Bengals NFL Mock Draft 6.0: Cincinnati makes a trade in first round
Round 2: Pick 60 - Emmanuel Forbes, CB (Mississippi State)
I don't see Emmanuel Forbes falling this far in the draft but if he did, this would be a downright STEAL for the Bengals. The team doesn't necessarily need a starting cornerback for 2023 but both Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton are entering the final year of their respective contracts so Forbes could be a big get for the 2024 season and beyond.
What makes Forbes appealing is that he played a lot of different coverages in college and that kind of experience will make him very nice to have in the pros. Lou Anarumo would love having a versatile guy like Forbes at his disposal.
It doesn't feel likely that Forbes is going to be on the board at pick 60 but if he is, the Bengals will fly to hand a card with his name on it in when they're on the clock.
Round 3: Pick 92 - Sam LaPorta, TE (Iowa)
With Cincinnati signing Irv Smith Jr., they probably won't be drafting a tight end in the first round unless someone like Michael Mayer falls to them. With Smith on the roster, the Bengals can wait until Day 2 to spend a pick on a tight end and in this case, it's Sam LaPorta who falls to them in the third round.
Iowa is a tight end machine and LaPorta is the latest example of that. He had 58 catches for 657 yards and a touchdown during his final season with the Hawkeyes.
Drafting LaPorta means that Smith could be the TE1 while LaPorta handles backup duties for his rookie season and then if the Bengals are optimistic about what he can provide, he can slide into the starter role in 2024.