Cincinnati Bengals fans are well aware that the team could lose two of their three starting receivers in the 2024 offseason, as both Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are entering free agency. This could be why mock drafts continue to roll with the Bengals taking a wide receiver in the first round. The name that the team keeps getting linked to is Washington's Rome Odunze.
Odunze has 45 receptions for 818 yards and six touchdowns through seven games this year and he's averaging 18.2 yards per catch. There's no doubt that he'd fit in well in Cincinnati's explosive offense.
Bengals mock draft roundup
2024 NFL mock draft: Jordan Reid's Round 1 pick predictions [Jordan Reid, ESPN]
The Pick: Rome Odunze, WR (Washington)
Reid is one of many who has the Bengals going with the Washington wideout. He notes that their offense hasn't been what it's capable of so far this season and also points out that several of their wide receivers are hitting free agency in the spring.
"The Bengals' offense has been surprisingly stagnant so far this season, struggling to generate explosive plays. They have seven completions for 20-yards or more, a league-low. And with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Trenton Irwin all in contract years, wide receiver is likely to be at the top of Cincinnati's offseason priority list. Odunze is a well-rounded target who can attack defenses at all three levels. He has reliable hands and big-play potential, with 86.7% of his catches resulting in first downs or touchdowns this season."- Jordan Reid
2024 NFL Mock Draft: Seahawks plan for life after Geno Smith; Raiders, Chiefs add playmakers on offense [Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports]
The Pick: Rome Odunze
Here's another analyst linking Odunze to the Bengals. He says that if the team loses Higgins, Odunze is the perfect replacement.
"If the Bengals lose Tee Higgins in free agency, they'll likely want another big-bodied wideout on the outside. Odunze is precisely that."- Chris Trapasso
QB Caleb Williams slides in our NFL Week 8 2024 NFL mock draft update [Curt Popejoy, DraftWire]
The Pick: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB (Alabama)
The only mock draft not to have the Bengals going with Odunze instead has them focusing on the defensive side of the ball in the first round for the third straight year. It wouldn't be anything new to see the Bengals add a cornerback in the first round and they'd be getting a good one in McKinstry.
"McKinstry slides due to some questionable decisions on the field but with the right coaching he could be elite."- Curt Popejoy