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Bengals interested in Denzel Mims, Ross Blacklock with 33rd pick, per report

If the Bengals stay put at pick No. 33, these are two names to remember for tonight.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The mystery of the Cincinnati Bengals’ draft has always surrounded what they will do in the second round after they took Joe Burrow. As the start of day two is just hours away, we’re getting a clearer picture of their intentions.

Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, two players the Bengals are interested in taking are Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims and TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that they plan on going best player available after taking Burrow, and either of these two could qualify for that. There were talks about Blacklock sneaking into the first-round leading up to the draft, but he and Mims watched the first 32 picks go by without getting a call.

Mims has been on the minds of Bengals fans for a while now. The Bengals watched him dominate at the Senior Bowl and then run by everyone at the NFL Combine. Mims’ wide receivers coach in his breakout sophomore year was Bob Bicknell, who is now the Bengals’ receivers coach, so there’s an obvious connection there.

Either of these picks would be investments for the future at two important positions. The Bengals need short-term speed at wide receiver and long-term stability in case either A.J. Green or John Ross don’t return next year. Mims would provide both. On defense, they need to eventually invest in an heir for Geno Atkins, and Blacklock would be an ideal candidate.

The pick could end up being somebody other than these two, but Mims and Blacklock appear to be the front-runners as of now.