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Bengals mock draft: All-Buckeye edition

The Bengals have four former Ohio State players on their roster right now. What would it look like if they tripled that number in April?

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NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin
K.J. Hill
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you have had your head buried in the sand, or are totally not a football fan (why are you here then?) you know who Joe Burrow is. And you know that the former Ohio State quarterback, who went on to win the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship at LSU, is the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft.

But what you may not know is that Burrow is just one of a number of former Ohio State players who will make an impact in the draft.

So, just for fun, let’s take a look at what a seven-round all-Buckeye draft might look like for the Bengals.

(overall selections are based on the draft order as of this writing)

First round (first overall) — Joe Burrow, quarterback

Enough said.

Second round (33rd overall) — TRADE ALERT BECAUSE WHY NOT

Bengals trade down with the Chicago Bears for their No. 43 and No. 50 picks

(43rd overall) — K.J. Hill, wide receiver

Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus tabbed Hill as one of the biggest risers at the 2020 Senior Bowl:

“Hill is always open. The 6-foot, 192-pound Ohio State product was easily the most impressive route-runner in Mobile. He created separation with ease and made his competition look foolish in the process. He also hauled in a one-handed catch that dropped jaws on Day 3 that really put an exclamation point on his big week.”

After an impressive 2019 campaign that saw him finish with 57 receptions for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns, Hill is projected to go anywhere from the second to the fourth round, and could vault into first-round contention with an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine. He has good hands and quickness and could be an inside or outside receiver at the next level.

(50th overall) — Malik Harrison, linebacker

Harrison finished 2019 with 75 tackles, four-and-a-half sacks and four passes broken up. A former quarterback and safety in high school, Harrison was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes. He is a stout run-defender and has shown some ability in coverage, as well. He projects as a middle linebacker in the pros.

Third round (65th overall) — Damon Arnette, cornerback

Arnette has everything it takes to be a first-round selection, but character concerns have dropped him into the day two conversation. He is a willing run defender and is outstanding in press coverage. He has the ability to be a No. 1 cornerback and even a Pro Bowler in the right system.

Fourth round (97th overall) — Jonah Jackson, offensive guard

At 6-4 and 310 pounds, Jackson still has plenty of room to grow. A graduate transfer to Ohio State after four years at Rutgers, Jackson’s performance at the 2020 Senior Bowl has him being mentioned as one of the top interior linemen in this year’s draft. Landing in Cincinnati would reunite him with Michael Jordan, Billy Price and Isaiah Prince.

Fifth round (129th overall) — Jordan Fuller, safety

Fuller is probably the best coverage safety in the draft, although his tackling skills could use some work. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, he has the size to match up with the taller receivers and tight ends. As a senior, Fuller was a first team All-Big Ten selection and accounted for 57 total tackles (third on the team), two interceptions, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Sixth round (161st overall) — Davon Hamilton, defensive tackle

Hamilton, at 6-4 and 327 pounds, definitely has the size for the position. And he has the experience to boot. Hamilton played in 35 games for the Buckeyes over the course of his four years while recording 14.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Seventh round (193rd overall) — Binjimen Victor, wide receiver

Victor is a good route runner who projects to the slot in the pros. He has good size at 6-4 and 200 pounds, and good quickness, but his downfield speed is only average, at best. In 2019, Victor had 35 catches for 573 yards and six touchdowns, and finished his four-year career with 83 receptions for 1340 yards (an average of 16.1 yards per catch) and 18 scores.

All things considered, this would be a pretty solid draft for the Bengals, one that addresses most of their needs.