Bengals NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Michael Mayer added at TE, bulking up on defense
Round 6: Pick 206 - Aidan O'Connell, QB (Purdue)
"Aidan O’Connell is a gamer without a doubt, but he is not a starting-caliber quarterback. I envision and project him as a long-term backup quarterback, one that could be a spot starter to get your team out of a pinch. Overall, he has an average set of tools and an average skill set. "- Damian Parson
The Bengals only have Jake Browning behind Joe Burrow on the depth chart, as of this writing, and perhaps it's time to draft a quarterback and develop him into Burrow's long-term backup. They've already scheduled a visit with the Purdue signal-caller so that shows that they're interested in potentially drafting him.
O'Connell spent four years at Purdue and this past season threw for 3,490 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 picks. His best year was in 2021 when he tossed for 3,712 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He's not a runner so he wouldn't provide the escapability that Burrow does but let's be real here -- No backup quarterback is going to offer what Burrow does. That's why he'd be a backup.
O'Connell has clearly caught Cincinnati's eye and when he was on the board in the sixth round, I figured why not pull the trigger? Maybe this could be Burrow's long-term backup down the road.
PFF Grade: A+
Round 7: Pick 246 - Mohamed Ibrahim, RB (Minnesota)
"He still has the instincts and contact balance to be a viable NFL running back for a team—although I’d like to keep him in a stable of productive backs if possible. "- Kyle Crabbs
While the Bengals still have Joe Mixon as their starter, Samaje Perine is no longer with the team and Chris Evans hasn't had many opportunities to prove himself. That could lead to the team drafting a running back on Day 3 and if they do, Mohamed Ibrahim could be an option.
As Crabbs noted in the blurb above, Ibrahim would work best with other established backs so the Bengals' back field could be a nice fit for him. He has battled injuries, which is concerning for a young running back but this guy rushed for over 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2022 so I'd say he's worth the risk.
PFF Grade: B+
PFF seemed to be a fan of this mock. Their favorite pick were the Ronnie Hickman and Aidan O'Connell selections and their least favorite was the Garrett Williams pick in the second round. No grades lower than a B- though, so I'll take that as a win!
Overall PFF Grade: A-