. There is also the wild card of whether Kyler Murray will be the second quarterback taken in the first 10 picks after Dwayne Haskins.
All of this leaves the Bengals sitting at pick 11 wondering who will fall on draft night. Right now the Bengals two most glaring needs are at offensive tackle and linebacker. At this point, Devin White is the only linebacker who looks like he will be worthy of a selection that early if he makes it to Cincinnati’s pick.
Offensive tackle looked like a thin position at the start of the draft process, but a few more tackles have been climbing up the draft boards, which has Todd McShay thinking the Bengals could snag one early in his most recent mock draft.
Cody Ford, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma
Devin White is a potential selection here, too. But right tackle is a glaring hole, and Ford is a big, nasty finisher. He’s overpowering at the point of attack and can control defenders in setting up the Joe Mixon run game. Plus, he comes with the versatility to play either right tackle or right guard at the next level.
This mock shows the rise of not only Ford, but Jawaan Taylor, the offensive tackle out of Florida, as well. Taylor went ninth overall to the Bills, which is quite the rise after he was viewed as a mid-first round pick not that long ago.
Ford would obviously be a welcome addition. The offensive line saw improvements last season after bringing in Billy Price at center and Cordy Glenn at left tackle, but it really shows just how bad they were before that since they still struggled pretty heavily. One of the main reasons for the was Bobby Hart starting at right tackle most of the season. There were times you questioned how he could have ever been viewed as a starting right tackle with the way he pass protected.
Ford would be an instant upgrade in the run game where he has incredible power and enough quickness to set the edge. His major knock seems to be his pass protection footwork isn’t quite there yet, but if the biggest knock is technique then you could do far worse. He would likely be a day one starter and have an instant impact when you consider what the Bengals dealt with last season.
It should also be noted that White was also still on the board in McShay’s scenario, which would create quite the dilemma for Cincinnati. Their linebacking group could be getting a hard reset with the likely release of Vontaze Burfict and the rest of the group being mediocre at best. White would give the Bengals a true sideline-to-sideline linebacker, which is something they’ve been desperately missing for years now.
If the Bengals manage to pick up a starter with the 11th pick at offensive line or linebacker, it seems like it’d be hard for fans to be too upset with the selection.