Bengals NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Michael Mayer added at TE, bulking up on defense

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Round 2: Pick 60 - Garrett Williams, CB (Syracuse)

"With Williams recovering from an ACL injury, it will be a layer to the evaluation for his next team to be mindful of and his athlete profile will be incomplete. He’s likely to start his rookie season on the PUP list. That said, Williams has the makeup of a starter with the ceiling of an impact starter in a defense that plays to his strengths. "

Joe Marino

The Bengals signed Sidney Jones as a depth piece for the 2023 season but there's still work to be done at the cornerback position. As we saw last year, injuries can happen and they can pile up at certain positions and cornerback isn't one you want that to happen to.

Chidobe Awuzie missed all but eight games in 2022 due to injury plus he's entering the final year of his contract, as is Mike Hilton. That means that even though the Bengals found a baller in Cam Taylor-Britt, they need to continue drafting cornerbacks and keep that position strong.

Garrett Williams is an interesting prospect because he, like Awuzie, is coming off an ACL injury and might not be able to play right out out of the gate in 2023. As Joe Marino of The Draft Network notes above, however, "Williams has the makeup of a starter". The Bengals can afford to draft Williams even with him expected to miss some playing time early on.

PFF Grade: B-

Round 3: Pick 92 - Karl Brooks, EDGE (Bowling Green)

"Expectations for Brooks are difficult to forecast. He’s facing a significant leap in competition and I’m not sold his athletic profile has him suited to fulfill one traditional role or another on a defensive front. I foresee him being a developmental-type player who will need reconditioning to either facilitate more burst or more raw strength in his game before he finds his way onto the football field. "

Kyle Crabbs

The Bengals have solid rotational pieces on their defense and Karl Brooks could be another piece of that. Kyle Crabbs notes that Brooks will need time to develop into more of what teams want from him but doesn't this just seem like a Lou Anarumo pick?

Brooks had 10 sacks for Bowling Green in 2022 and while yes, the level of competition is going to be more difficult in the pros, why not take a risk on a player who can become a solid pass rusher down the road? This could be a risky move but Cincinnati should go for it.

PFF Grade: A-