Round 3, Pick 87
Jalen Mills, Safety, Louisiana State University
After re-signing George Iloka and allowing Reggie Nelson to walk, there is a need in the defensive backfield the Bengals will have to address in the draft. Insert Jalen Mills, the 21-year-old senior from LSU. Mills dropping to the third round is actually possible, although unlikely.
With the First Pick
Mills has the versatility the Bengals could use in the defensive backfield, as he can play safety and the slot corner role. Mills is a superb talent, being a four-year starter from the heavily talented LSU and playing in the most talented conference in college football, the SEC. One AFC West scout had this to say about Mills, “I think he’ll be a long-time player in the league because he has pretty good feel in coverage, but I also don’t think he’s a safety at all. He’s a slot corner.”
As good as Mills is in coverage, he lacks the tackling and size to be very effective in run support. At 6’0″ 190 lbs he will most likely going to be playing the hybrid defensive back like his former teammate and NFL Defensive Player of the Year nominee Tyrann Mathieu. He would be a great fit in Cincinnati’s defensive backfield, joining the likes of Iloka, Adam Jones, Darqueze Dennard, and Dre Kirkpatrick.