Two days remain between us and the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is when all the final mock drafts are unleashed into the world.
Though the Draft is upon us, there’s still no clear consensus regarding what the Cincinnati Bengals will or should do with their eight selections. Several mocks have them addressing the offensive line or secondary with their first-round pick, but that’s not what ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller had in store for them in his final mock draft.
Miller unveiled his annual mock that covers every pick in the Draft on Tuesday, and he went with an interesting approach for Cincinnati.
Here are the Bengals’ picks in Miller’s 7-round mock draft
1. (31) Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut
2. (63) Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
3. (95) Cole Strange, IOL, Chattanooga
4. (136) Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo
5. (174) Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
6. (209) Ben Brown, C, Ole Miss
7. (226) Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State
7. (252) Jashaun Corbin, RB, Florida State
Jones being at the head of this class for the Bengals is a bit surprising. There’s not a clear sense as to where he’s going to end up, but the end of the first round seems like his ceiling. The Bengals also make sense for him considering they have a need at 3-technique and 5-technique. Jones could fill both holes. Andrew Booth Jr., George Karlaftis, Zion Johnson, Devonte Wyatt, Tyler Linderbaum, and Kyler Gordon were chosen ahead of the Bengals as well.
The rest of the draft makes sense in terms of what positions were addressed. Dulcich has been linked to the Bengals plenty, but the second round would definitely be the earliest they would select a tight end. Strange fits the “glass-eater” mold that they’re looking for at offensive line, although he and Jones both come from smaller programs.
What’s most interesting is how long it took for Miller to give the Bengals a cornerback. Kendrick comes from a powerhouse school in Georgia, but he was previously at Clemson. He transferred after the 2020 season following multiple suspensions and being dismissed from the program. He also ran a meager 4.78 40-yard dash at his pro day after choosing not to run at the Scouting Combine.
While the rest of the class would be promising for the Bengals, neglecting arguably their biggest immediate and long-term need at cornerback wouldn’t be ideal, especially if they only picked Kendrick to fill it.
What do you think of Miller’s mock draft? Let us know in the comments!