Who will the Cincinnati Bengals select at 28th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft? The good news is that the team doesn't have any glaring weaknesses so that could lead to them taking the best player available. The bad news is that it makes draft night even more of a mystery.
Entering the offseason, the Bengals desperately needed to find more help to their offensive line. They did that with the addition of Orlando Brown Jr. so drafting an offensive lineman in the first round might not be as much of a lock anymore.
The Bengals also needed to add a tight end or two and they eventually signed Irv Smith Jr. Smith has battled injuries though so taking a tight end on Day 1 or 2 isn't a bad idea at all (even with the recent re-signing of Drew Sample).
Because the Bengals don't have any major holes on their roster, mock drafts have them all over the place. Let's take a look at three different ones to see who is mocked to Cincinnati.
Bengals mock draft roundup
NFL Mock Draft 2023: Five QBs taken in the first round, Packers add first pass catcher in Round 1 since 2002 [Josh Edwards, CBS Sports]
Josh Edwards stuck with a tight end for Cincinnati in the first round, which was interesting considering it's not as big of a need for them now. He did have them taking Michael Mayer though and that feels like a perfect fit for both sides.
"The tight end from northern Kentucky finds his way back home as Joe Burrow gets another weapon in the pass game. Michael Mayer is a well-rounded player who is capable of positively impacting the run game as well."- Josh Edwards
Charles Davis 2023 NFL mock draft 2.0: Titans select Anthony Richardson; Ravens take Hendon Hooker [Charles Davis, NFL.com]
Charles Davis had Emmanuel Forbes out of Mississippi State falling to the Bengals late in the first round. This is a pick that would likely excite Bengals fans even if the cornerback is considered to be undersized.
"Yes, he weighs around 170 pounds. That is a concern. But he takes the ball away (14 interceptions at Mississippi State, including an NCAA-record six pick-sixes) and is a more-than-willing tackler. Forbes fits in well with DC Lou Anarumo's philosophy and scheme."- Charles Davis
2023 NFL Mock Draft: B/R NFL Scouting Dept.'s Latest Predictions with 2 Weeks Left [Bleacher Report]
Bleacher Report surprisingly has Cincinnati taking Brian Branch, a safety out of Alabama with pick 28. I'd be a little shocked if the Bengals went with another safety in the first round of the draft but they did lose their two starting safeties in the offseason and we haven't seen much out of Dax Hill so we don't know if he can step in and start.
"Interestingly, the Bengals didn't use Hill over the slot all that much last season even though he excelled in that role for the Michigan Wolverines. But the unit does feature Mike Hilton, who's a premier nickel corner."- Bleacher Report