The Bengals will be trying to fill a few holes on offense and defense. Here’s a mock draft to examine what players would have the most impact.
Whether you like it or not, the Super Bowl is around the corner. Also, the upcoming draft season that comes with it is almost here. Once the draft season starts, it includes the combine, workouts, interviews, and of course… mock drafts. The Bengals, after a losing season, have the 9th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft which they can use to upgrade the roster for sure.
Anyways, enough chit-chat and let’s get to the mock draft…
Round 1: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Reuben Foster has all the skills that the Bengals could use right now. His understanding of the run game and pass coverage is amazing. Blitzing the quarterback is a specialty. Reuben may not have all the athletic abilities, but he has raw talent. Foster’s ability to make sure tackles and stop the run will be quite enticing to the Bengals. Not only does he have the ability to make tackles, he has the coverage ability to stay with tight ends. Tight end coverage has been the Achilles heel for the Bengals. His knack for attacking the ball carrier would shore up the missed tackles the Bengals have been accustomed to in past years.
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Imagine a linebacking corps that consists of Vontaze Burfict, Reuben Foster, and Nick Vigil or Vincent Rey. Foster making run stopping plays, Burfict getting pass defenses and Vigil making big tackles. That would be a great combination for the future and could become one of the best linebacking corps in the game if Foster is what he seems to be.
Round 2: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
This pick is a no brainer, next pick…
All jokes aside, a center pick has to be made somewhere within the first three rounds of the draft. Andy Dalton has not been getting the help he needs from the interior part of the O-line. Although Russell Bodine has been a starter for three years, he’s not been a good one. Bodine has been very inconsistent and one of the biggest weaknesses on the Bengals’ line. Whether it’s snapping issues in the preseason or getting beat like a drum within a heartbeat, Bodine has not been cutting it.
Ethan Pocic would be the ideal replacement for Bodine in the 2nd round of the draft. Ethan is projected to go somewhere near the 2nd round and 3rd round. He is ranked the #1 center by CBSSports.com. Pocic has been one of the leading forces on that LSU line that’s been paving holes for Leonard Fournette. His quickness and amazing ability to use hands to block interior defensive linemen have been the main reasons for the success of the running game at LSU. Not only does he have quickness, he has great length and size to stay put on his blocks. That helps shield opponents from getting to the quarterback. He would be another ideal player to get in the 2nd round for the Bengals and would be an immediate starter.
Round 3: DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
DeMarcus Walker has been one of the most productive defensive ends in college football. Walker had 16.0 sacks in the 2016-17 season. Getting Walker in the 3rd round in itself would be a major steal. His ability to rush the passer is a much-needed aspect for the Bengals. Michael Johnson hasn’t been cutting it the past couple of years and is getting up there in age. He has the athleticism, size, and length that the Bengals defensive coaches love and would enjoy. For the Bengals 4-3 scheme, Demarcus would be a perfect fit and amazing addition.
Because of his length, he also has the ability to bat balls down. The length is something that the Bengals covet in their defensive ends. DeMarcus would be the perfect pick to rotate in early as a rookie with Johnson and Will Clarke.