Bengals spend top two picks on defense in 7-round mock draft
Round 4: Pick 136 – Marquis Hayes, OG (Oklahoma)
Before the offseason started, many would have called me crazy to predict the Bengals would not be drafting an offensive lineman until Day 3 of the draft. However, that seems like their likely course of action after free agency.
The good guys signed La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras to protect Joe Burrow, and really only have one opening on the offensive line. Jackson Carman will get every opportunity to win the left guard position if they don’t bring back Quinton Spain.
Marquis Hayes would be a solid Day 3 pick who could come in and compete with Carman for the starting job, if not win it outright. If the Bengals can find a day three gem on the offensive line, they could be one step closer to giving Burrow a top ten offensive line that would keep defensive coordinators laying awake at night wondering how they are going to stop him.
Round 5: Pick 174 – Reed Blankenship, S (Middle Tennessee)
The Bengals currently have Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, who make up one of the best safety duos in the NFL. Unfortunately, Bates and the Bengals’ front office are seemingly unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension, meaning the elite safety may be on his way out of town next season. This means the organization needs to start adding talent at the safety position.
Reed Blankenship is by no means a worthy replacement for Bates, and it’s unfair to expect that of him. He does have the tools to be a developmental guy for the Bengals to work on while they wait and see if they can lock Bates up long-term, though.