Author: Aaron Burd
Round 1, Pick 1:
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU- There’s no question about this one. Joe Burrow should be the pick and he will be the pick.
Round 2, Pick 46:
Tee Higgins, WR. Clemson- The Bengals have a need at wide receiver for both now and the future. Now, their receiver group is very unreliable. While filled with talent, A.J. Green and John Ross have failed to show they can stay healthy and because of it, the offense has suffered. For the future, both Green and Ross have contracts expiring. Tee Higgins is a wide receiver with a very similar game to Green, he even calls himself a Bengals fan and cites Green as who he models his game after. Higgins would be a dangerous 3rd or 4th option immediately and could eventually be Green’s successor.
Round 3, Pick 65:
Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State- In the third round, the Bengals target a player that they coached in the Senior Bowl. Akeem Davis-Gaither is an athletic, playmaking linebacker who would be a much-needed addition of athleticism to the team’s linebacker unit that has been considered one of the biggest weaknesses on the roster for years. Pratt and Bynes would be starters at the beginning of the year, but Davis-Gaither would push for playing time early and eventually get a starting job.
Round 3, Pick 83:
James Lynch, DL, Baylor- James Lynch is not going to be as familiar a name for fans as the first three were. Lynch is a versatile defensive lineman from Baylor who would be able to see playing time immediately as the Bengals’ 5-tech in 3-4 and 5-2 fronts. The Bengals interest in Lynch is evident as they have reportedly already met with him. Adding a day two pick to an already stacked defensive line could make it one of the best units in the league.
Round 4, Pick 107:
Ben Bartch, OT, St. John- I’m contradicting myself a little bit with this pick. Previously in my bold predictions for the draft article, I said that the Bengals would not draft an offensive lineman in the first four rounds. However, with the Bengals hypothetically acquiring an additional pick, my opinion changes. Ben Bartch is a small school prospect who flew up boards while playing for the Zac Taylor coached South Team in the Senior Bowl. Bartch could develop into a valuable starting lineman for a unit that severely needs talent.
Round 5, Pick 147:
Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis- With recent reports that Joe Mixon could hold out if not given a new contract, the Bengals may look to draft an insurance plan for their star running back. Antonio Gibson is a player with experience at both running back and wide receiver who could contribute in both the running and passing games. If he falls to the fifth round he could be an absolute steal for Cincinnati. He is yet another player who was coached by the Bengals in the Senior Bowl.
Round 6, Pick 180:
Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU- The run on Bengals’ Senior Bowlers continues. Cincinnati’s tight end group is a big question mark this season. They lost Tyler Eifert to free agency so there is seemingly a hole at the position, but 2019 second-round draft pick Drew Sample has yet to get a chance to prove himself. Stephen Sullivan is an intriguing prospect who has played with likely new quarterback Joe Burrow.
Round 7 Pick 215:
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami (FL.)- In the seventh round, the Bengals add another linebacker to the position room. Shaquille Quarterman was a productive college linebacker who will fall due to poor athletic testing. He could develop into getting snaps on first and second downs.