This week’s Orange and Black Insider podcast episode gave us the opportunity to conduct our second mock draft for the Cincinnati Bengals. This time, we operated with the results of the NFL Combine in our back pocket.
The confines in which we worked:
- The Bengals will reportedly listen to offers for the No. 1 overall pick, but the consensus opinion is that they will stick at the spot.
- Dave Lapham recently said he believes the Bengals will use at least one Night Two pick on defense—maybe even as early as the second round. Given his track record in predicting early picks for Cincinnati in recent years, he is deemed as a reliable source.
- In the recent interview John Sheeran had with Duke Tobin, the de facto G.M. said the team will prioritize best player available over positional need.
- The Bengals’ coaching staff is extremely involved in the scouting process, due to the size of Cincinnati’s scouting department. Because of this, the staff will take heavy stock in their first-hand experience in coaching at the Senior Bowl.
- The team is likely to have a different amount of picks than seven, but those and trading up/down in the draft was not taken into account here.
- Cincinnati has sent out signals that they like the state of their offensive line group more than most of the pundits.
- While defense could be a focus in Round 2, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com noted Brian Callahan’s fondness for some of the top wide receivers in this year’s rookie position group.
- Cincinnati has shown a preference for “big school guys”, namely those from the SEC.
- We used The Draft Network’s simulator to give us as realistic of a picture possible of available players atop each round. The picks were made based upon who was simulated before our pick.
- John and I narrowed down possibilities for each pick and then mutually agreed upon a selection.
- We were initially set to use FanSpeak’s Premium simulator this time around, complete with a trade scenario and extra pick, but their site was down upon recording. We plan on utilizing their site for our final pre-draft mock, as there is likely to be a move or two affecting this classes pick count.
Our first mock draft was comprised as follows:
Round 1, pick No. 1: Joe Burrow, quarterback, LSU
Round 2, pick No. 33: Terrell Lewis, edge, Alabama
Round 3, pick No. 65: Malik Harrison, linebacker, Ohio State
Round 4, pick No. 97: Ben Bartch, offensive tackle, Connecticut
Round 5, pick No. 129: Troy Pride, Jr., cornerback, Notre Dame
Round 6, pick No. 160: Michael Pittman Jr., wide receiver, USC
Round 7, pick No. 192: Calvin Throckmorton, offensive lineman, Oregon
OBI Mock Draft 2.0
Round 1, Pick No. 1: Joe Burrow, quarterback LSU
joe burrow's passing chart vs. the 5 toughest defenses he faced in 2019.— john sheeran (@John__Sheeran) January 29, 2020
- read the fine print at the top
- none of these numbers are really surprising
- his completion% on throws beyond 20 yards almost matched andy dalton's total completion% in 2019
- the bengals have this data pic.twitter.com/SCqWenvlbm
Yo! pic.twitter.com/BV4THDx0Yh— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) March 5, 2020
Round 2, Pick No. 33: Denzel Mims, wide receiver, Baylor
About a month or so ago, Dave Lapham was adamant that the team would look at defense in the second round and, at a minimum, with one of their two picks on Night Two. However, a recent article from Bengals.com editor, Geoff Hobson, noted the team’s new infatuation with a couple of the top names at this draft’s deep wide receiver group.
Mims was available in our simulation after an incredible Combine workout, so we had to pounce. Really, this is about the team giving Burrow as many weapons as possible, while also getting an inkling that offensive line may be a priority in free agency.
Baylor WR Denzel Mims with a 4.39!— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 28, 2020
Second time is a charm.
Round 3, pick No. 65: Ezra Cleveland, offensive lineman, Boise State
This situation gave us a number of intriguing options. As the simulation unfolded, Auburn tackle, Price Tega-Wanogho was also available, as were a group of talented linebackers. Harrison had a surprising workout, so he was a tempting option to take once again in the third round.
Cleveland is a guy who is rising up draft boards after he tested well in Indianapolis. Cincinnati usually likes the bigger-school guys, but this kid could team with Jonah Williams to make a formidable tackle duo for years while also giving John Miller a run for his money at right guard. The Bengals have plans to give Miller some competition.
So uh, Ezra Cleveland. We're gonna have to have a chat. pic.twitter.com/PD7aRKa4U2— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) February 29, 2020
Round 4, pick No. 97: Akeem Davis-Gaither, linebacker, Appalachian State
As we mentioned, part of the Bengals’ process in making a pick is often getting face-time with a prospect. Because of their smaller scouting staff, the coaches are more intimately involved in this facet endears them to specific rookies.
The Bengals’ brain trust recently met with Davis-Gaither at the Combine. He has Round 2-type of athleticism for the position, but could fall, as he is recovering from a stress fracture and subsequent surgery.
Round 5, pick No. 129: Jordan Elliott, defensive tackle, Missouri
Cincinnati likes to use their early Day Three picks on interior defensive linemen. Pat Sims came in the third round back in 2008, but Domata Peko, Andrew Billings and Geno Atkins and a myriad of others were all had on the third day.
Elliott has some intriguing traits, as the Bengals may be faced with replacing Billings and/or finding a rotational piece for Atkins as he winds down his stellar career. Elliott provides the latter and could be a nice sleeper pick this year—especially in Round 5.
Top DT prospects sorted by @PFF pass rush grade:— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) March 5, 2020
1. Jordan Elliott = 91.1
2. Javon Kinlaw = 90.7
3. Derrick Brown = 90.4
Elliott in Round 2 would be a great value play, if they go QB/WR at No. 13. Fits great as an immediate contributor at 3-tech. #Colts pic.twitter.com/XnMeCRI78M
Round 6, pick No. 161: Dane Jackson, cornerback, Pittsburgh
Waiting until the sixth round for a corner? Not many current signs point that way for the Bengals, but we think it’s a position in which they’ll invest during free agency. They also may be priming for Darius Phillips to have a bigger role on defense in 2020.
Jackson has decent size at 6’0” and 187 pounds, but only ran a 4.57 in Indy. He did do pretty well in other drills, but this is a depth pick and one to potentially push B.W. Webb and others.
Dane Jackson received the least amount of votes in the poll.— Sports Info Solutions (@SportsInfo_SIS) February 26, 2020
But the WRs who went up against him received the least number of yards per game last year.
Congratulations to Dane Jackson for giving up only 19.6 yards per game during the 2019 season! https://t.co/yA7t3QJ1s9 pic.twitter.com/YAU9Ywk1xH
Round 7, pick No. 193: Anfernee Jennings, edge, Alabama
Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor and his 4.52 40-yard dash at the Combine could prove tempting, should he be available as he was on the TDN simulation, but we had the Bengals going with Lewis’ Crimson Tide counterpart.
Jennings had eight sacks last year and an interception. Given the team’s recent interest in Chris Smith and last year’s courtship of Shaq Barrett, we think an edge rusher may take a backseat with the team looking to bring in a veteran in free agency this spring.
Also on this week’s episode:
- Which prospects and position groups showed up in a big way at the Combine?
- Which names let some fans and scouts down with their Combine testing?
- Ian Rapoport of NFL Network recently came out with both encouraging free agency news and interesting statistics on Cincinnati’s recent spending in the league’s springtime frenzy. What do we make of this “Soundbite of the Week”?
- We also have a couple of announcements about the program!
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