Bengals 2018 Mock Draft 16.0: Full post-Combine seven-round selections with comp picks
NOTE: Since midway through the 2017 Bengals regular-season Local12.com has taken a look at potential help for the 2018 season via the NFL Draft in late April through various mock drafts. The early looks at mock drafts have eventually led to full seven-round mock drafts for the team and there will then be a final one just prior to the Draft itself like last season (here is my final 2017 mock draft).
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - After taking a week off from making various mock drafts since late in the regular season due to the NFL Scouting Combine taking place it's time for a post-Combine full seven-round mock draft thanks to a simulator from the website FanSpeak.com.
The simulator uses multiple draft "Big Boards" from which to choose and makes the picks for the other 31 teams each round, while I made the pick for the Bengals (using the difficult simulator rating over the classic rating, which prevents players from falling too far from their ratings).
This is done after the Bengals declined to pick up cornerback Adam Jones' option for 2018 on Friday and there are a handful of assumed circumstances heading into this mock draft that I have the Bengals doing:
- Addressing offensive tackle in free agency.
- Re-signing tight end Tyler Eifert to a one-year contract that is heavy on incentives.
- Allowing center Russell Bodine to leave as a free agent.
- Signing a veteran safety in free agency.
- Releasing wide receiver Brandon LaFell, but bringing back defensive lineman Michael Johnson (both are in the final year of their contracts and would each provide significant salary cap relief if they are released).
The free agency signing period begins on March 14 so in the next mock draft that will be published on March 23 we should know some of the answers to the above.
Here is this mock draft using the Bleacher Report "Big Board," which was updated on March 7, and why I made the selections I did (note: the draft includes compensatory picks in rounds three and five and two in round seven that were awarded for free agents lost after the 2016 season, and the Bengals lost their spot in the seventh round in a trade last season for defensive end Chris Smith, but acquired New England's seventh-round pick when they traded linebacker Marquis Flowers):
1st Round: LB Roquan Smith (Georgia).
The Skinny: In this mock draft scenario the Bengals were unable to address linebacker in free agency and if Smith is available, which he was, he would have to be the pick.
He is a bit undersized at 6-1, 236 pounds, but according to NFLDraftScout.com: "Smith is a magnet to the ball and his professional make-up and mental alertness make him a high-ceiling, high-floor prospect for the next level. Simply put, he is one of the best defensive players in the 2018 class and worthy of top-10 consideration."
Smith would be a huge upgrade at the position from last year's starting middle linebacker Kevin Minter and the starter before that, Rey Maualuga. He is probably best-suited for a 3-4 scheme, but Odell Thurman was a standout at the position at only 6 feet, 235 pounds.
2nd Round: C James Daniels (Iowa).
The Skinny: Even if the Bengals re-sign Bodine they might draft a center anyway, but in this scenario they don't re-sign him so they need to take one this high.
With Ohio State's Billy Price gone by the time I made this pick, Daniels was the next-best center on the board.
The 6-foot-3, 306-pounder had a good combine and according to NFLDraftScout.com, Daniels is, "still growing into his body, but possesses ideal traits for the center position including a naturally thick frame with a powerful lower half and very long arms."
3rd Round: DE Da'Shawn Hand (Alabama).
The Skinny: I took Hand in this exact same spot in the last mock draft. The Bengals are in need of a first-down defensive end to replace Michael Johnson or at the least push him for playing time, and while second-year player Jordan Willis will be in the mix to do that the Bengals don't really have anyone else. Carl Lawson is a pass rush specialist at this point.
According to NFLDraftScout.com, the 6-foot-4, 282-pound Hand, "may have earned a reputation as a pass rusher in high school, but at Alabama he developed into a much more well-rounded defender, using his length and strength to become a quality run enforcer on the perimeter. He is powerful enough to handle two-gap responsibilities inside or out at the next level and shows intriguing speed for a man of his size."
3rd Round (compensatory): OT Orlando Brown (Oklahoma).
The Skinny: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I took Brown with the first-round pick in the last mock, but that was before the Combine, and he just had a dreadful performance there.
I doubt his stock would drop this much, but it did in this mock, and with the Bengals having addressed tackle in free agency in my scenario, Brown is more than worth the gamble in this spot.
4th Round: LB Marquis Haynes (Mississippi).
The Skinny: The 6-foot-2, 235-pond Haynes would give the Bengals some depth at outside linebacker along with Jordan Evans, who was inconsistent as a rookie last season and provides a different skill set than Haynes as a nickel linebacker.
Haynes played defensive end at Mississippi and is better-suited to rushing the passer or playing at the point of attack rather than being asked to drop in coverage.
According to NFLDraftScout.com: "Haynes is one of the true boom or bust picks of the 2018 draft. If allowed to simply pin his ears back and rush the quarterback, he possesses the explosive burst and tackling power to make an immediate impact in the NFL."
He also recorded 47.5 tackles for loss in his college career.
5th Round: CB Levi Wallace (Alabama).
The Skinny: He is very thin at 6-feet, 176 pounds, and Alabama has three cornerbacks who will likely be drafted ahead of him, but he has a fifth-round grade according to NFLDraftScout.com, which says of Wallace, who began his career with the Crimson Tide as a walk-on wide receiver: "(He) is a remarkable underdog story, but his football journey is far from over, displaying the athletic skill-set and ball production that translates to the NFL. Although he won t be the first Alabama defensive back, when watching Crimson Tide secondary prospects in 2017, it was Wallace who consistently flashed more than anyone."
5th Round (compensatory): WR Deontay Burnett (USC).
The Skinny: This pick is made with the scenario that LaFell will be cut, and while Burnett is coming off a hamstring injury he was extremely productive this past season with 86 receptions for 1,114 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
He is 6 feet, 186 pounds and has run as fast as 4.32 in the 40-yard dash.
According to NFLDraftScout.com: "Burnett wins with excellent quickness, showing the shiftiness and burst out of his breaks to create separation. His sharp footwork (as well as good spatial awareness and body control) are also evident when operating near the sideline, doing a nice job of dragging his feet to remain in bounds. He does possess the quickness and sure hands to catch on as a slot receiver."
6th Round: QB Riley Ferguson (Memphis).
The Skinny: Ferguson is a long-term project who would provide depth and competition behind Andy Dalton along with untested Jeff Driskel and a likely low-priced veteran free agent who will be signed at some point.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Ferguson helped Memphis go 18-8 over the last two seasons combined, completing 63.1 percent of his 917 attempts for 7,955 yards, 70 touchdowns and only 17 interceptions.
That would equate to a 108.6 NFL passer rating, which would be among the elite quarterbacks in the league.
7th Round: OT Will Richardson (North Carolina State).
The Skinny: He has a fifth-round grade so chances are he wouldn't be around at this point, but he was, so I took him.
The 6-foot-6, 306-pounder may better be suited to play guard, but that's fine, too.
7th Round (compensatory): S Jeremy Reaves (South Alabama).
The Skinny: The 6-foot, 204-pound Reaves played corner and both safety positions in college and was selected 2017 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year after he recorded 103 tackles, had three interceptions, an additional seven pass breakups, forced three fumbles and also added 6.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
The Bengals are seeking a play-making safety, and Reaves was responsible for 17 forced turnovers in his career (nine forced fumbles and eight interceptions).
According to NFLDraftScout.com: "(Reaves has) competitive make-up and versatile experience to provide depth on the safety depth chart."
7th Round (compensatory): OT Connor Bright (Stanford).
The Skinny: I took Bright in this exact same spot in the last mock draft.
He comes from an offense noted for its power-running attack and the 6 foot 5, 314-pounder has some versatility, playing every position on the offensive line except center.
EARLIER MOCK DRAFT STORIES
Here is a link to the previous Bengals 2018 Mock Draft stories from Local12.com:
- Mock Draft 1.0: Sampling of 5 mocks shows offensive line, safety the pick
- Mock Draft 2.0: Offensive line, CB most recent picks, but QB in play?
- Mock Draft 3.0: Sample of 5 mocks is offensive line heavy, but CB, and even QB picked, too
- Mock Draft 4.0: Some three-round mocks and a lot of O linemen picked
- Mock Draft 5.0: One site's full seven-round mock starts at QB
- Mock Draft 6.0: Sample of 10 mocks yields numerous different results
- Mock Draft 7.0: Ranking 5 different first-round mock selections
- Mock Draft 8.0: Sample of 10 mocks yields nine different picks
- Mock Draft 9.0: Analyzing one site's full seven-round mock draft
- Mock Draft 10.0: Grading five different first-round mock selections
- Mock Draft 11.0: What round to take a quarterback - if at all?
- Mock Draft 12.0: Full seven-round mock (with compensatory picks) via a simulator
- Mock Draft 13.0: Sample of 10 mock first-round picks finds consensus on position, but not player
- Mock Draft 14.0: With underwhelming group of backup FA QBs, a look at five mid-round QBs
- Mock Draft 15.0: Pre-combine mock with full seven-round selections including likely comp picks