Bengals Mock Draft: Cincinnati fixates on offensive line
Round 4: Pick 119 – Jaxson Kirkland, OG (Washington)
I told you the Bengals hit the o-line hard with their first four picks and this is the third o-lineman they’ve added through four selections. Jaxson Kirkland has spent the past two years at left tackle for Washington but he projects more as a starting guard in the pros.
Fortunately, Kirkland has experience as a guard, so it wouldn’t be like a Jackson Carman type of situation, which hasn’t looked great so far. Kirkland played right guard for the Huskies in 2018 and 2019 before making the switch to left tackle.
Getting a versatile player like Kirkland in the fourth round would give the Bengals options because they could put him back to his original position of right guard, which is a position of need for Cincinnati, or if Jonah Williams misses time at left tackle, he could be an option there as well.
This would be a solid Day 3 pick for Cincy.
Round 4: Pick 136 – Sam Laporta, TE (Iowa)
Sticking with the offense, Cincinnati decides to add a tight end with their fifth pick in the draft. Sam Laporta out of Iowa is the choice here and he was a talented pass-catcher during his time in Iowa City. Laporta totaled 46 receptions for 548 yards and two touchdowns through 13 games this year.
Some might not view tight end as an important position to address this offseason but if C.J. Uzomah signs elsewhere in free agency, it definitely will be. Drew Sample hasn’t proven to be anything more than a blocking tight end and we haven’t seen Thaddeus Moss in action yet.
Maybe Laporta isn’t the immediate starter at tight end but he’d provide the team with another option at the position. Iowa is a tight end factory so there’s no doubt that Laporta could be a solid contributor if he did end up in Cincinnati.