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Mel Kiper has the Bengals going DL and RB in 2-round mock draft

The Bengals bolster the defensive line while also finding their next RB.

NCAA Football: UCLA at California Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL Draft gets closer and closer, more and more names will continue to be thrown in your favorite team's direction.

With this talented class, the Cincinnati Bengals have been connected to numerous top talents at all kinds of positions in various NFL mock drafts.

In Mel Kiper’s latest 2-round ESPN mock draft, he has Cincinnati going with Clemson Tigers defensive lineman Bryan Bresee.

Kiper states: “We’ve focused a lot on the Bengals’ need at tight end, but what if they think they filled it with often-injured veteran Irv Smith Jr.? This is the direction they could go if that’s the case. Cincinnati ranked 29th in sacks last season (30), and it needs to get more of an interior push on late downs. Bresee could provide that. At 6-foot-5, 298 pounds, he tested extremely well at the combine. He’s powerful at the point of attack and is instinctual after the snap. This is another team without many holes, so it can afford to select a player who might not start immediately.”

Bresee tallied 16 tackles (5.5. for loss), 3.5 sacks, and two pass breakups in 329 snaps over 10 games last season.

The 6-foot-5, 298-pound lineman had a strong showing at the NFL Combine logging a 4.86 40-yard dash, 1.71 10-yard split, and a 29” vertical jump.

NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein offered this on Bresee:

“[Bresee is] burly but athletic interior tackle who plays with a strong desire to get past the man in front of him. Bresee rarely gets caught up in long block engagements and possesses a deep anchor to battle double teams. He operates with subtle hand fighting that helps puts pressure on blockers but currently lacks the rush sophistication and shed technique to make more plays in the backfield. If he can stay healthy and gain much-needed experience, Bresee should continue to progress at his position and become a good run defender with an ability to disrupt the pocket within his first few NFL seasons.”

Bresee could be a strong addition to Lou Anarumo’s rotation on the defensive line if he is selected by Cincinnati in the NFL Draft.

For Kiper’s next pick in this mock, he has the Bengals spending their second-round pick on UCLA Bruins running back Zach Charbonnet.

Kiper wrote: “Joe Mixon had a disappointing 2022 season and the Bengals struggled to run the ball. They averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, which ranked 29th in the league. At 6 feet, 214 pounds, Charbonnet is tough and patient between the tackles. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, so he likely won’t ever be a big-play threat. He could be a stellar goal-line back, though. He also caught 37 passes last season, showing soft hands.”

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound back ran for 1,359 yards in 10 games this past season and also had 321 receiving yards on 37 receptions with 14 total touchdowns.

With Samje Perine now with the Denver Broncos and Joe Mixon being a possible cap casualty, the Bengals will likely take a running back early in this year’s draft and Charbonnet looks like a solid option.

Be sure to read Mel Kiper’s entire 2-round mock draft here.

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