Bengals 7 round 2021 mock draft with Sewell, Chase off the board
The Bengals secure some much-needed assurance in the secondary here by selecting Ifeatu Melifonwu out of Syracuse. Melifonwu is an exciting prospect that put some great snaps on tape, but you get the sense he will become even better once he hits the professional ranks.
He pairs tremendous size (6’2, 212-pounds) and ridiculous athleticism with an attacking mentality that is hard not to love. He is consistently able to assist in the run game too, which should come as no surprise, given the frame he possesses.
The hope for the Bengals this offseason should be that they’re able to retain William Jackson III on a long-term deal. However, that’s far from a certainty. The front office may very well have to franchise tag him, but Melifonwu serves as an ideal prospect to have in the pipeline after next season is up.
While the Syracuse standout can serve as a full-time outside starter right away, if Jackson is still in the fold, he can be penciled in as a nickel defender capable of matching up against dangerous tight ends and physical wideouts. Don’t forget, he can act as an insurance policy as well, should the secondary get bit by the injury bug.
In other words, take the most talented player and figure out snap logistics later. A team can never have too many quality defensive backs.
There’s a lot of speculation that the Bengals will move on from star defensive tackle Geno Atkins this offseason. After all, the quarterback terrorizer is on the wrong side of 30, had a disappointing injury-riddled season, and will command a large portion of the salary cap.
If Cincinnati does cut ties with Atkins, they’ll only have one proven starter at the position: D.J. Reader. Of course, Josh Tupou and Renell Wren are slated to return and offer promise, but Duke Tobin and co. would be wise to add additional talent to ensure the interior is secured.
That’s where Daviyon Nixon enters. The Iowa Hawkeye is capable of playing all three downs. The Draft Network notes his impeccable ability to shoot gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield, a trait that will help in both run defense and the pass rush.
Nixon would serve as an ideal running mate alongside Reader and provide the Bengals with a nice rotation.