The Cincinnati Bengals do not have a top-five pick. They don’t even have a top-25 pick.
It feels good just remembering that as this will be the first time since 2004 the Bengals don’t have a top-25 pick.
This time around, they’ll be selecting No. 31, the second-to-last pick of the first round. That means many players that they pass on will not be first-round picks, a potential big deal given a first-round pick has the fifth-year option.
Nonetheless, the Bengals' clear needs are on the offensive and defensive line, which is huge considering there should be an ample amount of big-name prospects on either side of the line falling to No. 31.
ESPN’s Todd McShay listed three prospects that might fall out of the first round, and given where the Bengals pick coupled with their need in the draft, they should be thrilled at McShay’s analysis.
“Three prospects I’ve heard who could fall out of Round 1: Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean, Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Dean is the most likely of the trio to still be a first-rounder,” McShay wrote.
Linderbaum is a popular choice for mock drafts, especially considering o-line is arguably the biggest need for Cincinnati, and while he would be a huge, impactful player for the Bengals, both these other choices, which may not as popular, could be just as important.
With the loss of defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, getting a big-name rusher like Karlafits, who could immediately come in and provide rotational reps, would be an immediate help.
Even Dean could help add much-needed depth behind Logan Wilson and would be considered a steal at No. 31, as McShay notes. All three should be considered a major win in the eyes of Bengals’ fans.