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Drafting a running back, though, would classify.
That’s exactly what happens in a new mock draft from NFL.com’s Adam Rank, who has the Bengals sticking at No. 31 and taking Iowa State running back Breece Hall.
The mock, tagged as a “what every team SHOULD do” edition, writes the following about the pick:
“First, you’re going to love running backs from Iowa State. Trust me. I know this might be a bit reckless because cornerback would likely be a better option at this point. However, I do like the idea of taking a running back here. Drafting a super-talented back late in Round 1 for a five-year run, and then moving on, seems like a pretty sound investment.”
Hall is, without a doubt, an elite running back prospect who could have a long pro career by running back standards.
And the Bengals are admittedly in a position of luxury. They’re probably going to end up drafting a 3-tech pass-rusher or cornerback who will only rotate into the lineup as a rookie.
But the Bengals aren’t that cozy that they can spend a resource like this on a position like that. It’s easy to forget that Joe Mixon only heads into his age-26 season while in the middle of his prime. Chris Evans, a draft pick from last year, plus Trayveon Williams, remain as high-upside backups and Samaje Perine is the proven veteran. For the usage non-Mixon backs will get in 2022, they’ll get even more value taking a running back in the mid to late rounds, not the opening round.
Note too that in the above mock, names like Iowa offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum and Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall were still on the board, among others.