Round 7: Pick 200 - Jayden Daniels, QB (LSU)
"Daniels has the speed to quickly pick up 20-plus yards with his legs and change field position. Whether it’s called QB design runs or Daniels scrambling, his athleticism requires the defense to pay close attention to him and in some cases use a spy defender to stay and account for him as a runner. "- Keith Sanchez, The Draft Network
Some fans might not like the idea of "wasting" a pick on a quarterback but seventh-round picks are a crapshoot so why not gamble on adding a potential long-term backup quarterback for Joe Burrow?
Since Burrow entered the league in 2020, Brandon Allen has been the backup and it's been a good fit for the most part. Allen didn't look great in the Week 18 season finale last year, however, and that could be why the Bengals would be wise to draft a backup to use for the next few years.
Jayden Daniels played at Arizona State from 2019-2021 before transferring to LSU for the 2022 season. He nearly had the Tigers in the College Football Playoff but that did not pan out, as we know now. The LSU quarterback threw for 2,774 yards, 16 touchdowns, and three interceptions while rushing for 818 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's definitely more of a running quarterback if you couldn't tell from those numbers.
The Bengals could still re-sign Allen this offseason on another one-year deal and let Daniels sit behind both Burrow and Allen for a year. From there, he could be the backup if the team feels that he's ready for that role.
Round 7: Pick 244 - Ivan Pace Jr., LB (Cincinnati)
" Pace Jr. aligns in the middle of the Bearcats’ defense and appears to be the one making the calls. He has outstanding instincts for the position and seems to know where the ball is going every single play. He is able to use those instincts as well as his explosive burst and short-area quickness to shoot behind the line of scrimmage and make tackles for loss"- Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network
With their final pick of the draft, the Bengals add a local prospect with their selection of Ivan Pace Jr. The Bearcat linebacker racked up eight sacks this season and could be a sneaky solid addition to the Bengals' defense.
With Germaine Pratt hitting free agency this offseason and Logan Wilson also nearing the end of his rookie contract, it's important for the stripes to add some help to the linebacker corps this spring and Pace would be an excellent late-round selection.
What do you think of this mock draft?