Bengals 7-round mock draft: Cincinnati rotates between defense and offense

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Round 3: Pick 84 - Christian Gonzalez, CB (Oregon)

Eli Apple is going to be a free agent when the 2022 season comes to an end so even though the Bengals spent three of their 2022 draft picks on secondary players, it might be smart to spend an early pick in 2023 on a secondary player as well. Christian Gonzalez could make a lot of sense for Cincinnati in the third round.

Gonzalez transferred to Oregon this year after spending two years at Colorado and already matched his season total for pass breakups with five through just six games.

"Gonzalez has outstanding size and length and is a very good athlete overall. He primarily lines up outside on the boundary but has shown to follow the team’s No. 1 receiver across the formation and even in the slot. "

Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network

With Chidobe Awuzie hitting free agency in 2024, the Bengals need to continue adding cornerbacks. They drafted Cam Taylor-Britt in round two last year and pairing the former Cornhusker with Gonzalez could give the Bengals a very good cornerback duo for years to come.

Round 4: Pick 120 - Ronnie Bell, WR (Michigan)

Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are both under contract through the 2023 season but as we saw this past offseason, wide receivers want to get paid. Davante Adams, A.J. Brown, and Tyreek Hill all wanted more money, their teams didn't or couldn't pay them, and opted to trade them instead. Something similar could happen with Higgins, who is absolutely WR1-caliber.

If something like this happens, the Bengals shouldn't hesitate to spend an early-ish draft pick on a wide receiver. Ronnie Bell out of Michigan could be a nice addition to the Cincinnati offense. Through six games, the Wolverine wideout has 429 yards receiving and a touchdown while averaging 12.3 yards per catch.

Giving Burrow a weapon like Bell could keep this Bengals offense on the right track.