The Bengals would love Solomon Thomas or Leonard Fournette to be available. If both are gone, I expect John Ross to be the pick.
Cincinnati was set to take either Will Fuller or Corey Coleman last year, but missed out on both. John Ross is a better version of both prospects, and his 4.21 40 will surely entice the Bengals, who would love him to stretch the defense and open up opportunities for the running game.
*** OTHER 2017 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Solomon Thomas, DE - I believe this to be Thomas' floor. Same with Fournette.
2. Reuben Foster, LB - Foster would garner consideration as well.
Rd. 2, Pk. 9
Tim Williams, OLB/DE/3-4OLB, Alabama
As mentioned, the Bengals want Solomon Thomas. If he's not available at No. 9, here's a potential pass-rushing solution.
Rd. 3, Pk. 9
Isaac Asiata, G/C, Utah
The Bengals lost multiple key offensive linemen this offseason, so they'll have to dedicate some resources to make sure their blocking unit is still functional.
Rd. 4, Pk. 9
Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M
Cincinnati is planning on doubling up at receiver. When it plans on doing that is unclear, but it should happen at some point.
Rd. 4, Pk. 31
Aviante Collins, G, TCU
The Bengals have lots of uncertainty at offensive tackle after losing Andrew Whitworth, so here's their chance to potentially find a solution.
Rd. 5, Pk. 9
T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina
The Bengals could stand to add another running back with Jeremy Hill set to hit free agency after this season.
Rd. 5, Pk. 32
Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville
Kevin Minter was a nice, short-term signing, but the Bengals need a linebacker solution for the long haul.
Rd. 6, Pk. 9
Lorenzo Jerome, S, Tulane
The Bengals really missed Reggie Nelson last year, so they could take a safety earlier than this in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 6, Pk. 33
Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss
The Bengals could be in the market for a backup quarterback if they trade A.J. McCarron. I don't think they'll mind Chad Kelly's character concerns.
Rd. 7, Pk. 9
Mock is currently being worked on. Last updated 10 month(s) 28 day(s) ago
Rd. 7, Pk. 33
Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor
I mentioned earlier that the Bengals want to double up on receivers. Tripling up works as well.
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.
After a soul crushing loss in the Wild Card round to the Steelers last year, the Bengals seemed primed to enter the season as AFC North favorites and even Super Bowl contenders. Instead, the Bengals would finish out the season with a subpar 6-9-1 record, missing out on the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Somehow, someway Marvin Lewis is still head coach of the Bengals, despite ZERO playoff wins in fourteen years with the team. Whatever dirt Lewis has on this front office leads me to believe he will stick around for a long time, but his biggest task will be returning this Cincinnati team to the postseason, and that begins with its defense restoring their hard-hitting identity. The front office and coaching staff are growing impatient with Vontaze Burfict, while Rey Maualuga is on the wrong side of thirty and the ancient Karlos Dansby set to hit free agency, addressing the linebacker position must be a priority for the Bengals on draft day. At 6’1 and nearly 230 pounds, Alabama's Reuben Foster is the draft's top inside linebacker. A Butkus Award winner and All-American, Foster is yet another in the long line of standout Crimson Tide defenders. An impactful and versatile player, Foster constantly finds himself all over the field with his awareness and ball hawking abilities. With the physical Foster in tow, the Bengals defense is primed for a bounce-back year.
The Bengals could use an edge rusher across from Carlos Dunlap. Michael Johnson is limited as a pass-rusher, Will Clarke hasn't become an every-down defender, and Margus Hunt is entering free agency after being a disappointment. The team is dangerously thin for edge rushers if Dunlap were to suffer an injury. <br> <br>
In 2016, Barnett has 50 tackles with 18 for a loss, 12 sacks, one forced fumble, three passes broken up and one interception. He put together a superb game against Florida as he dominated in the second half to help the Volunteers pull off their huge comeback. Barnett totaled five tackles, three for a loss, two sacks and one pass batted in that outing. He also played well against Alabama, even victimizing Cam Robinson for a sack. <br> <br>
Barnett racked up 69 tackles with 12.5 for a loss and 10 sacks in 2015 after putting up an extremely impressive freshman campaign the year before. He notched 10 sacks alongside 72 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss that season. Barnett (6-3, 268) set freshman records at Tennessee and clearly has a lot of upside. He is a fast edge defender who is a natural pass-rusher.
Cincinnati needs an edge rusher to pair with Carlos Dunlap. I think the Bengals would be very happy to have Thomas available. Additionally, Thomas could move inside for passing situations next to Geno Atkins while edge rusher Will Clarke comes into the game at end. <br> <br>
WalterFootball.com was the first to report that Thomas intended to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. The junior enjoyed an excellent 2016 season as a big presence on the edge of the Stanford defense. On the year, he had 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble. Sources from six NFL teams told me that they graded Thomas a mid- to late first-rounder. One team said they had Thomas in the top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft. <br> <br>
Thomas has good speed off the edge with strength and physicality. Teams feel that the 6-foot-2, 273-pounder fits best as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense. Many sources said that Thomas is a bit of a tweener and doesn't have a great fit in a 3-4 defense. He probably would play outside linebacker if drafted into a 3-4 scheme. Teams really like Thomas off the field as well.
Bengals trade 9th pick plus a 2nd rounder to Jaguars for the 4th pick plus 3rd rounder.
1) Jonathan Allen falls to the 4th pick is almost a lottery win. The Jaguars will get close to selecting him. But, Tom Coughlin in the new sheriff in town. The defense line does need more talent. But, I think he will recognize adding extra picks to his arsenal will allow him to address more needs. Plus, they've got money to go after his former player defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul who may want to return to his home state in Florida.
2) Bengals surrendering a 2nd rounder is a bit of steep price to pay. Receiving the 3rd rounder should help compensate the loss. Ultimately, Marvin Lewis and general manager, Mike Brown will be ecstatic if Allen falls to the 4th pick. Pairing him with Geno Atkins would not only terrorize divisional quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but it would also set up a better wall against Le'veon Bell. The Bengals dropped from 42 sacks in 2015 to 33 sacks this 2016 season. Adding Allen alongside Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and Michael Johnson would form one of the leagues best pass rushing units. Trading up with worth the price for Allen.
Team Needs : WR * DE * RB * ILB * OG * CB * OT * S
The Bengals and the Panthers were the 2 biggest disappointments in 2016, they went from perennial playoff participants to out of the hunt after week 10. The loss of A.J Green for so long showed how little depth the Bengals had at the receiver position and how there running game was unable to carry the team when ever it was asked too. Adding Clemson's Mike Williams should help the Bengal's offence immeasurably and give Andy Dalton one of the top one two receiver pairs in the league.
Williams stands out in a weaker wide receiver class due to his size ( 6'3" 225 lbs ) and physical receiving style, he is another in a long line of high pedigree receivers from Clemson, most recently DeAndrea Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.
Williams has incredible body control and makes the most amazing downfield catch's in the air, his leaping ability allows him to hand catch balls high above the defender in a spectacular fashion.
If you were to compare him to a receiver I think a he looks like a young Dez Bryant.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Mike Williams Going to Bengals
Rd. 1, Pk. 9
John Ross, WR
I had John Ross slotted to the Bengals in my 2017 NFL Mock Draft, but I did not think Jonathan Allen and Malik Hooker would be available. Wow, how do you pass on them? At any rate, Ross makes sense for the Bengals. Cincinnati wanted Will Fuller or Corey Coleman last year, and Ross is a better version of them. That said, there were better players available, so I have to give this something like a C+. I'm also concerned about Ross' durability.
Rd. 2, Pk. 16
Joe Mixon, RB
What a great pick by the Bengals. I know Joe Mixon has a checkered past, to say the least, but had he been clean off the field, he would've been a top-15 pick. He has behaved well recently, so there's a chance he has changed for the better. If so, Cincinnati is getting a potential All-Pro running back. And the cherry on top is that the Bengals obtained Mixon after trading down!
Rd. 3, Pk. 9
Jordan Willis, DE/3-4OLB/OLB
I wrote that the Chargers' pick of Dan Feeney could go down as the best pick in the third round. Well, it just received some competition. Jordan Willis is a highly athletic pass-rusher who easily could've been chosen at the bottom of the first round. That's actually where I had him, but I'm not sure why he dropped so far. The Bengals won't complain, as he should be able to help their mediocre pass rush.
Rd. 4, Pk. 9
Carl Lawson, DE/3-4OLB
Carl Lawson had a chance to be a first-round pick had it not been for multiple injuries. Unfortunately, those are a concern. If Lawson can stay healthy, he'll be a terrific edge rusher for the Bengals, filling a big need. That's a huge "if," however, but I think he's worth the risk here.
Rd. 4, Pk. 21
Josh Malone, WR
: C+ Grade
The Bengals were expected to go after two receivers, given their dire need at the position. Josh Malone is much different than John Ross, as he's not explosive and struggles to separate. However, he's a big wideout with deep speed, so maybe he'll pan out. I would've taken him a round later.
Rd. 4, Pk. 31
Ryan Glasgow, DT
I slotted Ryan Glasgow in the fifth round, so he makes sense at the end of the fourth frame. Glasgow tested extremely poorly athletically, but was very productive at Michigan. He could end up being a solid rotational lineman for the Bengals, but probably won't ever be a decent starter.
Rd. 5, Pk. 9
Jake Elliott, K
A kicker in the fifth round? Meh. I know the Bengals had field-goal woes in 2016, but this is still a bit early for a kicker.
Rd. 5, Pk. 32
J.J. Dielman, OT/C
I was close to placing J.J. Dielman in the seventh round of my mock draft, but he didn't quite make the cut. He easily could have though, as he has upside and athleticism. The Bengals are desperate for blocking, so the pick is logical.
Rd. 6, Pk. 9
Jordan Evans, ILB
The Bengals had to find a linebacker, and Jordan Evans is a decent one at this juncture. Evans is very athletic and could be a coverage specialist for the Bengals in sub packages. I don't see him as an every-down player, but there's a slight chance he could end up becoming one.
Rd. 6, Pk. 23
Brandon Wilson, CB
Brandon Wilson wasn't very productive as a cornerback at Houston, but he has terrific athleticism and return ability. It's unclear if he'll see the field much as a defender for the Bengals, but he could definitely make an impact on special teams.
Rd. 7, Pk. 33
Mason Schreck, TE
I'm sure the Bengals aren't trying to troll their fans by selecting a tight end every year, but Mason Schreck has above-average athleticism and could compete for a roster spot. It'll be tough for him to beat out the players behind Tyler Eifert, however.