The clear need going into the offseason is the offensive line, which has Luke Easterling of Draft Wire giving the Bengals two quality offensive linemen in the first two rounds.
Here is what he had to say about Cincinnati drafting offensive guard Zion Johnson out of Boston College:
The Bengals made it all the way to the Super Bowl despite having a weak offensive line, and it remains their top priority heading into this offseason. This scenario gives them the perfect opportunity to address their need at right guard with a polished, physical blocker in Johnson, who would be an immediate upgrade.
The great thing about Johnson is he would be plugged into a position he played all of his college career. He is also an ideal fit for a zone running scheme, according to Draft Network. He has a rare blend of having an athletic build, but he doesn’t sacrifice power. The reason for that is him being technically sound and playing with leverage. That also includes handling bull rushers inside, which you would think would be his biggest issue.
The first reaction many fans will have is frustration over drafting offensive lineman rather than filling needs with quality veterans. Cincinnati should bring in quite a few free agent offensive lineman via free agency, but that still opens them up to take the best player available.
In this case, the best player available may end up being Johnson. Other quality offensive lineman, corners and interior defensive linemen are off the board. Johnson can come in and push a veteran for a starting job and at the very least be a great depth piece.
Easterling then has the Bengals drafting offensive Nicholas Petit-Frere out of Ohio State in the second round. Again, he is a well-developed offensive lineman that fits very well with the zone running scheme. He also has plenty of speed and power to become a starting tackle in the NFL. It is hard to believe a player who Draft Network compares to Ronnie Stanley is around at the end of Round 2. His experience playing on both the right and left side of the offensive line is also a huge plus.
Again, even though the offensive line will likely get at least somewhat addressed in free agency, Petit-Frere looks like one of the best players sitting there available.
The three-round mock draft is finished up with the Bengals adding cornerback Mykael Wright out of Oregon. Adding some youth to the cornerback room is pretty important. Wright is a pretty raw, undersized corner, but he is a project Cincinnati would have time to take on if they are able to bring back Eli Apple or another quality corner in free agency.
This would be a draft where the Bengals probably add two quality starters on their offensive line, either instantly or down the line. It certainly would make that offensive line group crowded, but competition does lead to the cream rising to the top. Not adding an interior pass rusher early is rough, but they have had success in finding pass rushers in the mid to late rounds.