Offense, or defense? Which side of the ball will dominate the Bengals’ offseason plans?
If you read our piece on this topic, you’d know they could do both, but it’s entirely possible that Cincinnati will prioritize Joe Burrow’s supporting cast this Spring.
That was certainly the case in NFL draft analyst Matt Miller’s first seven-round mock draft. Here are the players Miller slotted for the Bengals:
Round 1 Pick 5: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Round 2 Pick 38: EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas
Round 3 Pick 69: WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson
Round 4 Pick 102: TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame
Round 5 Pick 133: CB DJ Daniel, Georgia
Round 6 Pick 166: RB Chris Evans, Michigan
Round 7 Pick 197: WR Dax Milne, BYU
Round 7 Pick 199: LB Riley Cole, South Alabama
In total, Miller gave the Bengals five offensive players, with four of them being skill positions players. The one who isn’t is offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who’s been pegged to the Bengals for months now.
Miller says that while Sewell may not be the clear-cut best offensive lineman to be drafted in recent years, his movement skills at his size makes him ideal for Cincinnati.
The Pick: OT PENEI SEWELL, Oregon
Analysis: Throw a party, Cincinnati. “Free Skyline Chili for everyone!” Penei Sewell is still on the board, Joe Burrow’s backside gets protected, and the Bengals can shuffle their starting five up-front to build an offensive line that can support the offense head coach Zac Taylor wants to run.
The rest of the draft would definitely benefit Cincinnati’s pass-catching depth. Rodgers showed out at the Senior Bowl last month as an emerging deep threat receiver, and Tremble, who won’t turn 21 until June, is one of the youngest players in this draft class. He ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at 225 pounds coming out of high school in 2018.
At the top of the second round, Ossai is regarded as a highly-athletic edge rusher with versatility to be a true 3-4 outside linebacker. In time, Ossai can develop into an edge-rushing presence the Bengals desperately need.
How would you feel about this draft haul? Let us know in the comments!