The unofficial first day of NFL free agency was a busy one for the Cincinnati Bengals. Looking at the moves the team made (along with the news that C.J. Uzomah has agreed to sign with the Jets) I thought I’d turn to the PFF Mock Draft Simulator and take a shot at a seven-round Cincinnati Bengals mock draft.
I tinkered with the defaults, adding one click to the Public vs PFF Board, the Care for Positional Value, and Randomness. Let’s see what we we can come up with for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft First Four Rounds
First Round (Pick 31): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida All the worthy tackles were off the board with the 31st pick. If I wanted to, I could have traded the pick – but I didn’t. Elam is a physical corner who can learn from Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Hilton, and Eli Apple. It is never bad to have depth on the corners.
Second Round (Pick 63): Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky Kinnard is listed as a tackle, but he could play guard as well. Give Kinnard a shot at tackle and consider him insurance at guard.
Third Round (Pick 95): Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State With Uzomah leaving for New York, tight end suddenly became a position of need. Is this a reach? Not necessarily. Ruckert is a good blocker and has a knack for getting open. His presence and blocking ability makes play action effective, potentially helping in the red zone.
Fourth Round (Pick 133): Sterling Weatherford, S, Miami of Ohio I like taking a safety here to learn from Jesse Bates III and Vonn Bell. Weatherford is a big hitter and he could develop into an excellent tackler — but he could also become no more than a special teams contributor.
Fourth Round (Pick 137): Tyreke Smith, ED, Ohio State Caveat: There was a trade on the board, but this a no-trade mock. Am I an Ohio State fan? Yes. Was this pick influenced by my fandom? Perhaps. However, Smith is a good rusher and can drop into pass coverage when needed. Yes, the Bengals have good edge players (Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, and the injured Joseph Ossai), but Smith could be seen as an insurance policy and a contributor on defense.
Rounds Five Through Seven
Fifth Round (Pick 172): Marquan McCall, DI, Kentucky McCall is more of a true nose tackle. That said, he should be able to move around on the defensive line and stabilize the interior.
Sixth Round (Pick 208): Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State It wouldn’t be a Bengals draft without taking a specialist, would it? I honestly tried not to take Araiza here but his potential contributions outweighed people making fun of me.
Seventh Round (Pick 222): Cade Mays, T, Tennessee A four-year starter between Georgia and Tennessee? Sign me up. He could prove a starter in a few years, and a great value.
Seventh Round (Pick 248): Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama A little more potential depth in the tight end room. This is a developmental pick.
Overall grade from PFF – B-: The two best picks were Kinnard and Mays, earning “A” grades. The Ruckert and Araiza picks earned “D+” grades, but I think they will both pan out. I’ll take another stab after free agency is over and see how I do then.