Bengals 7-Round Mock Draft: Final
It’s been a long strange trip, but the NFL Draft is finally upon us. I’ve been a supporter of Derek Barnett since day one, but for my final mock draft, I’d like to look at a different strategy. Drafting the best player available rather than a need can have a major effect on a team. If it works, the team could be getting an extremely talented player who changes the entire team. However, in order to make use of this some things need to change. It may be scheme or player use. It may be how you view your personal or go about the rest of the draft. There is a player in this draft who is extremely talented, but for one reason or another seems poised to fall right into our laps.
1st Round 9th Overall Selection
Jonathan Allen 6’3” 286 DE Alabama
Anyone who follows my work or my Twitter knows that I am huge fan of Jonathan Allen, but not a huge fan of his fit with the Bengals. The Bengals need a true edge rusher and Allen is a bit of an AC/DC who despite his size looks best at three-technique. Allen however may be the best player available to the team and could be a fit if they paired him with a faster leaner edge rusher. Allen would be effective as a run stopping end and a pass rushing tackle. Winner of both the Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronco Nagurski Award, Allen finished his college career with 69 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and 10.5 sacks in 2016.
2nd Round 41st Overall Selection
Jordan Willis 6’4” 255 DE Kansas State
Willis’ stock went through the roof after an impressive combine performance. He is extremely physically gifted, but has a lot of work to do in order to reach his potential. Pairing him with Allen means Willis can focus primarily on developing his pass rush repertoire in his rookie season. With Allen, Geno Atkins, and Carlos Dunlap on the field in passing situations alongside Willis, the Bengals pass rush should be much improved. Willis had 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss in 2016.
3rd Round 73rd Overall Selection
Samaje Perine 5’11” 233 RB Oklahoma
Perine idolizes Marshawn Lynch and loves to run people over. That sounds like the kind of physical back that the Bengals’ offense sorely needs. Perine rushed for 1,060 yards and twelve touchdowns despite splitting time in the backfield with Joe Mixon.
4th Round 116th Overall Selection
Elijah Lee 6’3” 228 LB Kansas State
Although he is a bit smaller than what the Bengals look for in the position, Lee is an aggressive linebacker who can make plays from sideline to sideline. He has physical traits that a reminiscent of a young Karlos Dansby. Lee had an incredible 110 tackles in the 2016 season.
4th Round 138th Overall Selection (Compensatory)
Kenny Golladay 6’4” 218 WR Northern Illinois
Golladay is a big fast receiver with huge upside. He can high point a ball and has excellent hands. He will need to improve his route running in order to become the star that he could be in the NFL. Golladay was extremely productive at Northern Illinois with 160 receptions for 2,285 yards and 18 touchdowns in two seasons.
5th Round 153rd Overall Selection
Eric Saubert 6’5” 251 TE Drake
Saubert had excellent production at the FCS level and like Tyler Eifert is a guy who can be lined in wide creating tough matchups for the defense. He had 56 receptions for 776 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016. He has shown highly developed route running ability, but will need to work on his blocking in order to thrive at the next level.
5th Round 176th Overall Selection (Compensatory)
Jon Toth 6’5” 307 C Kentucky
The Bengals like to be prepared to lose players in free agency and with Russell Bodine entering the last year of his rookie contract, drafting a potential replacement makes sense. Toth is one of the top talents in the draft at the center position, but could fall into the late rounds. He is a physical player who does well in pass protection as well as the run game.
6th Round 193rd Overall Selection
Elijah McGuire 5’10” 214 RB Louisiana-Lafayette
While Perine is more of a downhill runner, McGuire provides the team with a more versatile back. He was effective as both a rusher and receiver out of the backfield in college running for 1,168 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 29 passes for 229 yards and two more touchdowns.
6th Round 217th Overall Selection (Compensatory)
Jalen Myrick 5’10” 200 CB Minnesota
Myrick is an excellent athlete and he showed that at the combine. In 2016 he had 41 tackles, 11 passes knocked down, and one interception. The one interception is a bit concerning, but as an skilled tackler, Myrick could give the Bengals the true nickel corner that they are lacking.
7th Round 227th Overall Selection
Dane Evans 6’1”218 QB Tulsa
Evans has an impressive arm that has caught the attention of many NFL scouts. His most productive season actually came in his junior year in 2015. That year Evans completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 4,332 yards 25 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Evans does not have the size that NFL teams desire in a franchise quarterback, and will have to learn how to perform in a pro style offense.
7th Round 251st Overall Selection (Compensatory)
Eric Medina 5’11” 195 K Texas Southern
Level of competition should have no bearing on whether or not a kicker gets draft. Medina was 15 of 16 with a long of 51. I’d give him a shot.