For the second time in as many years, the Bengals hold a premium top-five pick and are poised to make a big splash in the NFL Draft. Dividing lines have been drawn amongst the Cincinnati fan base as to their personal favorite first-round addition to the club.
The Orange and Black Insider continues its draft coverage with special guest Joe Goodberry, who joined us on the podcast on “Draft Eve”. He brought his immense draft knowledge to help us break everything down coming with the weekend’s festivities.
Aside from looking at some very specific prospects, the three of us took a stab at one final mock draft, courtesy of the simulator at Pro Football Network. Here were the results:
Orange and Black Insider Mock Draft 3.0
Round 1, Pick 5: Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
Penei Sewell was still on the board when we picked here, but we went with the rumor mill and had Chase as the guy. Many believe Chase is the superior prospect between the two, although strong cases can be made for either player being the more logical choice.
Regardless, Chase will be a cure for a lot of what has ailed the Bengals’ offense the past couple of seasons. Aside from the value from being a contested catch master, he also provides Joe Burrow with red zone capabilities and a true deep threat to spearhead a talented wide receiver hydra for the Bengals.
Round 2, Pick 41 (trade down with Lions): Dillon Radunz, Offensive Lineman, North Dakota State
Liam Eichenberg was available at this slot after a move down to grab another fourth-round pick and he may very well end up a Bengal in this scenario. Cincinnati has traditionally favored bigger school prospects over small school intrigue, but Radunz might prove to be just too tempting.
Daniel Jeremiah had Radunz going in the first round of his latest mock draft, expressing the belief that teams feel he has first-round skills. It would be up to Frank Pollack to mine those, but Radunz could start at right guard initially and then take over at right tackle once Riley Reiff moves on from the team.
Round 3, Pick 69: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
After the losses of Carl Lawson and Carlos Dunlap recently, Cincinnati needs another presence off the edge. Trey Hendrickson should be a solid addition and Sam Hubbard will continue to be a part of the team’s future plans, but they need another talented guy in the rotation.
Turner has an athletic profile and a high-end skill set at a position of need for the Bengals. In a draft class with limited talent at the position group, this would be a good get by Cincinnati.
Round 4, Pick 111: James Hudson, Offensive Lineman, Cincinnati
In truth, we made a bit of a gamble here and it didn’t pay off well. When we picked Turner in Round 3, a number of solid guard and tackle options were available and we felt some would remain by the time the Bengals were on the clock again.
Most went off the board throughout the third round, but Hudson may be a the long-term answer to one of the positions on the right side of the offensive line. With his projecting to also be able to potentially play guard, that versatility gene could make him a valuable player along Cincinnati’s line.
Round 4, Pick 112 (From Lions): Bobby Brown, Defensive Interior, Texas A&M
Milton Williams is becoming a darling of Bengals’ fans, but Brown is another great option for a team who has explored multiple interior defensive options in free agency this year. Brown has high PFF scores pass-rush win rates and an athletic profile in the 98th percentile for the position, which could make him the next solid mid-round Cincinnati defensive tackle.
Round 5, Pick 149: Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State
Robinson is one of the most intriguing players in the edge defender class. He’s inconsistent, but possesses good size and could be a solid rotational contributor for the Bengals’ defense.
Defensive end is one of a couple of positions wherein the Bengals could double-down this year. We also explored wide receiver options and some other spots here, but Robinson seemed to provide the most value here.
Round 6, Pick 190: Evan McPherson, Kicker, Florida
The Bengals need a long-term solution at kicker. Randy Bullock has moved on and Austin Seibert is the incumbent hanging on the the job by a thin thread.
Goodberry reported that special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons has been in contact with Florida staff members and McPherson on the show. The tenured Assistant Head Coach seems to have a bit of sway with the Bengals and he could very well pound the table for the team’s kicker of the future here.
Round 7, Pick 202: Justin Hilliard, Linebacker, Ohio State
Hilliard was a former roommate of Joe Burrow, so the class of connections to the franchise quarterback continues. Cincinnati invested in the position group heavily last year, but could use another young player to also aid on special teams.
Round 7, Pick 235: Chris Evans, Running Back, Michigan
The Bengals have been connected to Evans here and there as well, making this a logical ender to the draft class. With Giovani Bernard departing for Tampa Bay, running back is a position the team will likely address on Day Three.
Evans brings versatility and athleticism, but a limited slate of statistics. Still, he could end up bringing a bit of the sizzle Bernard provided for years.
Chris Evans is a RB prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.81 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 29 out of 1460 RB from 1987 to 2021.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 26, 2021
Splits projected, times unofficial.https://t.co/YqLHEn48wu #RAS pic.twitter.com/FQlk7NFL6y
Our thanks to Joe Goodberry for joining us and bringing his incredible NFL Draft knowledge. We appreciate those who tuned in live and for everyone who downloaded the show afterward!
Keep it to our show, the Cincy Jungle podcast channel and the Cincy Jungle website throughout draft weekend for all of the coverage!
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