Bengals grab a local WR in way-too-early 2024 mock draft

2023 NFL Draft - Round 1
2023 NFL Draft - Round 1 / David Eulitt/GettyImages

The 2023 NFL Draft may have just wrapped up but why not start attacking 2024 mock drafts? After all, we're in the dull part of the offseason where aside from the schedule announcement, not much else is going on in the NFL world.

The Cincinnati Bengals are projected to have a late first-round pick again in next year's draft (subject to change, of course) but who will they take with that pick?

Dane Brugler of The Athletic predicts that they add a versatile playmaker to their arsenal of weapons in his first 2024 mock draft.

Bengals select Emeka Egbuka in 2024 mock draft

While the Bengals probably won't have a shot at Marvin Harrison Jr., they can snag his teammate later on in round one. As Brugler notes in his write-up, Ohio State is no stranger to having two wideouts go in the first round, as it happened as recently as 2022 with Garrett Wilson going to the Jets and then Chris Olave landing with the Saints one pick later.

While we don't know what Emeka Egbuka will do in 2023 just yet, in 2022, he had 74 catches for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Buckeyes. Had he been able to go pro after this past season, one would have to think that he would have.

As for the Bengals' wide receiver situation and why they might be drafting a wideout in the first round next year, the biggest reason why is that they have two guys on expiring contracts. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are both entering the final year of their respective contracts and it's unlikely that Boyd is brought back. Higgins could be extended or, at the very least, tagged and then extended later.

If Boyd departs, while we'd all love to see Charlie Jones or Andrei Iosivas slide into that WR3 role, it'd be hard to pass up on a more talented option. That's what Egbuka would present.

dark. Next. Top 15 Draft Picks in Bengals History

The truth is that no one knows what the heck is going on in the draft when it's days or hours away. There's no way we can predict what will happen in NEXT year's draft. It's all for fun.