9 hidden-gem prospects Bengals should target on Day 3 of 2022 draft

Zach Tom - Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Tom - Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cade Mays – Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

Fifth Round

Cade Mays, OT/G (Tennessee)

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once famously stated, “… but I know it when I see it.”

Defining what a glass eater is can be a bit tricky but we know it when we see it. Tennessee offensive lineman Cade Mays is it.

According to PFF, Mays gave up one sack and four quarterback hurries on 272 pass blocks. He did it all while manning the right tackle spot. In 2020 and 2019, Mays played most of his snaps at right guard. He also has some experience at left tackle.

He should make for a capable NFL right tackle. That is, if NFL teams allow him to do so. And no, just because he made some snaps at his Pro Day and Senior Bowl practice does not mean that he is a center.

As of now, Mock Draft Database has Mays at 180 and PFF ranks him at 213. Mays would make an NFL team very happy at 180. At 213, late in the sixth round, draft gurus would start mentioning his name as a “steal of the draft” nominee.

Malcolm Rodriguez, LB (Oklahoma State)

At 5’11″, 232 pounds, the Cowboys’ linebacker is undersized, but he does not play like it. The fifth-year senior finished the 2021 season with an astonishing 129 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, three sacks, and one interception.

Rodriguez does not shy away from contact versus large offensive linemen in the run game. He consistently can shed blockers on his way to the ball carrier.

Rodriguez had the fourth fastest combine time for linebackers. He spent his first three years as a safety, so he is adept at covering tight ends and running backs in the passing game.

The quickest way onto an NFL roster as a late-round selection will be through special teams. A situation in which he could thrive.

PFF ranks Rodriguez 138th, just two spots after the Bengals’ fourth-round selection. Mock Draft Database ranks him 180th. That would put him six spots after the Bengals’ pick in the fifth round.