We’re less than a week away from the kickoff of the NFL Draft and no one is fully certain as to what the Cincinnati Bengals are thinking with their early picks. While we’ve reported on other mock drafts concerning the team, we have held off on bringing you our own.
Well, on this week’s Orange and Black Insider, John Sheeran and I unveiled our 5-round mocks for the Bengals. We used a formula, of sorts, to come to our conclusions, but both classes should theoretically improve the club right away.
There are some surprises, but here’s how we came to our respective conclusions:
Things we think we know about the Bengals going into the NFL Draft
- The Bengals probably think that they have the offensive line mostly figured out for 2019. In re-signing Bobby Hart, Alex Redmond and Trey Hopkins, while also bringing in John Miller to start at right guard, the team may not be overly-eager to reach for an offensive lineman early.
- Speaking of the line and offseason transactions, the interior line is very crowded. Aside from Miller, Redmond and Hopkins being back in the fold, the team still has Christian Westerman, Billy Price and Clint Boling as interior options. Some of those players can be upgraded, but again, the Bengals probably feel that they’ve limited the desperation for the positions going into next week.
- John Sheeran and I believe that the Bengals will either take a quarterback with pick No. 11, or they will go with a day 3 developmental guy. As we all know, this is a polarizing class of quarterbacks and Zac Taylor may want to ride with Andy Dalton in his new system for at least the short-term.
- Cincinnati needs some depth and contingency plans at running back and wide receiver.
- It’s entirely possible that character will play a big part in Zac Taylor’s first draft class. After preaching about it in his early pressers and sending Mark Walton packing after three 2019 arrests, he’ll want to make sure he brings the right guys in the building.
- The Bengals traditionally like grabbing players from big programs and successful conferences. The SEC, PAC-12 and BIG 12 usually headline the list—the reasons behind it range from their liking players who faced the stiffest competition, to a limited scouting department who more closely watch the more prominent programs.
The confines of these mocks
- While there is always the likelihood of some of these players being gone at some of their allotted spots, odd and unpredictable things happen every year at the draft. Many become sure that certain players won’t be available, but scenarios play out that bring the seemingly impossible to fruition (see: Billings, Andrew).
- The mocks are a combination of what we think we know (above), what the Bengals traditionally do, what the team needs and some players we’ve kept close tabs on in recent weeks.
Anthony Cosenza’s 5-round mock draft
Round 1, pick No. 11: Ed Oliver, defensive tackle, Houston
Summary: There is a strong chance that Oliver is off of the board when the Bengals are on the clock, but a couple of realistic scenarios exist in which he becomes available (strong defensive line class, questions on his size, a run on quarterbacks). Cincinnati should sprint to the podium if this kid and his 53 college career tackles for loss are ripe for the picking.
Round 2, pick No. 42: Mack Wilson, linebacker, Alabama
Summary: This position is the team’s biggest need and they could address it in the first. Opinions vary on Wilson, who has flashed All-Pro potential, but mostly in 2017—not last year. Still, he moves well and has a mean streak in him, which is what the Bengals need in the teeth of their defense.
Round 3, pick No. 72: Riley Ridley, wide receiver, Georgia
Summary: Unfounded and admittedly weak trade rumors have come and gone about both A.J. Green and John Ross this offseason, while both Tyler Boyd and Green are in contract years. Ridley ran slower than folks thought, so he’s probably dropping to the late-second/early-third round range. He isn’t as explosive as his older brother, Calvin Ridley, but Riley does everything else at a solid level. At a minimum, he’d be a great addition for Taylor’s probable frequent usage of four wide receiver sets.
Round 4, pick No. 110: Chuma Edoga, offensive tackle, USC
Summary: Cincinnati needs a developmental, long-term solution for both tackle spots and Edoga fits the bill. His tape shows times of great run blocking and pass protection, but it’s not always put together at the same time and in the same game. He needs to learn consistency, but should be at least a good spot starter in the NFL.
Round 5, pick No. 149: Bryce Love, running back, Stanford
Summary: This kid is a blend of production and character, with his former college coach, David Shaw, comparing him to Jamaal Charles. His 2018 season was littered with injuries, but he was a Heisman hopeful in 2017 after racking up over 2,100 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He’ll be a situational player in the NFL, but should be a spark plug for an offense.
John Sheeran’s 5-round Bengals mock draft
Round 1, pick No. 11: Devin Bush, linebacker, Michigan
Summary: John went with the safest and most likely scenario for the Bengals in the first round. Bush was also the pick for Cincy Jungle in the SB Nation contributor mock draft, and the former Wolverine has the ability to be an immediate, three-down starter for a defense that needs a lot of improvement from a deplorable 2018 season.
Round 2, pick No. 42: Dalton Risner, offensive tackle, Kansas State
Summary: Risner is a guy who is just a solid all-around offensive lineman. Aside from his tenacity as a blocker, he also has a little experience at other spots on the line. He may need a year to develop, but some people think he could be the second coming of Andrew Whitworth.
Round 3, pick No. 72: Jachai Polite, edge, Florida
Summary: Initially, Polite was a guy who had first round hype. But, as more scouts and pundits watched further tape, it became apparent that he has work to do if he ever wants to be an NFL starter. Cincinnati could use a little more pass-rush help, given Carl Lawson coming off of a 2018 knee injury and what seems like the end of the Michael Johnson era.
Round 4, pick No. 110: Terry McLaurin, wide receiver, Ohio State
Summary: The Bengals recently met with McLaurin at the local visits and workouts day, so they could pounce after being very familiar with him. He was a big-play threat with the Buckeyes, as evidenced by his 20 yards per catch average and 11 touchdowns in 2019. He also provides immediate help on special teams as a gunner.
Round 5, pick No. 149: Daylon Mack, defensive lineman, Texas A&M
Summary: Mack is another one of those versatile defensive linemen the Bengals have traditionally liked. Jim Turner is also very familiar with him, as his offensive line unit went up against the former Aggies defender in practice.
Whose mock draft do you prefer?
This poll is closed
They’re both good!
Neither because I’m bitter and hate everything
Also on this week’s episode:
- Are you surprised and/or disappointed in the Bengals having just one primetime game on the 2019 schedule?
- How big of a statement game is the Monday night clash with the Steelers for Zac Taylor?
- In looking at the schedule, how many wins can be predicted in a way-to-early estimation?
- Why don’t the Bengals use a more traditional fullback?
- If you could group five names of rookies the Bengals have narrowed their first round pick to, who would they be?
If you’re unable to join us live for here at Cincy Jungle or YouTube every episode, all Orange and Black Insider content is available here on CJ, the Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play Music apps, our YouTube channel, as well as through Megaphone and, as always, on iTunes! You can tweet us @BengalsOBI or get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening and go subscribe to our channels!