clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ESPN projects who could be available at 28 for the Bengals

At this point, the Bengals have so many options in the NFL Draft, and they need to decipher between wants and needs.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals Press Conference Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY NE

We’re just over a week until the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off, and there are a lot of unanswered questions and pondering thoughts.

Who will get the honor to say they are the No. 1 overall draft pick? Who will be second? The list goes on and on and on. Each fan of each team has the exact same questions.

Luckily for the Bengals and their fans, they have had a pretty fantastic free agency period thus far. They’ve added to positions that were desperate, and they have also added some depth to some positions. They ‘should’ get to pick the best player available, but who will that be at No. 28?

ESPN statistician Seth Walder did a study on the top draft prospects that have a chance of being on the board at 28. Some notable names include Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer at about 50%, Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey at about 30%, and Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy at about 10%.

There are a few options in which the Bengals can go. You can get one step closer to finally solidifying an elite offensive line and protecting your franchise QB, or you can get a game-changing tight end.

You could even look at the defensive side of the ball and pick an edge rusher or an elite interior lineman to go alongside DJ Reader and BJ Hill.

Either way, there is a lot of depth at each position in this draft, especially at tight end. You can look at all the NFL mock drafts out there and most of them are fairly similar minus a couple.

Several mock drafts, including mine, have Cincinnati picking Darnell Wright out of Tennessee, but as the above chart shows, the chances of him making it to 28 are quite slim.

Others stick with the offensive line and choose Dawand Jones, Anton Harrison, or Matthew Bergeron.

If those options are gone, I also like Cody Mauch a lot. He is smaller, but a lot of grit to him.

Others choose the other side of the ball and go defensive line. Calijah Kancey out of Pitt has been catching the eyes of a lot of folks, but will he actually make it to 28?

There’s also Bryan Bresee, the 6-foot-5 defensive tackle from Clemson, and Keondre Coburn from Texas. Then you have the mocks that go all in on tight end. This is truly BPA. You can’t go wrong with the top 10 tight ends in this draft, whether it’s Michael Mayer, Dalton Kincaid, Sam LaPorta, Darnell Washington, or even Tucker Kraft.

Stats and athleticism-wise, it’s wrong not to stare directly at Michael Mayer or Darnell Washington.

Recently, there have been quite a few mocks with one common denominator: The Bengals going defense with Emmanuel Forbes, a cornerback out of Mississippi State. Definitely a phenomenal player, but do the Bengals need him in the first round?

Luckily, between the NFL Combine interviews and private workouts, the Bengals have seen most of these players in action, and more. There are so many solid options, it just depends on who’s available and who the Bengals think will fit best on their Super Bowl-contending team.