Bengals NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Michael Mayer added at TE, bulking up on defense
Round 4: Pick 131 - K.J. Henry, EDGE (Clemson)
"Expectations for Henry are essential to putting him in the best position to succeed in the NFL. In such an environment, he’s a potential starter but he’s more likely a rotational defender in the NFL for a majority of teams. "- Kyle Crabbs
The Bengals need help in the pass-rushing department and while I had them adding an EDGE rusher in the third round, why not double up and add two to the mix? K.J. Henry probably wouldn't be a starter and could work as a rotational defender in Lou Anarumo's defense.
Adding Henry to the pass-rushing threat of Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, B.J. Hill, and the other rotational pieces should be able to translate to sacks in 2023. At least that's the hope.
PFF Grade: A
Round 5: Pick 163 - Ronnie Hickman, S (Ohio State)
"Hickman is an aggressive downhill safety that does well to diagnose, trigger, and get around the football. The Buckeyes frequently tasked him with being the “plus one” defender in the box and I came away impressed with his ability to navigate congested areas of the field and get to the ball. "- Joe Marino
After losing both of their starting safeties in free agency, adding more help at the position isn't a bad idea even with the addition of Nick Scott. Dax Hill will be the other starter but it's good to have some depth options.
Adding Ronnie Hickman in the fifth-round seems like a nice get for the Bengals. First and foremost, he's an aggressive player who fits the mold of what Anarumo likes in his defense. Secondly, fans are familiar with him since he played at Ohio State. He's another homegrown prospect and those are always special for the fans.
PFF Grade: A+