We're less than a week away from the 2023 NFL Draft and the Cincinnati Bengals are currently riding with the 28th overall pick. What they do with that pick is a bit of a mystery though, especially since Cincinnati has done such a great job tying up loose ends on their roster.
Draft analysts can't seem to come to a consensus on what the Bengals might do and that's why every entry in our final mock draft roundup has the team going in totally different directions.
The Bengals' biggest needs are at running back, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, pas rush, and secondary. Even though those are considered to be their biggest needs, the Bengals don't have any true weaknesses on their roster so they're in a good spot and can go with the best player on the board.
Bengals mock draft roundup
2023 NFL Mock Draft: C.J Stroud, Anthony Richardson fall below top 10; three defenders go in first five picks [Will Brinson, CBS Sports]
Brinson has the Bengals continuing their streak of taking a defensive player in round one with the selection of Nolan Smith out of Georgia. The EDGE rusher had three sacks for the eventual National Champion Bulldogs during the 2022 season.
"The Bengals' offense has pieces it needs to replace but the defense needs more pass rush to take down the AFC's elite quarterbacks."- Will Brinson
With the Bengals finishing near the bottom of the league in sacks, adding Smith to their arsenal would be a smart move. He'd help the defense get after the quarterbacks better and that could very well be the difference between a Super Bowl appearance and watching the game from home.
2023 NFL Mock Draft: Bryce Young lands with Panthers, Anthony Richardson falls to Falcons and Bijan Robinson lands in Los Angeles [Michael Renner, PFF]
Renner's pick for Cincinnati is Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison, who can play either tackle spot. Even though the Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. in the offseason, Renner argues that shouldn't stop the organization from continuing to add depth to the unit.
"The Bengals simply have to throw resources at their offensive line, and Harrison is the perfect developmental tackle at this point in the draft. He may not have to start right away, but given the injuries along the Cincinnati offensive line of late, he’ll likely be playing soon."- Michael Renner
It's worth noting that the offensive line was gelling and playing well near the end of the 2022 regular season but then injuries took over and well... we know how the season played out. Harrison could sit and learn during the season but step in if injuries happen.
Maurice Jones-Drew 2023 NFL mock draft 1.0: Indianapolis Colts land Bryce Young [Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL.com]
Jones-Drew sticks with the earlier offseason narrative and goes with Dalton Kincaid at pick 28. While Cincinnati signed Irv Smith Jr., his injury history is definitely something to be concerned about so taking a tight end in the first round might not be a bad play.
"A dynamic tight end lands in a dynamic offense. Pairing Kincaid with an explosive receiving trio gives Joe Burrow endless weapons in the pass game. Watch out for this group!"- Maurice Jones-Drew
Kincaid finished his final season at Utah with 70 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 12.7 yards a catch. There's no doubt that he'd fit into this offense well.
Which of these picks would you most like to see happen for the Cincinnati Bengals?