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The Cincinnati Bengals will host at least one playoff game this postseason.
But behind the scenes, rest assured the front office has already been doing its due diligence on the next draft class. With clear needs along the offensive line and at cornerback, mock drafts have naturally been hitting those spots already.
And an effort from Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling — this time a three-rounder — has the Bengals doing just that.
In the first round at No. 26, the Bengals grab Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary:
“The offensive line still needs help, but the biggest need for Cincy is at corner, where they desperately miss William Jackson III. McCreary was dominant for the Tigers this season, shutting down some of the nation’s most talented pass-catchers all year long.”
Here’s what they do in the second and third rounds:
No. 57: Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann
No. 90: Boston College OL Alec Lindstrom
It’s hard to hate the McCreary pick — the Bengals have gotten next to nothing from Trae Waynes and they’ll probably opt out of his contract this offseason. Adding a 6’0″ prospect in the first round who can play the boundary corner spot is a great idea, as it’ll let him learn on the fly while rotating with backups like Eli Apple.
The next two offensive line picks are important, too. The only spots that have consistent play are left tackle and center. Raimann can be a long-term solution at right tackle once Riley Reiff leaves and Lindstrom can compete at either guard spot. Yes, there’s still Jackson Carman, this year’s second-rounder, floating around on the depth chart too, but the Bengals have to go into the offseason not relying on him at all after he couldn’t reliably get on the field.