Mel Kiper mock draft 1.0 has Bengals adding Hayden Hurst replacement

2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 4-7
2022 NFL Draft - Rounds 4-7 / David Becker/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals will hold one of the final four picks of the 2023 NFL Draft. Mel Kiper, in his first mock draft for 2023, had them going with Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid with the No. 28 overall pick.

The mock draft is an ESPN insider piece so you have to be subscribed to be able to read it. Kiper notes that Hayden Hurst had a solid bounce back season but he'll be a free agent and that Cincinnati needs a long-term tight end.

Kiper also mentions that the team ranked 29th in receiving yards by tight ends. While this is true, the Bengals don't need their tight end to be a leader in this category because of the stout wide receivers they have at their disposal.

Bengals select Dalton Kincaid in Mel Kiper mock draft 1.0

Kiper says that Kincaid had 16 touchdowns over the past two seasons for the Utes and has more speed than fellow tight end prospect Luke Musgrave. Kiper is on board with the Bengals adding either of these tight end prospects.

I know Kiper is paid the big bucks to do these mock drafts but I disagree with taking a tight end in the first round. I do think the team should address the position at some point in the draft but Hurst has been solid this year and I could honestly see him re-signing with the team. He's made a name for himself in Cincinnati.

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Stick with Hurst and spend maybe a third-round pick on a tight end. Travis Kelce was a third-round pick back in 2013 and George Kittle wasn't selected until the fifth round in 2017. Solid tight ends can be had later on in the draft, you just have to find the one that works best with your offensive game plan.