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How 2022 NFL Mock Drafts are predicting Bengals’ 2021 season

The Bengals are consistently placed in the top five for the 2022 draft, meaning they're projected for another sub-.500 season.

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UFC 260: Miocic v Ngannou 2 Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Immediately after the 2021 NFL Draft finalized, most major media outlets started to come out with their 2022 mock drafts. Early indications are that many view the Houston Texans as the league’s worst team.

That makes sense, especially given how unlikely it is that Deshaun Watson plays next season. The Texans don’t have much going outside of Watson, who single-handedly carried them last season.

After Houston, there seem to be some changes among mock drafts, but most consider the Cincinnati Bengals to boast a top-five pick. While that sounds great at the moment, a top-five pick would reflect a 5-12 or 4-13 season.

That said, let’s dive into where some mock drafts are pegging the Bengals to select in the first round next season.

As you can see, the Bengals are widely projected to land the..... 4th-overall pick.

The Atlanta Falcons landed the fourth pick this season. They were 4-12 and got arguably the best non-QB prospect in this year’s draft in Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts.

If that happens to Cincinnati this next season, it may almost guarantee Zac Taylor is out of a job. The Bengals need to start proving themselves, and with the reunion of Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow, there’s hope that they could top six or seven wins this season.

The team added three offensive linemen including second-round pick Jackson Carman. They strengthen their pass rush with Trey Hendrickson and then also through the draft, and they added a generational talent in Chase.

It’s time to put it all together.

Eventually, this talent has to find a way to win, and if they don’t this season, it could spell the end of the Taylor era in Cincinnati. Obviously, it’d be better to see some progress and potentially not finish last in the AFC North, especially given the weapons this team now has.

That said, the other consensus top-five picks were Detroit and Jacksonville, so we’ll come back in ten months and see how they did.