Another mock, another offensive lineman selected for the Cincinnati Bengals. Some things never change.
Of Mitchell and the Bengals, Trevor Sikkema writes:
"29. CINCINNATI BENGALS: OT MAX MITCHELL, LOUISIANAI am a big fan of Max Mitchell. Although he’s on the leaner side at 6-foot-6, 300 pounds, his flexibility and movement skills are a big plus. He was a starter in college since his true sophomore season. Good experience and a high athletic ceiling make me a fan of him in the first round — especially to a team like Cincinnati, which desperately needs help keeping Joe Burrow upright."
What makes this look like a good selection
Mitchell is a right tackle. Unlike some of PFF’s previous picks for the Bengals. Sometimes, it appears as if Cincinnati should select offensive linemen without regard for where along the line the player plays. Something the Bengals should be out of the business of doing.
Sure, he has experience at left tackle. However, the Bengals have enough players who played primarily left tackle in college. It is time for the team to draft linemen to play at the spot of their expertise, especially in the first and second rounds.
Along those lines, his lack of versatility could be a good thing. A player like Mitchell should not be considered a guard. NFL teams will try to force the issue and project him as a guard but, they should not. Thus making it easier to evaluate him for what he is.
Also, will Riley Reiff be back? If not, the Bengals could need a right tackle come draft time.
Mitchell is long and athletic. He can get to the second level with relative ease. Once there, he has enough strength to consistently handle linebackers.
Why this pick is bothersome
Not all pressures are created equal. The Bengals must secure the middle of the offensive line, particularly right guard. Unless it is addressed in free agency, if the Bengals are going to concentrate on the o-line in the draft, it should start with the guard spot.
Mitchell is too inconsistent. His pass protection skills will be pushed to their absolute limit in the AFC North. At this point, we should not see him as an upgrade over the options currently on the roster.
Furthermore, PFF has Mitchell ranked 66th overall. If PFF believes in their rankings, there is a possibility he would be there when the Bengals are on the clock in the second round.
According to PFF’s rankings, there are other, better options available at 29. They include Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele (39) and Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard (55). Both are right tackles and both are bigger, stronger, and suit the Bengals better.
Furthermore, Kinnard and Faalele have given up fewer sacks, pressures, and hits against better competition than Mitchell.
Mitchell is not a finished product. He will have a chance to prove naysayers wrong starting at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
He could make an NFL team very happy. It probably should not happen in the first round, however.
It is mock draft season for those teams who are out of the playoffs.
Of course, the Bengals are going to be linked to offensive linemen. But these linemen should make sense for the team. Not like last year when they were linked to every lineman, just because.
It looks like some things never change.
Unlike the Bengals’ stripes. Yeah, those have definitely changed.