The 2023 NFL Draft seems far, far away right now but it'll be here before we know it! Now that the first week of college football games are in the books, what better time is there to do a quick mock draft for the Cincinnati Bengals?
For this particular mock draft, I used Pro Football Focus and it'd only let me draft two rounds. This is likely because the college football season is still young and there are a lot of players we don't know enough about yet.
Either way, it was fun to put together a very early mock draft for the Bengals, who had the 22nd and 58th picks in this mock.
All stats courtesy of ESPN
Cincinnati Bengals 2023 mock draft
Round 1: Pick 22 - Siaki Ika, DI (Baylor)
As explosive as the offensive side of the ball is for the Bengals, fans want to see the defense match that intensity and it feels as though the team is close to doing just that. Adding Siaki Ika in the first round of next year's draft would give the Bengals d-line more nastiness and it'd be hard to be upset about this pick.
Ika joining a group of Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard up front would be downright fearful for whatever team had to face the Bengals. The Baylor product had 24 tackles, six tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks during the 2021 season. He'd fit right in with the stripes.
Round 2: Pick 58 - Jermaine Burton, WR (Alabama)
With Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins both nearing the end of their contracts, the Bengals are going to have to consider what life without at least one of them will look like. Even with both guys under contract for the 2023 season, we saw this past offseason what other teams are willing to pay for a top-notch receiver and it wouldn't be crazy if Higgins ends up getting traded. If he or Boyd leaves, the team shouldn't hesitate to spend one of their early-round picks on a wide receiver.
In this case, I went with Jermaine Burton out of Alabama who showed during the first game of the collegiate season that he can find his way into the end zone. The Crimson Tide wideout scored two touchdowns on five catches and totaled 35 yards in the first game of the season.
Pairing Burton with Ja'Marr Chase and hopefully either Higgins or Boyd (or even both) would make an already-explosive offense that much more explosive. Joe Burrow would love this pick even if Burton does play at Alabama.
What do you think of this mock draft, Bengals fans? Would either of these players joining the reigning AFC champions make you happy?