Perfect Picks: Cincinnati Bengals
With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.
We will highlight five players that could help each team. This will include a ‘flex’ pick where we give you two ways a potential pick could go depending on how the board falls. All in all you will get picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. Let’s start at the top of the draft board with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Round 1 - Pick 1 - Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
I’m not going to get cute with this one. Joe Burrow broke numerous records in his senior season. The knock on him will be that his production all came in one year. However, seeing him flourish under Joe Brady in a pro-style system should be enough to allay any fears.
The Bengals shouldn’t overthink the selection. Burrow is an Ohio native and is the shot in the arm the franchise desperately needs. De-facto GM Duke Tobin admitted that some of the close games this year could have gone the other way if they had a ‘franchise QB’.
Round 2 - Pick 33 - Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Losing last year’s first round pick, Jonah Williams, to injury was a major blow to the Bengals in 2019. Even with his return, question marks remain over the quality of right tackle Bobby Hart and whether veteran Cordy Glenn will remain on the roster.
To combat that, selecting Houston’s Josh Jones could help alleviate some of the pressure on a rookie quarterback. Jones was a left tackle for the Cougars, showing dramatic improvement in 2019. He graded out as one of PFF’s top tackles in the country.
Jones could slot in at right tackle or Williams could shift to allow Jones to fulfil the spot he had in college. Despite needing some technical refinements he would give the unit an immediate boost.
Flex Pick - Pick 33 - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Alternatively, the Bengals could seek to address the major issue on their defense at 33. Also on the board at this point was LSU linebacker Patrick Queen. Queen had an explosive game in the National Championship propelling him to declare early as a junior. His speed and instincts would be a major upgrade for Cincy.
With only last year’s draft pick Germaine Pratt a surefire lock for the final roster at this point, addressing the spot is key. Linebacker depth isn’t great this year with Dylan Moses returning to school and Kenneth Murray being more of a thumper. That could see Queen’s stock rise hence why he could go as early as pick 33.
Mid Round Gem - Pick 129 - Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
The Bengals looked to have a stacked receiving corps going into 2019. However, AJ Green’s continual injury problems and then contract wranglings mean there is some unease over the position. Auden Tate and John Ross showed flashes but don’t be surprised if the Bengals are back in the market this year.
UCF receiver Gabriel Davis isn’t athletic enough to be considered a Green replacement but has plenty of talent. Used as a deep threat in the Knights’ offense he attacks defensive backs off the line of scrimmage. His soft hands and ability to make the contested catch would make him a useful weapon for Joe Burrow.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 192 - Kindle Vildor, CB, Georgia Southern
Could age finally be getting to Dre Kirkpatrick? He has commanded a starting spot in the Bengals secondary for years but he has the potential to be a cap casualty this time around. The Bengals will be buoyed by the performance of Darius Phillips late in the year.
Should they move on from Kirkpatrick then bolstering the position late in the draft makes sense. Kindle Vildor featured in our Sun Belt prospects to watch. Vildor may not be available this late following a good showing at the Senior Bowl. Having grabbed two interceptions in practice, teams will likely be digging deeper on the Georgia Southern prospect. Despite his dimunitive 5’10 frame, he would be a steal at this point.
Draft in full
1. Joe Burrow (QB)
33. Josh Jones (OT)
65. Robert Hunt (IOL)
97. Jordyn Brooks (LB)
129. Gabriel Davis (WR)
160. Jacob Phillips (LB)
192. Kindle Victor (CB).
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.c