In a mock draft from James Fragoza of Pro Football Network, the Cincinnati Bengals send Tee Higgins to the Houston Texans in exchange for the 12th overall pick. With this pick, they go right to work ensuring that Joe Burrow will have a better offensive line in front of him and select Dawand Jones out of Ohio State.
"12) Cincinnati Bengals (From CLE via HOU): Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State Trade: Bengals receive pick 12 and a 2024 fourth-rounder; Texans receive WR Tee Higgins With Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase’s contracts coming up, it’s difficult to see how the Bengals can work in Tee Higgins. It’s not impossible, but if Cincinnati were to ship him off, Houston should pick up the phone. They do in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and Cincy uses their newfound draft capital to shore up the offensive line. Dawand Jones is a mammoth at tackle, standing 6’8″ and 375 pounds, with nearly 37″ arms."- James Fragoza
The Texans have been a lost cause over the past few years and there's no doubt that Tee Higgins would be a great addition for them and whoever their quarterback is in the 2023 season. They also hold the second overall pick and might end up landing either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud depending on what happens with the top pick.
Bengals make a bold trade in latest mock draft
People are going to continue obsessing over the possibility of trading Higgins until he's either extended or the team says outright that he won't be shipped off. Otherwise, we'll have to keep hearing these kind of rumors.
Let's play along for the sake of the article.
With Higgins off to Houston, the Bengals add Dawand Jones to help protect Burrow. The offensive line has now cost the Bengals two opportunities to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and they can't let it prevent them from winning it all again in 2023.
Jones is projected to be a starting right tackle by The Draft Network so this move means that the team likely moves on from La'el Collins and slides Jones into that role. Maybe they sign someone like Cameron Fleming or Jermaine Eluemunor to compete with the rookie out of the gate.
I don't expect this to happen but it's fun to speculate about.