Bengals three round 2021 mock draft including a trade in round two
First up in the third round, the Bengals find a suitable running mate for D.J. Reader. It’s been widely speculated that the team will move on from long-time cornerstone Geno Atkins this offseason, leaving massive shoes to fill in the middle of the defensive line.
Jay Tufele is no Atkins in his prime, but he has traits that look great next to Reader. He’s quick, explosive, and slippery. He’ll penetrate the line to disrupt running plays and push the pocket to generate some interior pressure and help the Bengals improve upon getting after opposing quarterbacks.
The fact that Reader will so often command double-teams bodes well for Tufele to produce right away. As previously mentioned, he’s already disruptive as it is, but one-on-one reps will allow him to really shine.
Assuming the Bengals ensure Carl Lawson returns, Cincinnati all of the sudden has a good-looking defensive line on paper. Lawson and Tryon on the outside with Tufele and Reader on the inside. Throw in Sam Hubbard, Josh Tupou, and Renell Wren to the rotation and everybody stays fresh.
During the early portion of the decade, the Bengals made their multi-year playoff appearances, in large part, thanks to a strong defensive line. They would be wise to continue to invest heavily into the unit, following the formula of the past.