2017 Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft
*Includes projected compensatory picks*
Draft Needs: MLB, K, EDGE, SLB, OL (G/C/T), WR
1. Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama —The Bengals have been mocked Derek Barnett in nearly every recent mock, but there’s one problem. The Bengals have never drafted a player in the 1st round under the age of 22 in the Marvin Lewis era. Barnett is only 20 years old. Tim Williams is close to the size of former 1st round edge rusher David Pollack at 6’3 252 and is 23 years old. Williams has drawn comparisons to Lawrence Taylor and is arguably the most talented edge rusher of this class. Williams can rotate between SAM LB & DE similar to how the Bengals utilized David Pollack, James Harrison & Chris Carter.
2. Ethan Pocic, C/RG, LSU — Saying that the Bengals offensive line struggled during 2016 is an understatement. Andy Dalton was sacked over 40 times … that’s the most ever given up during a season for the Bengals in 20 years. Adding more uncertainty is the fact that their best two linemen Andrew Whitworth & Kevin Zeitler could test free agency. Russell Bodine & Cedric Ogbuehi have both been enigmas on the offensive line. Russell Bodine is scheduled to become a free agent in 2018. Although Pocic has primarily played Center, he has also lined up at Right Guard and even Left Tackle. He will provide the Bengals with flexibility at all three positions and is a solid option in a thin class on the offensive line.
3. DeDe Westbrook WR, Oklahoma — Bengals’ WR coach James Urban has stated to Geoff Hobson that the Bengals are looking to fill the need for a take-off-the-top speed receiver to pair with A.J. Green. Westbrook has continually displayed his ability to stretch the field as a vertical deep threat. Westbrook is a fast WR with good hands. Compares somewhat to Tyreek Hill. He was a huge contributor for Oklahoma and an ideal value for the Bengals in the 3rd round. He’s also within range for the Bengals to trade up and select.
4. Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU — Aside from Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals truly don’t have much talent within their linebacker core. The Bengals defense gave up over 110 rushing yards per game. They Bengals recently drafted Nick Vigil & Paul Dawson, but neither seems to be a permanent solution. Rey Maualuga played sparingly last season and has become an endangered species at the position. Maualuga could be let go and Beckwith is a guy with the athletic ability that the Bengals truly lack outside of Burfict.
4(C) De’veon Smith, RB, Michigan — I personally like Jeremy Hill, but he has found himself in the dog house recently. In my opinion, I believe his struggles are related to run blocking, but he is also approaching free agency in 2018. The Bengals have already extended Gio and Rex Bulkhead is similar to Gio in stature. Smith is more of a power back and could provide an option if Hill doesn’t regain form next season.
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