It doesn’t seem likely, but it is always interesting to see the logistics of how the Bengals could move back into the first round.
Mock drafts are always entertaining. Mock drafts with trades in them, however, are an entirely different animal.
It’s difficult enough to predict where every player lands in the NFL Draft. Adding which teams will trade with one another is another level of absurdity, which is why most mocks shy away from them. But we see more trades now than we ever have during drafts due to the rookie wage scale making higher draft picks less of a financial risk.
As the draft gets closer though, we have more and more draft analysts prepare full seven-round mock drafts, and that is what we’ll be looking at today.
CBS Sports’ R.J. White recently did a full mock draft, and the Bengals received an interesting haul. I transcribed the picks into a table below, but if you want to see his full analysis or the rest of his draft, you can find that here.
We’ll give a look at the first round to start off with since he had it ending up to be an eventful one for Cincinnati. The Devin Bush pick gets a lot of flack from fans, which is fair depending on who you ask. To some analysts, he’s a bit of a reach at the 11th overall pick, but when you consider he is going to walk in and be a starter who plays a ton of snaps at a huge position of need, you may quickly forget they took him maybe five to 10 picks earlier than he should’ve gone.
If you’re curious who was there still, it wasn’t exactly a wide selection of fits for the Bengals. Several teams traded up for quarterbacks, so Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock were all off the board. The Falcons even traded up for Ed Oliver, and the Giants opted to address their quarterback of the defense by adding Devin White. Bush ends up being one of the best players available at a position of need.
The Bengals weren’t done in this mock though. They packaged a second round pick in 2020, the 42nd pick and a sixth round pick to move back into the first and snag quarterback Daniel Jones out of Duke. There have been rumors recently that Jones has quite the fan club among NFL decision makers, even if analysts aren’t as big of a fan. That means a guy like Zac Taylor could have fallen in love with the potential of Jones, especially later in the first round.
At first glance this move seems pretty out of the Bengals wheelhouse. However, having that fifth-year option on a guy you view as your future quarterback could be something Cincinnati views as valuable. That being said, I still wouldn’t hold my breathe on them making a move like this, especially after Duke Tobin came out and gushed about the value of draft picks.
The Bengals are pretty non-existent on the second day of the draft after moving the 42nd overall pick. They do end up with a developmental tackle in Tytus Howard. He was a high school quarterback turned tight end in college and then finally became an offensive tackle, so obviously he needs to clean up the technical side of his game as well as continue bulking up. The Bengals feel like they have their starters at tackle with Cordy Glenn and Bobby Hart, so them not worrying about tackle with one of their early pick would follow that idea.
As far as picks from the third day go, Gerald Willis is a very nice pick up. He was a highly rated player when he committed to Florida, but a string of suspensions saw him transfer to Miami. He turned it around last season as his coaches couldn’t stop talking about how he had changed. If that holds up, then the Bengals got quite the player in the fourth round.
The Bengals also add some much needed depth at linebacker, tight end and running back. The Jarrett Stidham pick seem redundant, but Taylor and his staff have no ties to Jeff Driskel, so a fifth round pick on a backup quarterback isn’t that outrageous. Ben Burr-Kirven could also end up being quite the special team player as well as a potential nickel linebacker down the road.
Overall, this draft pretty much depends on how you feel about the Bengals taking Bush and Jones in the first round. In this scenario the Bengals expect to have their foundation on offense and defense for the start of Taylor’s new era of Bengals football whenever they feel comfortable enough to trot Jones out to start.
What are your thoughts on this mock?