The Cincinnati Bengals have plenty of holes as they enter 2024. While they will look to fill as many as they can in free agency, they will likely need to look to the NFL Draft for some early contributors.
The Bengals have needs at multiple key spots, and the Senior Bowl is one of the best places to get a look at the top prospects facing off against each other.
Let’s take a look at some of the top-performing prospects in the Bengals’ key areas of need.
Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma Sooners RT
Guyton is one of the highest risers from the Senior Bowl, going from someone routinely mocked in the early second-round range to someone who has even been mocked by the Bengals at 18. He still had some of the up-and-down play that he showcased at Oklahoma, but he was already showing improvement. Pairing that with what looks to be a rare blend of size and athleticism, there is another OT the Bengals could consider at pick 18.
Ladd McConkey, Georgia Bulldogs WR
Whether the Bengals decide to retain Tee Higgins or not, it seems very possible that Tyler Boyd has played his last down in stripes. If that is the case, the Bengals could end up drafting a WR on Day 2, if not in Round 1. If they want to attack the position on Day 2, then McConkey would be a great fill-in for Boyd as a sure-handed WR who can win with route running. He is a good route runner and very tough and even has more experience playing on the outside, which, if he can do it in the pros, will allow Ja’Marr Chase to take more snaps in the slot.
Darius Robinson, Missouri Tigers DL
Robinson is an interesting prospect as a tweener who can play both on the outside and on the inside. He is a phenomenal pass rusher with a sky-high ceiling who could really help a weak Bengals pass rush. Now, it would be down to the Bengals coaching staff to use him properly, but if unleashed to his full potential, he could be the pass rush help the Bengals have needed.
Dominick Puni, Kansas Jayhawks OL
Puni is a player who is only just beginning to reach his potential. He only played two years at Kansas after starting out at Division II, but he was an immediate starter and impact player once there. He still has a lot of room to grow, but he has also shown versatility which the Bengals should love. The Bengals had a lot of luck in terms of injuries and adding in someone that can potentially play any position could help the team a lot. He has especially played well at center at the Senior Bowl, which could be a viable option as Ted Karras enters the last year of his contract.
McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M Aggies DT
With DJ Reader entering free agency and after suffering a serious injury, the Bengals may look elsewhere to address the defensive tackle position. If they look to the draft, then Jackson is a very intriguing big-body option they could get in the second round or beyond. He has a ton of strength at the point of attack and a good burst for a player of his size. His hand usage is solid, but he does lose positioning at times and allows himself to get pushed off the point of attack. With good coaching, he has a very high ceiling as a run defender and could be good as a pass rusher as well.
Who will you be watching for at the Senior Bowl? Sound off in the comments!