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Bengals go surprise route in fresh 2023 NFL mock draft

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The 2023 NFL draft won’t dominate the discussion surrounding the league for quite some time still, but that doesn’t mean teams like the Cincinnati Bengals aren’t already at work on the class.

Also at work? Those in charge of mock drafts. And in mid-June with the team on a six-week break, now is as good a time as any to step back and look at what some of the mocks have the team doing.

Over at Draft Wire, Luke Easterling has the Bengals 23rd and picking Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson:

“The Bengals did a solid job of reloading their biggest areas of need this offseason (offensive line, secondary), so next year’s top pick could be used on an athletic, versatile defender for the front seven. Simpson would be the perfect fit, thanks to his ability to make big plays in every phase of the game.”

Like wideout, linebacker is already one of the strongest positions on the roster for the Bengals, so it would be a little surprising to see them go there. They still have high hopes for someone like Akeem Davis-Gaither, too.

But given the retention of a Super Bowl roster, the Bengals are in a spot where they could comfortably go best player available. That could be Simpson, a do-it-all star who had 6.5 sacks last season.

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