7 low-key options for the Bengals in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 13: David Ojabo #55 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after recording a sack against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on November 13, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 13: David Ojabo #55 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after recording a sack against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the first half at Beaver Stadium on November 13, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Zion Johnson (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals hold the 31st overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. With knowing glaring holes, the stripes could be looking at taking the best available player at the position, trading back to stock up on future draft picks, or simply drafting the best player on their big board if available at that spot.

Here are seven under-the-radar players the Bengals should keep an eye on.

7. Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College

Zion Johnson was a Davidson Wildcats product until he decided to transfer and finish his final two and a half seasons at Boston College, where he earned All-ACC honors every year. Johnson can play guard and tackle, which is why he chose Davidson due to their triple-option offense.

Johnson would have a very athletic and multi-dimensional offensive lineman that the Bengals could develop or potentially start immediately if he impresses in training camp. Johnson is 22-years-old, and in his career at Boston College, he played in 36 games, started 30 games, and in those 30 games started, he allowed zero sacks in 2021, and in his career allowed 24 hurries, 9 QB hits, just one sack, and four penalties.

Zion ran a 5.18 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and did 32 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, which led all offensive lines to participate in the combine. However, the thing that could make the Bengals an intriguing spot for Johnson and why he may catch their eye is because of his pass blocking ability.

That is where Johnson thrives, and for a team that has struggled giving Burrow time in the pocket, it could make him a helpful selection. Cincinnati did add La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras in free agency, who are all projected starters who should help the line as a whole in all areas, but Collin’s best suit is his run blocking.

Adding a primary pass blocker could be the move here for the Cincinnati Bengals.

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