We’re into the home stretch of the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, as we now have 20 picks in the books. Let’s review how the last five selections have gone.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
17. San Diego Chargers - Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
18. Seattle Seahawks - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
19. Dallas Cowboys - Courtland Sutton, WR, Southern Methodist
20. Detroit Lions - Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
That brings us to what should be the portion of the draft where the 2017 playoff teams are located, but instead we have the Cincinnati Bengals at pick #21. The Bengals received this pick from the Buffalo Bills, who traded up to #12 in this year’s draft (and selected Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen in our mock). So, let’s take a look at the Bengals in this year’s draft.
2017 record: 7-9 (3rd place, AFC North)
DT Chris Baker (free agent signing), QB Matt Barkley (free agent signing), LB Preston Brown (free agent signing), OT Cordy Glenn acquired via trade with Buffalo), OL Bobby Hart (free agent signing)
C Russell Bodine (signed with Buffalo), QB A.J. McCarron (signed with Buffalo), RB Jeremy Hill (signed with New England), LB Kevin Minter (signed with New York Jets), OT Andre Smith (signed with Arizona), DE Chris Smith (signed with Cleveland)
Center - The Bengals lost their starting center when Bodine signed with Buffalo. He wasn’t anything all that special in the first place, but losing a starter is still a big deal and he needs to be replaced.
Cornerback - The Bengals have a couple of solid starters in William Jackson and Darqueze Dennard, but there isn’t a whole lot behind them right now. At the very least, they need a third guy for nickel situations and that can step in should something happen to a starter.
Linebacker - Vontaze Burfict is decent enough when he’s healthy. . .and, you know, not serving another NFL-mandated suspension. Vincent Rey, who the Vikings targeted a couple of seasons ago, is solid enough, but the Bengals still need more help at the position.
Offensive tackle - The team did acquire Cordy Glenn to watch Andy Dalton’s blind side, but right tackle Jake Fisher has a heart issue that has made his future uncertain, and Cedric Ogbuehi has been bad thus far. The Bengals need help at this spot.
Tight end - The Bengals brought back Tyler Eifert, but he’s only been available for 39 of the 80 games the Bengals have played since they drafted him. Tyler Kroft emerged as a reliable option in Eifert’s absence, but if the Bengals want to run any sort of two-tight end sets, they need someone more reliable to have at that spot.
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State - Despite his small-school pedigree, Goedert is widely considered the best tight end in this year’s draft class. He’s got the size and speed to create the mismatches that many offensive coordinators are looking for, and though it might take him a bit to adjust to the pro game, he’s got the physical talent to be a top tight end.
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado - Oliver is next on the board as far as corners are concerned, at least in my view. He’s a big, rangy type of corner that seems to be well-suited for playing press coverage, and certainly has the talent to develop into a top-notch corner.
Billy Price, C, Ohio State - Price, who followed in Pat Elflein’s footsteps in winning the Rimington Award (given to college football’s best center), has been told that he will definitely be recovered from his pectoral injury by Training Camp, which is great news for him. He could step right into the center spot and give the Bengals a significant upgrade at the center position.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State - I’ve got Vander Esch as the second-highest inside linebacker type on the board, though your mileage may vary on that. He’s not just a two-down middle linebacker, as he’s quite good in coverage and has the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline. He can definitely be a Day 1 starter for this defense and stay on the field for all three downs.
Connor Williams, OL, Texas - The Bengals need help at tackle, and Williams could definitely help them out there. If his medicals check out, and to this point it appears as though they have, he’s going to be a steal at this point, or if he continues to drop.
That’s where we’re at with the Cincinnati Bengals, ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow, we make our way back to Buffalo, as the Bills will be back on the clock with a pick they acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the twenty-first pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Billy Price, C, Ohio State
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Connor Williams, OL, Texas