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ESPN 7-round mock has Bengals with surprising name in Round 1, nice steal in Round 2

With the draft just two days away, Matt Miller has Cincinnati selecting a different name with pick 28.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft just two days away, the final mock drafts are being churned out.

As Thursday inches closer and closer, it is normal to see the Cincinnati Bengals tied to different names.

ESPN Draft Analyst Matt Miller did exactly that in his latest seven-round mock draft.

First Round

Miller has the Bengals taking Michigan cornerback DJ Turner in the first round of the mock draft.

Miller stated, “if you’re looking for one position that needs an upgrade to get the Bengals back to the Super Bowl, it’s cornerback. And Turner — who ran a combine-best 4.26 seconds in the 40-yard-dash — has the tools to be great. He dominates at the line of scrimmage in press coverage and has the speed to run in-phase with the best receivers in the AFC.”

In Turner’s 2022 season at Michigan, he started all 14 games at cornerback, recording 36 tackles with one for loss, one interception among 11 pass breakups, one fumble returned 45 yards for a touchdown, and one quarterback hurry.

Turner was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, then shared Most Improved Player honors and Defensive Skill Player of the Year honors in 2021.

At the most recent NFL Combine, Turner posted some eye-popping numbers logging a 4.26s 40-yard dash, 1.47s 10-yard split, and 38.5” vertical jump.

With the Bengals not resigning guys like Eli Apple and Tre Flowers, Turner could be a great fit schematically and athletically with Chidobe Awuzie, Cam Taylor-Britt, and Mike Hilton.

Second Round

Miller has Cincinnati taking an intriguing name in the second round of his mock draft.

He has the Bengals taking Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave.

Musgrave has been projected as a Round 1 pick to Cincinnati in several mock drafts, so getting him in Round 2 would be good value.

Miller stated, “The Bengals have thrown assets at the tight end position but haven’t found an every-down player yet. Musgrave could change that. Despite coming off a knee injury, the 6-foot-6 senior ran a 4.61 in the 40-yard dash at the combine. He didn’t have great production in college (just three touchdowns), but his positional traits and upside are that of a starting NFL tight end. Irv Smith Jr. joined the Bengals, but he is mostly an “F” tight end, so Musgrave could see starting snaps early on.”

In 2022, Musgrave caught 11 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown in just two games before missing the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Musgrave is one of the top tight end prospects entering the NFL Draft but could fall to day two because of the injury and unproven production.

The Oregon State tight end did participate in the NFL Combine logging a 4.61s 40-yard dash, 1.54s 10-yard split, 36” vertical jump, and 10’5” broad jump.

Musgrave participated in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and turned a lot of heads with his production on the field.

Musgrave could be an instant-impact kind of guy for Cincinnati if Duke Tobin and the front office is willing to roll the dice on his injury and production at Oregon State.

The remainder of picks for the Bengals go as follows:

  • 92. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
  • 131. Cincinnati Bengals: Christopher Smith, S, Georgia
  • 163. Cincinnati Bengals: Sidy Sow, G, Eastern Michigan
  • 206. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Hayes, OT, Michigan
  • 246. Cincinnati Bengals: Cory Durden, DT, NC State

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is set to begin on Thursday night.