The Cincinnati Bengals essentially saw their season end during the second quarter of last Thursday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Franchise quarterback Joe Burrow suffered an acute injury to his wrist that will require surgery. Backup QB Jake Browning is not going to be able to guide the Bengals to many wins over the season’s final seven games. All of which are against teams currently .500 or better.
Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft 2024 (1.0)
So with that being said it is time to start looking toward the future. And that future is a pick that will likely be a first-round pick in the range from 8 to 15.
There are many ways the Cincinnati Bengals could attack the draft. They will likely have a need at wide receiver. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are both entering the final year of their contracts. If Higgins isn’t re-signed or given the franchise tag, do they re-sign Boyd? Do they let them both go? If it’s the latter you are definitely attacking that position early.
Right tackle Jonah Williams is also entering the last year of his deal. The offensive tackle position has plenty of intriguing options in round one.
Left guard Cordell Volson is an issue as well. He is consistently getting beaten by either speed, power, or both. I am convinced he is bringing down left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and center Ted Karras with him.
The Bengals also need an interior pass rush and a succession plan for nose tackle DJ Reader.
We are going to use the current draft order from the simulator created by our good friends over at Mock Draft Database.
The Cincinnati Bengals are projected to receive two comp picks for the 2024 NFL Draft. This is in addition to their normal seven draft picks.
1-17: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
If you can manipulate the defense with an offensive piece like Brock Bowers you have to do it. I am going with the sentiment that Tee Higgins will get the franchise tag and Tyler Boyd will walk. Then you need to replace that safety blanket for Joe Burrow. Outside of one game, the tight end position has been destitute for the Bengals. Bowers changes that.
2-48: Cooper Beebe, IOL, Kansas State
I for one have seen enough of Cordell Volson at left guard. The Bengals have to seriously think about an upgrade there. Beebe is a mauler in their run game and an excellent pass protector. He is also versatile, having played nearly every position on the offensive line.
3-79: Brandon Dorlus, DL, Oregon
Dorlus has been a pocket collapser this season for the Ducks. Cincinnati desperately needs another interior pass rusher other than B.J. Hill. Dorlus has five sacks in 2023.
4-117: Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane
On the off chance we see another injury to Joe Burrow that takes him out for any length of time, they need to find a backup quarterback capable of leading an offense. Imagine not wasting an entire preseason again because you don’t want to waste reps on an offense that you can’t move the football with. Pratt was the first to receive a Senior Bowl invite this year. He has been a key catalyst to Tulane being one of the best Group of 5 programs in the last two years.
5-152: Anthony Belton, OT, NC State
I am also under the guise that the Bengals will patch right tackle in free agency. Be it with Jonah Williams back on a one-year deal or someone else. Drafting Belton in round five will allow him time to develop. He has shown dominance at times in Raleigh.
6:176- Dominick Puni, IOL, Kansas
Another depth piece on the offensive line. Puni can play both tackle and guard spots in a pinch.
7-192: Dylan Laube, RB, New Hampshire
McCaffrey-lite is the best way to describe Dylan Laube. He is one of the best all-purpose backs in college football. Laube could give the Bengals a true third-down back with upside to help in the return game.
7-236: Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida
Pearsall is a big slot. He has tremendous hands and runs great routes. I don’t think he has game-breaking speed but that will not stop him from finding NFL success.
7-254: Tyrice Knight, LB, UTEP
I always advocate for drafting special teams players who can challenge for a back-of-the-roster spot.
**Please note that the MDDB simulator has the Bengals receiving two compensatory seventh-round picks. It is expected they will receive a comp 5th and 7th round pick instead**
I will return with another Cincinnati Bengals mock draft after the 2023 NFL season.