Bengals NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Michael Mayer upgrades TE, o-line gets revamped

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals are officially in offseason mode and that means it's the beginning of mock draft season, y'all!

Every team has weaknesses and Cincinnati will have an opportunity to fine tune their weaknesses during the offseason with the draft serving as a great resource for them to find new talent.

The Bengals need to focus on adding talent and depth to their offensive line while also helping out the tight end position. We'll tackle the "how" for both of those here in a bit but first, I want to shout out Pro Football Network. I used their mock draft simulator and did a full seven rounds, meaning there are seven selections here for Cincinnati.

All draft profiles courtesy of The Draft Network and all stats courtesy of College Football Reference

Round 1: Pick 28 - Michael Mayer, TE (Notre Dame)

"Mayer has been highly productive throughout the course of his career at Notre Dame and pairs size, ball skills, physicality, and surprising versatility to offer the total package to an NFL team fortunate enough to secure his services. Expect Mayer to be ahead of the curve as far as NFL tight ends are concerned and become a quality starter shortly after entering the league."

Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network

As much as I'd like to see the Bengals re-sign Hayden Hurst, it's not a guarantee at this point. If Hurst comes back, tight end isn't necessarily a first-round need depending on how long the team signs him for.

If Hurst is a more popular free-agent target than Cincinnati is anticipating, Michael Mayer is a good option in the first round. The Notre Dame tight end finished his final season with the Fighting Irish tallying 67 receptions for 809 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games.

Mayer could have a major impact on this offense even as a rookie and would be the perfect potential replacement for Hurst if he's not brought back.