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Bengals add big-play threat for Joe Burrow in 2023 NFL mock draft

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As the Cincinnati Bengals get ready to attempt a Super Bowl return, their list of needs for the 2023 NFL draft is pretty up in the air.

Based on the on-paper outlook right now, items like the offensive line and pass-rush stick out as major areas of need that will need some immediate and long-term help.

But a new mock draft takes things in another interesting direction, with the Bengals picking 15th and grabbing Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer. The mock comes from ESPN’s Matt Miller:

“The tight end with the nickname “Baby Gronk” goes to a perfect situation, where he’ll team up with Joe Burrow and three outstanding wide receivers(Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins) to form the AFC’s best skill position group. The 6-foot-4, 251-pound Mayer is a throwback player who is a true in-line tight end prospect. Rob Gronkowski is the popular comp, but Mayer plays alot like the Lions’ T.J. Hockenson, who was the No. 8 overall pick in 2019.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Mayer mocked to the Bengals and it makes a ton of sense.

Mayer, 6’4″, caught seven scores last year and sure looks like a future every-down starter at the position. The team added Hayden Hurst to pair with Drew Sample, but that was a one-year deal that leaves things at the position up in the air.

While there was a time Bengals fans wanted to see Rob Gronkowski come to town based on some of his comments about Joe Burrow, grabbing “Baby Gronk” in the draft would certainly be a welcome development.

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Bengals salary cap: 6 players responsible for $9.6M in dead money