I have to think someone like Frank Ragnow is Cincinnati's target. The Bengals are desperate for offensive linemen, but all of them would be reaches at No. 12, with the exception of Quenton Nelson, who wouldn't be available. It's too early for a big center upgrade like Ragnow at No. 12, but he's much more reasonable at No. 21 overall.
*** OTHER 2018 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Billy Price, C - Cincinnati should probably take the best offensive lineman on its board after what transpired last year.
2. Kolton Miller, OT - The Bengals may decide that they can get a solid center in the second round, allowing them to take a tackle.
Rd. 2, Pk. 14
Isaiah Wynn, OT/G/C, Georgia
Cincinnati needs multiple upgrades to the offensive line, and the team should be thrilled to obtain Isaiah Wynn this late.
Pick change; previously Billy Price, C
Rd. 3, Pk. 13
Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
No one should be surprised if the Bengals triple up on offensive linemen in the first few rounds in the 2018 NFL Draft, based on how the blocking unit has performed. Despite the addition of Cordy Glenn, another tackle will be needed.
Rd. 3, Pk. 36
Arden Key, DE/3-4OLB, LSU
The Bengals could add an edge rusher at some point in the middle rounds, and they won't be too worried about Arden Key's off-the-field problems.
Rd. 4, Pk. 12
Justin Jones, DT, N.C. State
The Bengals have needed some help at defensive tackle next to Geno Atkins for quite some time now.
Rd. 5, Pk. 14
Chase Litton, QB, Marshall
Marvin Lewis said he wanted to start from scratch. Does that mean finding a new quarterback in the middle of the 2018 NFL Draft?
Rd. 5, Pk. 21
Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
The Bengals lost Jeremy Hill this offseason, so they could stand to add another running back late in the draft for depth purposes.
Rd. 5, Pk. 33
Deon Yelder, WR, Western Kentucky
It's difficult to trust Tyler Eifert to stay healthy, so here's a tight end for the future.
Rd. 7, Pk. 31
Tegray Scales, OLB/ILB, Indiana
The Bengals could use one of their seventh-round picks to find linebacker depth.
Rd. 7, Pk. 34
Jacob Martin, DE, Temple
There's nothing wrong with adding as much pass-rushing depth as possible, and the Bengals could use help in that department.
Rd. 7, Pk. 35
Jeremy Reaves, S, South Alabama
Cincinnati could also use better depth in the secondary.
Cincinnati needs an edge rusher to pair with Carlos Dunlap. I think the Bengals would be very happy to have Solomon Thomas here, but he's off the board. There is a lot of chatter that the Bengals love John Ross, and he would make sense as their offense.
Ross (5-11, 188) was a very productive wideout for Washington in 2016 with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. For the NFL, he will have to fit as a speedy, shifty slot receiver as he is very undersized. If Ross can add some weight, he could be a Brandin Cooks-type receiver. Otherwise, Ross might be more similar to Sterling Shepard or Tavon Austin. Ross has good hands, route-running, and is fast. He could be a mismatch weapon as a slot receiver.
As a sophomore (17-371-4) and freshman (16-208-1) Ross contributed some, but the junior took on a bigger role in 2016.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
The Bengals could use some young linebacker talent and another edge rusher across from Carlos Dunlap. Bowser addresses both needs.
In 2016, Bowser had 47 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted. He was a tough edge rusher for Houston. Bowser could fit as a 3-4 outside or inside linebacker, and he could play inside on run downs and move to rush off the edge in passing situations. In a 4-3 defense, Bowser (6-2, 244) would fit as a Sam - strongside - linebacker and could rush off the edge in obvious passing situations.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Dawuane Smoot, DE/3-4OLB, Illinois
The Bengals grab another edge rusher for their defense.
During the fall, there was a good amount of hype about Smoot as a few ESPN draft analysts projected him among the top-10 prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft. In speaking with multiple NFL teams, they say they initially graded Smoot as a late first-rounder before lowering him into the middle region of Day 2. Smoot totaled 56 tackles and 15 for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted in 2016.
Sources say that Smoot is very athletic and explosive off the edge. However, they feel the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder, despite being strong for his size, is more disruptive than productive, and that could be the case for him in the NFL. They believe Smoot is the kind of player who will place a lot of pressure on the quarterback, but net only a few sacks. Starting across from Jihad Ward in 2015, Smoot had a strong junior season as he totaled eight sacks with 15 tackles for a loss, 40 tackles, two passes batted and three forced fumbles.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Kendell Beckwith, ILB, LSU
The Bengals could use multiple linebackers as they have a few veterans entering free agency after this season.
In 2016, Beckwith totaled 91 tackles with six for a loss, one sack and four passes broken up. He played well in 2015 for LSU as a physical in-the-box presence. On the year, the junior totaled 84 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and a pass batted. As a sophomore, he had 77 tackles with three pass breakups, two sacks and an interception.
Beckwith (6-2, 243) was a strong tackler and good at taking on blocks in college. He needs to improve his pass-coverage skills for the NFL though, but teams really liked him before he got injured.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Tyler Orlosky, C, West Virginia
The Bengals could consider some interior offensive line competition after losing Kevin Zeitler.
Orlosky is good in the ground game and generally reliable in pass protection. The 6-foot-2, 292-pounder could develop into a starting center in the NFL. He isn't overly strong, but gets in good position and is an angle blocker.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
The Bengals could use some interior defensive line depth and competition.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Deangelo Yancey, WR, Purdue
The Bengals could target multiple receivers in the 2017 NFL Draft and have shown interest in Yancey.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Rayshawn Jenkins, S, Miami
The Bengals could use some safety depth and competition.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Dan Skipper, OT, Arkansas
The Bengals get some right tackle more depth as Andre Smith will probably start with Cedric Ogbuehi or Jake Fisher moving to guard.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Josh Thornton, CB, Southern Utah
The Bengals get more secondary depth and hosted Thornton.
Cincinnati's offensive line was a real weakness this season, and the team really missed Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth. Here's a replacement for Whitworth who will help to pave the way for Joe Mixon for many years to come and provide better edge pass protection.
McGlinchey blocked well for Notre Dame overall in 2017, less a few rough plays versus Miami and Georgia. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder is a tough run blocker and was part of a good Notre Dame line for years. The senior has good enough feet and athletic ability to get depth in his kick slide and cut off speed rushers. As a run blocker, he can get movement at the point of attack. McGlinchey flashes heavy hands to push defenders out of their gaps and open holes for his back. He also has a nice ability to bend at the knee, and that in combination with his feet, keeps him from having to reach after edge rushers. McGlinchey uses his strength to sustain blocks and has developed good hand placement. His performance in 2017 and 2016 protecting Notre Dame's quarterbacks is evidence that he is a future starting left tackle in the NFL and a first-round pick. <br> <br>
McGlinchey was very impressive at left tackle for the Fighting Irish in 2016. He looked natural in pass protection, and one wouldn't have thought that he wasn't playing the position before last season. In 2015, McGlinchey showed well as a right tackle and displayed a more physical style of play than former Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The main area that McGlinchey really needed to improve was his repeated problem with false starts as a junior. McGlinchey seems to have fixed that as a senior.
Great job to Cincy for bringing in Cordy Glenn, a much needed upgrade at LT over Cedric Ogbuehi. (The worst player in football.) There's still a spot on the OL that can use improvement, and that is at Center. James Daniels is the athletic OL prospect that the Bengals typically go for on the interior of the offensive line. They have recently interviewed Billy Price, and it's no secret that they are looking to upgrade in the middle.
No changes, original write-up. Even after drafting Bill Price, James Daniels can play Center and Price can move to RG. The Bengals have shown similar tactics when they drafted both Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher back-to-back. Insurance for if Price's injury is more severe than initially suspected, and they have a plan in place so they have an actual starting Center for when the season starts. Trey Hopkins is also under the last year of his contract, and it's unlikely for him to be re-signed.
Cincinnati is one of many franchises that saw poor play from its offensive line last season, so it seems likely they'd pull the trigger on Williams if he's on the board.
The Bengals have spent a lot of draft capital on offensive tackles the past few years -- and also recently traded for Buffalo's Cordy Glenn -- so need the for a tackle may not be that high. However, after what appeared to be a drop in production quality last season, many believe that Williams will move to an interior lineman spot in the NFL. Williams would also be in the hands of former Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack if he went to Cincinnati. Pollack coached on several Dallas teams that had great rushing attacks, mostly because of his o-lines. Pollack's presence could be what not only Williams needs, but what former early round selections like Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher need as well.
Will Hernandez to the Bengals just feels right for some reason. It might be because I immediately think of Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz when I think of the Bungles and of what Hernandez can become. The Bengals, along with the previously stated Redskins, are a franchise that players should not want to play for right now as they are slow trending towards a rebuild. Right now, Cincinnati has the second longest tenured head coach in the NFL, behind only Bill Belichick, in Marvin Lewis. He has a whooping 0 playoff wins during his 13 years as head coach. On offense, the team has superstar wideout AJ Green with the extremely pedestrian Andy Dalton giving him the ball. The have lost their elite offensive line in the past with the departures of Kevin Zeitler, Andrew Whitworth, and Russell Bodine. They blew the draft last year with the selections of speedster John Ross and troublemaker Joe Mixon. They are more than likely the dirtiest team in the NFL with a guy like Vontaze Burfict being the face of the defense, and with new NFL rule changes they may be the most penalized team in the NFL next season. Lastly, and a personal pain for me, they have no true general manager to make decisions when it comes to personnel. There are just not a whole lot of positives when it comes to the Bengals nowadays. If you forced me to name a few, however, I would say that the team did successfully fire Ken Zampese last season after that in-house promotion completely failed. They also hired Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator, traded for the inevitably injured but talented left tackle Cordy Glenn, re-sign Tyler Eifert, and added a adequate linebacker in Preston Brown.
What the Bengals need is a player who bring with him character and stability (and a change in ownership). Will Hernandez is precisely that man. He plays a position of need and of low-bustability, where he can impact multiple facets of the offense. Hernandez is a hard-worker and a tough, gritty guy coming from the small University of Texas at San Antonio. Hernandez really made himself be known at the Senior Bowl, where he dominated better competition than he faced during his four collegiate years.
Cincinnati made a good trade in getting Cordy Glenn to move down in the first round. Still, the Bengals could use more offensive line talent to help turn their offense around. Here's an interior upgrade who can play guard or center to help open holes for Joe Mixon. <br> <br>
Price (6-4, 305) impressed NFL evaluators, both with his work in fall training camp and in the games of the 2017 season. They say that Price plays within himself. They like his awareness and call him an above-average athlete. He isn't overly fast or twitchy like the Pouncey brothers, but Price has movement skills and is better than average in space. The sources also like that Price handles big nose tackles well, which can be difficult for centers and is a hard-to-find talent. As a result of his well-balanced play, Price is being viewed as a prospect who could go in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. One team source thought that if Josh Garnett and Laken Tomlinson were worthy of first-round picks, then Price could be as well because they feel Price is a better prospect than either Garnett or Tomlinson. Teams are projecting Price to be a starting center in the NFL, but he also has the flexibility to play guard. Price tore a pectoral muscle while bench pressing at the combine, but that shouldn't impact his NFL career once he works his way back onto the field.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Billy Price Going to Bengals
Rd. 1, Pk. 21
Billy Price, G/C
And the run on centers begins! Actually, not really, as the Bengals were going to select a center the entire time. They wanted Frank Ragnow, but Billy Price is a nice consolation prize. In fact, I thought they'd take Price when his medical concerns were still apparent.
Fortunately for Price, he's been medically cleared. He's the top blocker on the board, and Cincinnati absolutely had to upgrade the line. The only concern is that Price may not be ready to play until August, but he could return before then. It's just a minor worry, so this is a good pick.
Rd. 2, Pk. 22
Jessie Bates, S
The Bengals could've taken any of the top three second-day safeties - Bates, Ronnie Harrison, Justin Reid - and they would've made sense. Cincinnati had a huge need at safety entering the draft, and it's nice that they've filled it with a quality player like Bates.
Rd. 3, Pk. 13
Sam Hubbard, DE/3-4OLB
We had Sam Hubbard in the opening round! I suppose he fell because he never lived up to his ability for most of his collegiate career, but he ended it with a bang. I thought this might convince teams to select him early, but apparently not. Still, it's a high-upside selection, as Hubbard should help the edge rush.
Rd. 3, Pk. 14
Malik Jefferson, ILB
Once upon a time, I had Malik Jefferson in the first round of my 2018 NFL Mock Draft. He fell to the third or fourth round because of a down 2017 campaign, as well as rumblings that he had a lack of passion for football. That's not someone I'd want to draft in the third round, but the upside is certainly there.
Rd. 4, Pk. 12
Mark Walton, RB
If Mark Walton didn't have durability issues, he may have gone a round earlier. He's a nice third-down option for the Bengals, as they may eventually want to pair him with Joe Mixon, depending on what's happening Giovani Bernard, whose contract will expire in 2020.
Rd. 5, Pk. 14
Davontae Harris, CB
Davontae Harris struggles with deep speed, but he's a solid zone cornerback, and he definitely fits the range as a fifth-round prospect. He'll provide some much-needed depth at cornerback.
Rd. 5, Pk. 21
Andrew Brown, DT/3-4DE
Andrew Brown was very inconsistent at Virginia, but showed his great potential at the Senior Bowl and combine. Brown could've been chosen a round or maybe even two earlier than this, so I like this pick for the Bengals, who are bolstering defensive line depth well.
Rd. 5, Pk. 33
Darius Phillips, CB
It shouldn't surprise anyone that the Bengals have doubled up on cornerbacks, given their dire need at the position. Darius Phillips makes sense as a fifth-round prospect, and he should be able to play in the slot and double up as a solid special-teamer.
Rd. 7, Pk. 31
Logan Woodside, QB
Marvin Lewis said the Bengals would have to "start from scratch" this offseason. Is this what he meant? Logan Woodside makes sense this late in the draft - I had him going 198th overall - and the Bengals might be able to develop him into a solid No. 2 quarterback, which they need in the wake of the A.J. McCarron departure.
Rd. 7, Pk. 34
Rod Taylor, OT/G
It's not a surprise that the Bengals added another offensive lineman. Rod Taylor should be able to make the 53-man roster as a backup, thanks to his versatility. He played four positions (everything except center) at Ole Miss, and he has nice length and strength to stick in the pros. It wouldn't surprise me if Taylor emerged as a starter one day, but he'll likely be a reserve.
Rd. 7, Pk. 35
Auden Tate, WR
Auden Tate made a huge mistake by declaring early. There were concerns leading up to the draft that he wouldn't be able to get any sort of separation in the pros, and that's exactly why he fell to the seventh round. I'd be pretty surprised if he remained in the NFL for more than a year or two.