Bengals focus on offensive line in way-too-early 2022 mock draft

Cincinnati Bengals - Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals - Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Evan Neal (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The college football season got underway last weekend, and it gave us our first glimpse of next year’s draft prospects. Therefore, there is no better time to embark on our first mock draft of the season for the Cincinnati Bengals.

We used Pro Football Network’s Mock Draft simulator to run an entire seven-round draft. Here’s what the Bengals ended up with.

Round 1: Pick 5 – Evan Neal (Alabama), Offensive Tackle

5. player. 829. . Offensive Tackle. Crimson Tide . Evan Neal

The offensive line remains a contentious issue for the Cincinnati Bengals. While they made moves to address the weakness in the offseason, there remains plenty of question marks. The addition of tackle Riley Reiff should bolster the right side of the line, but it is a short term solution, meaning the position will be on the agenda come next April.

If the Bengals pick in the top 10 again, as they did here, Alabama’s Evan Neal appears a logical match. It would be a return to the Crimson Tide well, considering the Bengals grabbed Jonah Williams from the same college with the 11th overall pick in 2019.

Neal is versatile, having played guard during his early time at Alabama. This year he graduates to the left tackle spot and looks to put his size and power to good use protecting Bryce Young’s blindside. He is an athletic phenom, as displayed in the below video. If he can hone his technique, then he has the traits to be a top-5 prospect.