The Bengals lost their Nos. 2 and 3 receivers in free agency, Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Thus, they'll be looking for help at the position early and often in the 2016 NFL Draft. Cincinnati has shown a ton of interest in Corey Coleman, who would be a great complement for A.J. Green.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Josh Doctson, WR - The Bengals met with two receivers more often than anyone else at the position this offseason: Doctson and Coleman. I think the former goes here if available.
2. William Fuller, WR - As you can tell, I think this is going to be a receiver.
Rd. 2, Pk. 24
Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Back-to-back receivers? Well, the Bengals did select consecutive offensive tackles in the 2015 NFL Draft, so there's definitely a history of this sort of strategy. Besides, I don't think Andy Dalton will complain about another weapon.
Pick change; previously Emmanuel Ogbah, DE
Rd. 3, Pk. 24
Connor McGovern, G, Missouri
The Bengals don't need a guard right now, but that may not be the case next year, when Kevin Zeitler hits free agency.
Pick change; previously Javon Hargrave, DT
Rd. 4, Pk. 24
Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB, Minnesota
Pacman Jones was terrific this past season, but with he and Leon Hall both older than 30, the Bengals will have to find some young blood at cornerback.
Rd. 5, Pk. 22
DeAndre Houston-Carson, FS, William & Mary
The Bengals lost Reggie Nelson this offseason, so they'll need to add another safety to the mix.
The Bengals could use another receiver to replace what they lost in Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Cincinnati has shown a ton of interest in Coleman.
The 5-foot-10, 194-pound Coleman is one of the top speed receivers for the 2016 NFL Draft with Notre Dame's Will Fuller. Less than halfway through 2015, he set a school record for touchdown catches in a single season. Coleman totaled 74 receptions for 1,363 yards with 20 touchdowns on the year. As a sophomore, he totaled 64 catches for 1,119 yards and 11 touchdowns. Some sources have said that they graded Coleman as a 2-3 - for Round 2 or 3 - while others have him higher. There is even some vigorous debate about Coleman inside of teams' scouting departments. Thus, he faces a pretty wide range of where he could come off the board.
Rd. 2, Pk. 24
Adolphus Washington, DT/3-4DE, Ohio State
The Bengals could use more talent to go next to Geno Atkins. Devon Still and Brandon Thompson didn't turn into starters to pair with Atkins while Domata Peko is aging and declining. Washington is a good value and fits Cincinnati well.
Washington totaled 49 tackles with seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, a forced fumble and a pick-six in 2015. At the Senior Bowl, he was very good as he illustrated his mismatch speed, athleticism and strength at the point of attack.
The 6-foot-3, 297-pounder made a nice impact in 2014 as part of an excellent defensive line. He teamed with Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa to produce a consistent pass rush and a ton of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Washington had 48 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes batted and one forced fumble on the year. He totaled five sacks over his sophomore and freshman seasons.
Rd. 3, Pk. 24
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
The Bengals doubled up on receivers when they drafted Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Here, Cincinnati does that again with a good value pick.
Shepard (5-10, 195) is undersized, but he was a play-maker for the Sooners. In 2015, Shepard had 86 receptions for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 50 receptions for 957 yards with five touchdowns in 2014.
For the NFL, Shepard is a small, shifty, gritty receiver. He can get separation with his quickness and route-running, but looks limited to a slot role. Shepard didn't play poorly at the Senior Bowl, but didn't dominate either. He had a strong showing at the combine.
Rd. 4, Pk. 24
Tyvis Powell, S, Ohio State
The Bengals could use a some safety depth since Reggie Nelson left Cincinnati.
Powell (6-2, 209) has good size for the NFL and was a productive 2-year starter for the Buckeyes. In 2015, he had 71 tackles with three passes broken up and three interceptions. The previous season, he had 76 tackles with four breakups and four interceptions. Powell could be a riser throughout the draft process.
Rd. 5, Pk. 22
Eric Striker, OLB/3-4OLB, Oklahoma
The Bengals have the strong roster to be able to afford a luxury pick like Striker to be a situational pass-rusher.
NFL.com Comparison: John Brown
My Comparison: Kendall Wright
Instant blur off the snap. Feet turn over at a blinding pace and he devours cushion before cornerbacks know what hit them. Able to get over the top of every corner he faced and demands safety help over the top. Works back to the ball. Explosive leaper with ability to climb ladder and win the 50/50 ball and body control to secure the acrobatic catch. Touchdown maker finishing 2015 with 20 receiving touchdowns. Smooth, speedy stems to the post will be difficult to mirror and match for NFL cornerbacks. Easy route adjustments in space. Defenders who try to jam and miss pay the iron price (touchdowns). Able to make tacklers miss in tight spaces. Has experience as ball carrier and punt returner. Heavily targeted (39 percent) in Baylor's high-flying attack.
Dangerous vertical talent with the ability to get over the top of defenders who fail to recognize his blazing quickness off the line of scrimmage. Coleman can get instant separation to create favorable passing windows and is one of the top playmakers in this draft. Coleman's issues with drops near the middle of the field could be a concern if teams see him next as a slot receiver due to his lack of size. Regardless, he can line up outside and win and he offers immediate punt return help.
The Bengals lost their #2 and #3 wideouts. The Bengals get a replacement for one of the two and even though there is a "hole" at receiver, Doctson would be coming into a favorable situation. He would be 3rd or possibly 4th option on a team that has a Top-5 Receiver in Green, a Top-3 Tight End in Tyler Eifert and a Top-5 receiving back in Giovani Bernard. Also working for Doctson is the fact he would be fighting for time against a pair of 7th rounders in Mario Alford and James Wright, and a Division III star in Jake Kumerow. Sounds like a pretty cozy situation for the workout warrior. Docston showed off immense lower body strength in grabbing the top spot in the Vertical jump, second in the Broad Jump, and Top-5 in both Shuttle times. His 40 time is a "sub par 4.5" but guess who also had exactly 4.5 40 time? The man Doctson would be lining up with on almost every play, Adriel Jeremiah Green.
After a hot start to his best season of his young career Andy Dalton watched his team lose in disgraceful manor on the bench after fracturing his thumb, after that loss the Bengals are going to need a lot in order to bounce back from that loss. Will Fuller could potential be that, The Bengals have few needs at safety, linebacker, and wide receiver positions and Fuller goes here because of the talent he has compared to the remaining linebackers and safeties and the fact that Marvin Jones and Muhammad Sanu are free agents and are likely not to resign therefore they will need a compliment for AJ Green and after the fallout of this team and the showing of what kind of locker room this team has it will be hard to attract veteran talent that will want to come in and join this team to fill that role. On a positive note Fuller will be much more than a compliment he will be an upgrade that might be able to earn the Bengals a bye for the first round of the playoffs next year.
I’m a big fan of the wide receivers in this range of the draft. Michael Thomas is going to be a stud in the NFL in my opinion and he’s been one of my favorite players since the absolute very beginning. If it wasn’t for my recent crazy love for Josh Doctson Michael Thomas would be my favorite player in this receiver class. He’s got phenomenal size at 6’3” 212lbs with very solid speed (40 time in the 4.5’s). Great quickness and separation skills and ball skills in the air, especially in the red zone. Thomas is a hands catcher who doesn’t drop many passes and makes the difficult ones. He’s not without flaws he’s got some issues with his route running and his production was never elite, but that’s likely to do with a strange and difficult QB situation at Ohio State. Some seasoning is necessary and I can actually see him struggling just a bit out of the gate, but I can’t imagine this guy not being a stud by year two in this league. Cincinnati is one of the teams in the NFL truly without many gaping needs. Wide Receiver is definitely one of them as Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu left in free agency and only the mediocre Brandon Lafell was brought in. The Bengals desperately need a wide receiver opposite of AJ Green who can take pressure of the franchise player.
Billings would be a great fit next to Geno Atkins on the Bengals D-Line. Geno is more of a 3 technique so they would be looking for a big guy who can play the nose or move over the guard. Billings is scheme versatile. If they play an over or under 4-3, he would be a very disruptive Nose Tackle. If they play an even set, he can line up over the guard and wreak havoc in the backfield from there. With Peko gone, he would fill a position of need and would be a huge upgrade to what they had last year. Look for Atkins to have a big year playing next to Billings.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Andrew Billings Going to Bengals
Rd. 1, Pk. 24
William Jackson III, CB,
The poor Bengals wanted a receiver badly. They had Josh Doctson atop their board, followed by Corey Coleman and William Fuller. They were all gone, so the Bengals had to look elsewhere. William Jackson is definitely not a bad consolation prize. As a matter of fact, I love the pick. William Jackson has both great film and unbelievable athleticism. There was some speculation that he could go as high as No. 11 to the Bears or No. 14 to the Raiders. Jackson's a great selection here, as he fills a big need in the secondary while providing good value.
Rd. 2, Pk. 24
Tyler Boyd, WR,
Tyler Boyd had some character concerns, so the Bengals taking him is hardly a surprise. That's not a knock on the team, as they've done incredibly well with such players over the years. I think Boyd will work out similarly, as he was the top-rated receiver (or perhaps tied with Michael Thomas) heading into Day 2. The Bengals obviously had to find a receiver after losing Marvin Jones and missing out on all of their first-round candidates (Josh Doctson, Corey Coleman, William Fuller), and they certainly obtained a good one.