Cincinnati Bengals Final 7 Round Mock Draft
It’s finally here. The week of the NFL Draft has arrived. Following is my final Bengals mock draft and analysis before the weekend begins.
Round 1: Pick 9, O.J. Howard, TE Alabama
For the third straight mock, I have the Bengals taking Howard with their first pick. Eifert may not be ready by training camp, due to his back surgery. Injuries combined with the fact he is in the last year of his contract makes this pick perfect.
Howard can be the human crutch for Eifert so he can stay off of literal crutches. If Howard comes in and takes some snaps away, it allows Eifert to play less and be more effective.
Drafting Howard provides the offense with a spark. Howard can step in as the starter from day 1 and easily put up 700+ yards and 7+ TDs. His presence would also allow the team to run the ball more as opposing defenses won’t be able to stack the box with his vertical threat. The Bengals still need to regain their 2015 offensive form, this pick is the first step in that direction.
Round 2: Pick 41, Malik McDowell DL Michigan State
It may take a little bit of luck to get McDowell to fall here. But with a plethora of pass rushers available, he may just slide down to the top of round 2. I think if he slips past 25 the Bengals should start calling to see what it would take to trade up and snag him.
A rotation that features Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins and McDowell is downright scary. If McDowell is available late round 1 to early round 2 he is a steal. I think that pick provides more value than reaching for Derek Barnett at 9 overall (which is the popular choice among other mocks). McDowell, after some NFL coaching, can be a force to reckon with for the next decade+ as he is just 20-years-old.
The fanbase is tired of watching Michael Johnson and Wallace Gilberry collect their 3-4 sacks. It’s time for an input of youth along the defensive line to get after Big Ben, Joe Flacco, and the QB the Browns decide to play this season.