Bengals strengthen defense in way-too-early 2022 mock draft

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Nicholas Petit-Frere (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Round 2: Pick 48 – Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT (Ohio State)

Ohio State. Nicholas Petit-Frere. player. 812. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Offensive Tackle. 48

While this mock draft does focus on defense, Cincinnati will still need to improve its offense throughout the draft. Early in the process, the 2022 offensive tackle class looks to be a solid one. The Bengals could have several options at offensive tackle in the second round.

Cincinnati’s starting right tackle Riley Reiff could be a temporary fix for their pass protection on his one-year contract. Reiff is 32-years-old, there’s no guarantee his solid play continues. Even if Reiff continues to perform, I’m not sure if the Bengals will want to give an aging tackle a long-term extension.

Considering this year’s solid offensive tackle class, Cincinnati should look for a new starting right tackle in the draft.

Nicholas Petit-Frere out of Ohio State would be a solid option in the second round. Petit-Frere started last season at right tackle and had a great year. Now, he has shifted over to left tackle for the Buckeyes this season. Having a versatile lineman that can play in multiple spots never hurts.

Petit-Frere is quick off the snap and has great athleticism to complement his big 6’6″ frame. He rarely gave up any pressures last season for Ohio State, he’s off to a good start this season too. With Petit-Frere’s pass blocking skills, Cincinnati could end up with a great pass blocking duo with him and Jonah Williams.

With that said, Petit-Frere is a borderline first-round talent and would be a bargain in the second round. The Buckeye left tackle does have a good chance to rise into the first round, but for now, him sliding to the second is realistic.