Bucky Brooks and Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network mocked the Cincinnati Bengals’ first three picks in the 2021 draft, and picked some interesting names.
The two analysts alternated picks, bringing a fresh perspective into the Bengals’ potential additions.
Say what you will about people outside of the Bengals’ circle, it is always interesting to see how other people view the Bengals’ needs.
Here's what Brooks and Frelund projected:
Round 1: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida Gators
Even though many sources around the Bengals think Pitts is out of the question, Brooks went with the “fun guy.”
Kyle Pitts is an impact player,” he said, “something that the Bengals don’t have. In terms of mismatches, you put him in the middle of the field, and now you have one-on-one opportunities for Tyler Boyd on the outside and Tee Higgins on the outside. Joe Mixon faces fewer heavier, loaded boxes, and the game becomes so much easier for Joe Burrow because now you can go empty. Now you have a tight end that’s really a jumbo wide receiver. I think this makes too much sense.”
This is the same argument for those who want to select Ja’Marr Chase. If Chase is gone, or if the Bengals assess Pitts as the better overall athlete, then that pick will make the Bengals offense dangerous.
Round 2: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State Nittany Lions
“They need help rushing opposing passers. Big time,” said Frelund. “This is an area where they can add a lot of speed, a lot of versatility.”
Since Brooks and Frelund did not collaborate, Frelund made this pick with the assumption that the Bengals would take an offensive lineman in the first round. If Pitts is the first pick, then her pick for 38th overall might help the other side of the trenches instead.
Brooks added: “I like Oweh because of his athleticism. If he gets it together, he can certainly help.”
Round 3: Jamar Johnson, SAF, Indiana Hoosiers
“Jamar Johnson would give the Bengals a safety who could really make a ton of plays in the passing game,” said Brooks. “He’s a guy that could get over the top, but when you put down at the line of scrimmage in the box...he makes plays.
This is an interesting pick because Johnson would have no immediate impact. The starting spots are already occupied by Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. Brandon Wilson and Ricardo Allen are on new contracts in Cincinnati.