Day 2 of the Draft
Round Two: Pick 41
The Bengals second round picks often become impact players before their first round picks. Since 2008, the only second rounder they missed on were Devon Still and Margus Hunt. And with everything Still had going on, it’s not entirely fair to judge his career based on his time in Cincy. The Bengals did great things for Still’s family and he reciprocates that love to this day. Without further ado, the next great second-rounder comes from the Big 10.
Malik McDowell, DL Michigan State
At 6’6″, 276 lbs.- McDowell looks the part of a Bengals DE. He may well not be sitting here at 41 overall. McDowell has the talent and has shown flashes to be as high as a top-20 pick. However, the knock on him that could cause him to be slide to the top of round two is that he is inconsistent with his effort. Hmm… sound like another former 2nd round DE from a major school? (See: Carlos Dunlap).
Under the assumption Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas are gone at 9, the Bengals may be better off waiting until round 2 to address the weakness up front. McDowell is easily an upgrade on the front 7. Not to mention- he can play inside and outside. He would immediately fill the Wallace Gilberry role and take a few hundred snaps off of Michael Johnson‘s load.
Round Three: Pick 73
The last time a third round pick was used on an offensive player was in 2009. So this year, I’m going to give the offensive line an interior presence who can compete for a spot from day one.
Pat Elflein, C Ohio State
I had a hard time mocking Elflein here. Not because I don’t think he’d help. But, I doubt he lasts this long. If Elflein hangs until the third round it will be a miracle. That said, we are still 2+ months out. And the Bengals need the competition at center. Bodine, who has arguably shown signs of improvement, still irks fans with the bad snaps and missed blocks. The coaches fell in love with his strength coming out of college But, in the NFL, that only gets you so far.
Elflein has shown the versatility to move inside and even play a little off guard. In the past, Paul Alexander has shown he values versatility across the offensive line. Coming from the Ohio State Buckeyes, Pat has the experience in big games and the bullet points on his resume of paving the way for the likes of Ezekiel Elliot, among others.