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The Cincinnati Bengals are right in the mix for a playoff spot at 5-4. But with the college football season nearing its homestretch, draft season is about to kick into high gear. So why not fill the bye week with a quick mock draft for the Bengals just to throw some names out there and get the draft season rolling?
This mock will be built from The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine and their Predictive Board.
No. 16) Myjai Sanders, Edge, Cincinnati
What?! Myjai Sanders anticipated the snap and got off the ball so quickly that officials flagged him for being offside when he wasn't. pic.twitter.com/bnqlBjxD6I
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) October 16, 2021
Bengals fans figure to know Cincinnati Bearcats star Myjai Sanders pretty well — he’s one of the best edge rushers in the country. In fact, as his elite get-off in the clip above shows, he’s routinely showing why he’s living up to the hype as a top-flight defender. That’s an important thing to add for a Bengals defense that doesn’t have a consistent pass-rusher after Trey Hendrickson.
No. 47) Thayer Munford, OT, Ohio State
Ohio State OT Thayer Munford vs Nebraska:
🔺 56 pass block snaps
🔺 1 QB pressure allowed
🔺 0 sacks pic.twitter.com/GQiMAaqXMO
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 7, 2021
Munford looks like a prototypical starter on the edges of the offensive line in the pros and might be a big steal in the second round. He’s even got experience at left tackle, though he might be a better long-term fit as Riley Reiff’s eventual replacement. That could mean letting Jackson Carman stay at guard, too.
No. 82) Ricky Stromberg, IOL, Arkansas
Sep 25, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks offensive lineman Ricky Stromberg (51) and Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal (8) in action during the game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Then again, the Bengals can’t afford to skimp on the offensive line after the interior/right side collapse this year. Stromberg is impressively athletic at center, which is what the Bengals want from a starter. Maybe he competes at guard instead, sure, but the bad start to the year for Trey Hopkins suggests otherwise.
No. 119) Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M
"All the scouts want to see Markquese Bell." –@HCWillieSimmons
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) October 15, 2021
Bell isn’t a big name (yet, due to his small school) but it’s hard not to be impressed with his lengthy frame that checks in at 6’3″ and 215 pounds. He’s always around the ball and if he holds up well in testing amongst other bigger-school prospects during the draft process, he might end up going much higher than this. The Bengals like to run three-safety looks, so don’t be shocked.
No. 136) Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes safety James Williams (0) reacts with cornerback Tyrique Stevenson (2) after intercepting the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Miami won 38-34. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
A former Georgia transfer now playing with the Hurricanes, Stevenson has played the nickel role and on the outside against the boundary. The press skills and ability to wrap up consistently makes him an attractive potential-starter draft pick, especially with the Trae Waynes era seemingly coming to an end two years into a three-year deal.
No. 158) Otito Ogbonnia, IDL, UCLA
.@UCLAFootball offense has been good, but it’s the defensive talent that has impressed most this year.
Rewatched game vs. LSU, and play here by DT#91 Otito Ogbonnia (@otitoogbonnia12) and EDGE#45 Mitch Agude (@OfficialAgude) was outstanding despite it being a 2 on 3 situation. pic.twitter.com/7UD9F3mxfp
— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) September 24, 2021
A former shot-putter who explodes out of his stances, Ogbonnia is a 320-pound potential pro nosetackle with some interesting versatility for Lou Anarumo’s multiple front. He’ll have to fight with the likes of Tyler Shelvin for snaps, but the team has to make sure defensive line depth isn’t a problem again.
No. 194) Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
Oct 30, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Jake Ferguson (84) during warmups prior to the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
At this stage of the draft, it’s all about depth and upside. It’s really hard to ignore Ferguson, the 6’5″ tight end with a huge catch radius. So much so, it’s easy to pencil him in as a guy sure to see a massive stock uptick once the college season ends and everyone can really get to analyzing the film.
No. 238) Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) questions a call during Saturday’s NCAA Division I football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on October 30, 2021.
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Again, upside and depth. Porter Jr. only played 12 games before this season, but his 6’2″ frame and elite speed really give him a good chance at carving out a long pro career. There’s an outside chance Waynes isn’t the only cornerback departure this upcoming offseason, so depth is a must.