Bengals NFL Mock Draft 6.0: Cincinnati makes a trade in first round
The Cincinnati Bengals own the 28th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft but that doesn't mean they have to use that pick. Perhaps they opt to trade up if a player they're itching to add falls to right outside the top 20. Maybe they receive a trade offer from someone and trade back.
In this mock draft, the Bengals do indeed make a trade and move out of the 28th spot. For this mock draft, I used Pro Football Network's simulator. Different draft sites obviously have different grades on players so players that go earlier on one site might go later on another so keep that in mind.
All right, let's get to it!
All stats courtesy of College Football Reference
Round 2: Pick 33 - Nolan Smith, EDGE (Georgia)
The Bengals accepted a trade offer from the Texans to move from the 28th pick down to the 33rd pick in exchange for an additional fifth-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. By doing this, Cincinnati moves down five spots and still manages to snag Georgia's Nolan Smith.
Pass-rush needs a boost this offseason and Smith can help out with that. He really upped his draft stock with his performance at the NFL Combine, running a blazing-fast 4.39 40-yard dash. We all know how much the Bengals value speed with their draft prospects and Smith checks that box.
With the Bengals finishing toward the bottom of the NFL in sacks, an EDGE rusher needs to be a priority in the first few rounds. Moving down, landing Smith, and gaining draft picks in the process is a smart move for this team.