2017 Bengals Mock Draft 9.0: Grading and comparing full seven-round mocks
NOTE: Since the 2016 Bengals regular season ended Local12.com has taken a look at different mock draft and draft scenarios for the team each week, including doing a full seven-round mock draft (including projected compensatory picks, which have since changed), a couple of weeks ago. This is the latest in the series:
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - NFL coaches and player personnel staff are heading to Indianapolis this week for the annual Scouting Combine so not much will change from a player ratings perspective until after that is over.
This week we will look at a couple of websites that have done multiple round mock drafts and grade them.
Keep in mind that most mock drafts being done now don't take into consideration possible free agents a team could lose. A lot can change because of that. The Bengals have a handful of key free agents, including tackle Andrew Whitworth, guard Kevin Zeitler and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. If the Bengals lose any of the three it will likely change their draft priorities greatly. There also hasn't been a decision made from the NFL or the court system regarding cornerback Adam Jones, who was arrested following an incident on Jan. 2 at a downtown hotel.
One of the mock drafts we will look at comes from DraftSite.com, which includes the official compensatory picks for each team that the NFL announced last Friday (click here for their complete seven-round draft).
Here are their selections for the Bengals:
- Round 1 (9th pick overall): DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee.
- Round 2 (41st pick overall): CB Desmond King, Iowa.
- Round 3 (73rd pick overall): DE Devonte Fields, Louisville.
- Round 4 (116th pick overall): CB Howard Wilson, Houston.
- *Round 4 (138th pick overall): OT Eric Magnuson, Michigan.
- Round 5 (153rd pick overall): G Danny Isadora, Miami (Florida)
- *Round 5 (176th pick overall): WR Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois.
- Round 6 (193rd pick overall): TE Billy Brown, Shepherd.
- *Round 6 (217th pick overall): WR Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M.
- Round 7 (227th pick overall): S Johnathan Ford, Auburn.
- *Round 7 (251st pick overall): K Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State.
*Denotes compensatory selection
The Skinny: I will give this a grade of B as it doesn't address a key need at middle linebacker and the third-round pick is a classic "tweener," who doesn't fit the Bengals defensive scheme at all.
This mock draft already has Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas gone by the time the Bengals pick in the first round. While Barnett certainly fits a need, very few mocks having him going this high. Alabama middle linebacker Reuben Foster is still on the board as are wide receivers Corey Davis and Mike Williams.
King is a solid pick in the second round, because the Bengals value corners and have few proven players at the position outside of Jones and Kirkpatrick, and that includes 2016 first-round pick William Jackson III.
Fields is really more of a pass-rushing outside linebacker and projects as only a late fourth or early fifth round pick by NFLDraftScout.com.
You could argue as to why the Bengals would take Wilson in the fourth round when this draft already has the team taking a corner in the second round. However, he grades at that level right now and it's simply such a premium position that a team can't have too many.
Picking Magnuson would be insurance if Cedric Ogbuehi and/or Jake Fisher don't pan out. Isadora would give the Bengals depth at guard that was sorely missing last season, which caused Whitworth to start a game at the position and backup center T.J. Johnson to also make a start there.
I took Golladay in the fifth-round of my mock draft a couple of weeks ago so I like that pick.
The remaining four picks are just to add some competition at each of the position groups they were taken, including kicker. Gonzalez is actually the highest-rated kicker in the draft, per NFLDraftScout.com, and is projected as a fifth or sixth round selection.
Here are the selections from DraftTek.com (click here to see their entire mock draft):
- Round 1 (9th pick overall): WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan.
- Round 2 (41st pick overall): DE/OLB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin.
- Round 3 (73rd pick overall): TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson.
- Round 4 (116th pick overall): G Isaac Asiata, Utah.
- *Round 4 (138th pick overall): LB Hardy Nickerson, Jr., Illinois.
- Round 5 (153rd pick overall): DT Jarron Jones, Notre Dame.
- *Round 5 (176th pick overall): RB Donnell Pumphrey, San Diego St.
- Round 6 (193rd pick overall): OT Justin Senior, Mississippi State.
- *Round 6 (217th pick overall): CB Fabian Moreau, UCLA
- Round 7 (227th pick overall): C Cameron Tom, Southern Mississippi.
- *Round 7 (251st pick overall): LB Calvin Munson, San Diego State.
*Denotes compensatory selection
The Skinny: This would get C-minus grade as they would have had a chance to grab either Foster or Thomas in the first round instead of Davis, and Watt doesn't fit the Bengals scheme. He is a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a scheme that doesn't use its linebackers to blitz very often and needs more of 4-3 defensive end.
I have nothing against Davis, because I think he has a chance to be outstanding. But drafting a wide receiver in the first round would be a luxury. The Bengals will likely either re-sign Brandon LaFell or a veteran similar to him, and that worked out just fine last year. This team needs to get more athletic and younger in its front seven, and while Watt will bring athleticism (and hopefully brother J.J.'s work ethic) he just doesn't fit the mold of what they do on defense.
Leggett has only a low fourth to high fifth round grade per NFLDraftScout.com, so taking him in the third round would appear to be a reach, especially when the Bengals have three experienced tight ends on the roster (albeit Tyler Eifert is injury prone and neither C.J. Uzomah nor Tyler Kroft wowed in his absence).
Asiata has a third round grade per NFLDraftScout.com so he would be a steal in the fourth round.
Nickerson is rated as a seventh round selection and at 6 feet, 236 pounds is too small to play middle linebacker.
Jones has a fourth round grade per NFLDrafScout.com so he would be a solid selection in the fifth round. The Bengals will likely let Domata Peko go, and even though they have Andrew Billings and Marcus Hardison to battle for playing time alongside Geno Atkins, Jones would add some depth and competition at the position.
Pumphrey was very productive in college where he set the NCAA career rushing record. He is extremely small at 5-8, 170 lbs. and would be a solid pick to compete for the No. 3 running back spot if Rex Burkhead leaves as a free agent as is expected.
Senior, Tom and Munson are rated in the round they are taken, so that's fine. Moreau has a high third round to low fourth round grade so it's doubtful he would be around this late.
Earlier Mock Draft Stories
Here is a link to each of the eight previous Mock Draft stories from Local12.com this offseason:
- Mock Draft 1.0: Bengals could get pick of Alabama linebackers
- Mock Draft 2.0: Getting help for Dalton
- Mock Draft 3.0: Looking to improve pass rush
- Mock Draft 4.0: Pass rusher or linebacker could be on the board
- Mock Draft 5.0: Consensus builds for defensive pick and a deeper dive
- Mock Draft 6.0: Local12.com Mock - Seven rounds (plus) of Bengals picks
- Mock Draft 7.0: Taking a sampling of national picks
- Mock Draft 8.0: Ranking top 5 potential first-round picks