The Cincinnati Bengals hold the 28th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which is located in Kansas City and will take place at the end of April. Who is the team being linked to late in the first round?
A popular name that fans will probably grow tired of seeing linked to Cincinnati at pick No. 28 is Dalton Kincaid, a tight end out of Utah. Kincaid had 70 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns during his final season with the Utes and would give the Bengals a hopeful star in the making at the tight end position.
With Hayden Hurst hitting free agency and potentially pricing himself out of the Bengals' range, it wouldn't be shocking to see the team spend their first-round pick on a tight end. Fans don't want to see Hurst leave but with so many other needs to address this offseason, he won't be the biggest priority.
Bengals mock draft roundup
NFL Mock Draft 2023: Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Rodgers, DeAndre Hopkins, and Daron Payne Trades Impact Round 1 [James Fragoza, Pro Football Network]
This is an interesting mock draft because it has the Bengals adding Kincaid later on but also being aggressive and trading up for a higher pick. That's very un-Bengals-like but hey, that's why we call them mock drafts.
To move up in this mock, the Bengals ship Tee Higgins off to Houston in exchange for the 12th overall pick. With that pick, they select Dawand Jones out of Ohio State to help boost their offensive line moving forward.
Their second pick in the first round, however, is none other than Kincaid.
"With offensive tackle checked off, the Bengals can give Joe Burrow an upgrade at tight end. Dalton Kincaid is a natural receiver with strong hands, YAC ability, and sought-after ball skills. At 6’4″ and 240 pounds, he’ll likely need to add some muscle mass, as that weight is an outlier at the position in the NFL."- James Fragoza
NFL mock draft 2023: Where do Anthony Richardson, Will Levis land in pre-combine look? [Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today]
Here's another mock draft that ties the Bengals to the Utah tight end. It's risky to draft a tight end so early sometimes because it's a hard position to immediately make an impact in. Even Travis Kelce wasn't effective as a rookie so expecting Kincaid to step in and do what Hurst did last year is a stretch.
"With Cincinnati's foreseeable future sure to be shaped by the forthcoming Joe Burrow extension, the Bengals should think ahead about how to keep their supercharged receiving corps running. Kincaid would be a worthy No. 2 to Ja'Marr Chase if the Bengals opt not to bring back Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd after next season, and the smooth-moving pass catcher should be an immediate threat as Hayden Hurst's replacement."- Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz
Bucky Brooks 2023 NFL mock draft 2.0: Raiders snag QB Will Levis; Cowboys, Chiefs add receivers [Bucky Brooks, NFL.com]
Brooks does not have the Bengals taking Kincaid here. Rather, they go with Cam Smith, a cornerback out of South Carolina. With Chidobe Awuzie returning from injury next season and Eli Apple's future up in the air, I'm not opposed to the team spending their first-round pick on a cornerback.
"Adding a cover corner with outstanding eyes, instincts and ball skills could help defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo upgrade the secondary. "- Bucky Brooks