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ESPN 3-round mock draft has Bengals adding much need OL depth

The Bengals grab two starting-caliber blockers in the first 3 rounds of this mock draft.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mock draft season is winding down folks, and with the draft only a week away it is time to start scoping out who experts believe the Bengals are going to take in this years draft. Who better to look to when it comes to NFL draft content, than the draft gurus themselves in Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPN.

Early on Tuesday morning the draft duo released a combined three round mock draft of who they believe teams will ultimately select.

Here are who they have the Bengals selecting with their three picks in the first three rounds:

Round 1; Pick 5: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

This is a tough pick. With the skill talent that is available early in this draft, it is going to be very tempting to think about drafting a player like Ja’Marr Chase of Kyle Pitts. But ultimately, the Bengals need to play it smart.

This pick should not come as a surprise to Bengals fans when it comes down to it. You have to get Joe Burrow better protection. The plus side of this is offensive lineman who can contribute immediately are not always available, and that is exactly who Sewell is. Also with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd showing they are ready to carry a bigger load this season, you have to be able to keep Burrow from being in the scramble drill every other play.

Round 2; Pick 38: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

If the Bengals take Sewell with the fifth pick, then it makes sense to get a playmaking wide-out with this pick. This choice by McShay is definitely a thought-provoker.

An undersized receiver in Atwell might not jump off the page to fans when they see the choice, especially with choices like Terrace Marshall Jr. and Dyami Brown potentially still being on the board, but it could be one that would work out nicely in the long run.

Atwell is incredibly quick and posses a lot of big play ability as a down-field passing threat. He doesn’t provide much when it comes to catching in traffic as a slot receiver, but with the speed he posses you scheme to get him in as much open space as possible. When you factor in Burrow’s arm strength and accuracy on the deep ball this could be a fun duo to watch.

Round 3; Pick 69: Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame

Banks would be a great pickup at this spot. He is a proven guy who once again can provide some depth on the interior of the offensive line. He’s a tough player all around who isn’t afraid to do the tough work in creating running lanes, as well as protect his quarterback.

A 31-game starter at Notre Dame, Banks is decent in both run blocking and pass protection, but with the thin depth that the team has currently on the inside, you cannot pass up the opportunity to add depth with a proven offensive lineman from the collegiate level. On top of that, adding a guy with his size (6-5, 325) is a nice thought as well.

Look for #69 in the highlights below to get a feel for what he brings to the table.

Draft day is getting closer and closer, and it’s shaping up to be a fun one. What do you think of this mock?