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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Round 2: Pick 60 - Drew Sanders, LB (Arkansas)

"Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders projects as a viable three-down linebacker at the NFL level. Sanders’ fluidity for his size is surprising and allows him to play a dynamic brand of football that will allow him to cover depth in the middle of the field and defend laterally against horizontal speed as well. "

Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network

I don't feel confident about Germaine Pratt repping the stripes in 2023 and beyond so the Bengals will need to find a linebacker to replace him. Enter, Drew Sanders.

The Arkansas product had over 100 tackles during the 2022 season with 13.5 of those being tackles for loss. He had 9.5 sacks, five defended passes, three forced fumbles, and one interception on the year. The kid was incredible for the Razorbacks and would be a huge playmaker for this Bengals defense.

Round 3: Pick 92 - Matthew Bergeron, OT (Syracuse)

"A native of Montreal, Matthew Bergeron became a starter for Syracuse as a freshman and has been entrenched in the lineup since. He began his career at right tackle before moving to the left side in 2020 and has extensive experience at both spots. "

Joe Marino, The Draft Network

Ideally, the Bengals would select an offensive tackle in the first round but there really aren't many worth taking that high this year. Instead, Cincinnati waits until the third round and adds Matthew Bergeron to their o-line depth chart.

What Bergeron offers to this team is the ability to play both left tackle and right tackle, two of the Bengals' biggest needs this offseason. They're going to have to figure out what they want to do with Jonah Williams and La'el Collins and also see what's next for Jackson Carman but there's no debating that the team needs to add depth on the o-line.

Bergeron is also a stout run-blocker, which is something this offensive line was lacking in 2022.