The Cincinnati Bengals are eliminated from the playoffs, partially thanks to their loss to the Chiefs in Week 17. They still have one game yet to play, but the focus of so many has shifted from the regular season games to the upcoming NFL Draft.
One player who is undoubtedly high on the Bengals draft board, as well as the draft boards of every team, is Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, he declared for the draft, making his announcement on Instagram.
The Bengals decided not to address the tight end position in the 2023 draft, even though it was one of the deepest tight end classes in the last several years. Instead, they opted to sign Irv Smith Jr. in free agency and ended up elevating Tanner Hudson off the practice squad. Hudson leads the tight ends on the roster with 341 receiving yards but is set to hit free agency.
There’s no guaranty Bowers would be available when the Bengals go on the clock, which is currently sitting at No. 16 but could go up or down depending on the different outcomes in Week 18. However, it is clear the Bengals could use an upgrade at the position, and Bowers is clearly the best tight end prospect in this year’s draft.
As a three-year starter, Bowers helped the Bulldogs win two National Championships and was the winner of the John Mackey Award, given to the NCAA’s top tight end, in 2022 and 2023. In 2023, he technically had a “down” year, with 56 receptions, 717 yards, and six touchdowns. He did so while missing four games due to injury.
While I’m not in the draft room, I imagine if Bowers is available when the Bengals go on the clock the way Michael Mayer was this April, Bengals reps will sprint to the podium.