For all the certainty that the Bengals will draft Joe Burrow with the first overall pick, there is as much mystery surround the Bengals’ 33rd overall pick.
There are almost as many projections on who the Bengals will take as there are mock drafts.
With A.J. Green contract uncertainty and John Ross’ injury history, will the Bengals take a wide receiver. Will they finally address all the holes on the offensive line? Are they going to find someone to fill the hole at linebacker? Will they find a replacement for Dre Kirkpatrick at cornerback?
Hobson is drinking Joe Burrow’s Kool-Aid just like everyone else, so that was an easy first pick.
“It’s just hard to see any other scenario.”
For the Bengals second pick, 33rd overall, Hobson has the Bengals taking edge Terrell Lewis from Alabama.
We come down on the 6-5, 260-pound Lewis even though he’s played 26 games and missed most of two seasons with injuries. But he was healthy at the Senior Bowl when the Bengals coached him, so they’ll have more than a good idea if he can fit into their 3-4 hybrid as an edge rusher and some-time linebacker.
He certainly has the No. 1 ability they seek, which is disrupting the pass game on the rush. He’s got eye-catching athleticism and traits you need to get to the passer and Lewis reportedly developed some moves that made him effective going inside and outside. He appears to have one of those high ceilings because he’s so athletic and he’s got a frame that’s going to fill out. When he was healthy his final season he had six sacks and 11.5 tackles for losses and led Bama with 16 quarterback pressures.
Hobson admits that he knows next to nothing about what Zac Taylor and Duke Tobin are looking for in the second round. He thinks they won’t even know until the day of, “in the wake of the first round.”
He thinks the Bengals will be looking at “a slew of cornerbacks, such as Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene, Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler and Ohio State’s Damon Arnette; edge rushers Lewis, Boise State’s Curtis Weaver, and Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara and defensive tackles Jordan Elliott of Missouri and Ross Blacklock of TCU.”
“There doesn’t look to be a linebacker,” he continued, “but you also can’t rule out a wide receiver (TCU’s Jalen Reagor) or guard (Ohio State’s Jonah Jackson and Georgia’s Solomon Kindley).”
Hobson doesn’t project a lot of confidence with this pick, and it seems like the Bengals would select Lewis because there’s no one better at that spot.
If that would be the case on draft day, there’s a strong possibility that the Bengals could trade back. The Bengals have traded their second round pick for two years in a row, so it wouldn’t be out of character.
A defensive lineman would be an interesting choice, since that is probably the position with the least need at the moment. Even with aging Pro Bowler Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson still provide some youth to the position. Even they were Day 3 gems, so if the Bengals just want depth, they can wait until the second day to add it.
But as Hobson said, it all depends on what happens after the Combine, pro days, and the first round of the draft. We won’t know until we know.