This years’ draft has the potential to be a big one in Cincinnati. With a projected 11 draft picks, the Bengals need to find a way to make a splash.
While it’s early, there’s never a wrong time to do a mock draft. For the purposes of this mock, I will be assuming that the Bengals re-sign Andrew Whitworth and Dre Kirkpatrick, but lose Kevin Zeitler and Brandon LaFell.
Ideally, you don’t let your 26-year-old guard walk. But, with the way guards are getting paid now, Zeitler might be priced out of our range. He might not be quite as dominant as Kelechi Osemele, but he sure will be looking to get paid like him. And considering Osemele just signed for an average annual salary of $11.7 million- that’s looking like too much of an investment. The offensive line needs all the help it can get this upcoming year, but with Super Bowl aspirations, that much money can’t be thrown at a guard, can it?
Speaking of help along the offensive line- Whitworth needs to be brought back. He’s great for the locker room and a fan favorite. With no option on the roster to replace him, the Bengals need to re-sign him to avoid drafting high at his position (again).
This is my first 7-round mock for the Bengals this year. The draft choices include 4 compensatory picks, and the overall selection number is based on Bleacher Report‘s Matt Miller’s previous 7-round mock.