With the first preseason game at home against the Chicago Bears on Thursday, Aug. 9 (7 p.m.) less than a month away, the 2018 draft class is preparing to make their Bengals debut.
Here's an overview of the 11 players selected in this year's draft.
Round 1, 21st pick overall
Considered one of the top offensive linemen in OSU history, Billy Price capped his career last year by winning the prestigious Rimington Trophy as college football’s top center. He was perhaps best known, however, for his vocal leadership and reliability — he tied a school record with 55 consecutive starts (played both guard and center). “Every single exposure that I’ve had with Billy kept solidifying and raising the bar that this is the guy for us. Whether it be the first time that I watched him on film, or meeting him at the Combine, when he walks out of that room everybody looks at each other and says, ‘Wow, this is the guy you want to have on your team.’” --Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor
Round 2, 54th pick overall
Jessie Bates is considered a smart, play-making safety, who in just two seasons of action (he redshirted as a freshman) recorded six INTs, two forced fumbles and 9.5 tackles for losses. “If you watch the Louisville game, if you watch the Florida State game, those were the ones that really stuck out for me. He plays Louisville, and he’s tackling Lamar Jackson. He’s playing Florida State, and he’s probably the fastest guy on defense and showed up. At a school like that, when they play their big games and he shows up, that sticks out to you. Your biggest game of the year, when your best player is playing well, it’s what you want to see.” --Secondary/safeties coach Robert Livingston.
Round 3, 77th pick overall
A Cincinnati native and Moeller High School graduate, Sam Hubbard enjoyed a productive career in Columbus, totaling 17 sacks, 29.5 tackles for losses and 10 QB hits in three years of action with the Buckeyes. “...It takes passion from a player, because everyone is big, strong and fast in the NFL. There needs to be some elements that make you a little different. It’s nothing to do with ability, it just has to do with the passion from the player’s heart. He jumps out with his passion and how hard he plays every play from start to finish, and that makes a difference.” --Defensive line coach Jacob Burney
Round 3, 78th pick overall
Malik Jefferson in 2017 capped a decorated three-year career at Texas by earning Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors, after leading his team in tackles (110), tackles for losses (10) and sacks (four). He’s got great speed. “He’s got great size and good position. He was a three-year starter at Texas. He was a captain as a junior, and then came out early. He’s got a lot of upside to him. I went down and worked him out, and he had an outstanding workout. He’s a guy who I honestly thought wouldn’t be there at this pick.” --Linebackers coach Jim Haslett
Round 4, 112th pick overall
Bengals coaches like Mark Walton’s versatility and production on offense — 28 TDs in 30 career games at Miami — but they also rave about his all-around production on special teams. “...He’s an elusive guy when he gets in space and is a real threat. He can still do all of the other normal running plays you want, but he falls into a Giovani Bernard type of category, if you want to look at it that way. He’s very elusive in space and has enough speed to make breakaway runs happen. Like we’ve said, he’s a tough kid. He plays a lot bigger than what he weighs in at.” --Running backs coach Kyle Caskey
Round 5, 151st pick overall
After a great career at FCS Illinois State (208 tackles, 38 passes defensed, 10 TFLs, four INTs, three sacks), Davontae Harris has the potential to add immediate depth to the Bengals’ secondary and provide a boost on special teams. “We’re looking at him right now as a corner. We think he’s got a little bit of raw talent, but he has a really good skill set. He runs, he’s competitive, he’s tough. So he’s got all the base things you look for when you’re looking for a corner in this league.” --Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin
Round 5, 158th pick overall
After being named the 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year as the nation’s most outstanding prep football player, Andrew Brown enjoyed a productive career at Virginia, totaling 10.5 sacks and 26.5 tackles for losses in 41 career games. “I can’t say enough about his character, which is truly important as far as practicing and playing. And then you put the film on and the guy is just showing up, down-after-down. The guy is solid as a rock — that’s what he is. He’s a disruptive guy, he flies to the ball, and he’s strong.” --Defensive line coach Jacob Burney
Round 5, 170th pick overall
Darius Phillips will look to add depth at corner for the Bengals, but he’ll also be in the mix immediately as a punt and kick returner. He showed a nose for the end zone in college, scoring 14 TDs in five different ways — five KR, one PR, five INT, one FR and two receiving. “He’s a natural cover guy. He has a knack for going after the ball, using his hands, and ball disruption. We like his ability after he has the interception and what he can do after, in terms of return ability. He provides that impact that you like.” --Secondary/cornerbacks coach Daronte Jones
Round 7, 249th overall
Logan Woodside wrapped up a decorated career at Toledo with school records for passing yards (10,514), TDs (93) and 300-yard passing games (17). The Frankfort, Ky., native finished his career 12th all-time in FBS history in career passing efficiency (162.87), and compiled a 29-9 record as a starter. “Logan Woodside was a very productive player in college. I had a chance to get to know him a little bit. Actually, when we went up to watch his pro day, Bruce Gradkowski, an old Bengal, was there with him. I think Logan’s broken some of Bruce’s records.” --Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor
Round 7, 252nd pick overall
A versatile and experienced performer in the powerful Southeastern Conference, Rod Taylor played in 44 games over his four seasons at Mississippi. His 23 career starts included 12 at RT, seven at LT and four at RG. The Bengals list him at guard. “He was a very successful tackle in the SEC at Ole Miss, but we think he has flexibility to play both (guard and offensive tackle).” --Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor... “He’s a big, powerful man. The offensive line coaches think he’s got a chance to come in here and compete, continue to develop and upgrade us there on the offensive line.” --Head coach Marvin Lewis
Round 7, 253rd pick overall
At 6-5, 228 pounds, Auden Tate brings tremendous size and strong hands to the Bengals’ receiving corps. In three seasons at Florida State, he totaled 65 catches for 957 yards and 16 TDs. Tate excelled in the red zone at FSU, and despite battling injuries last season, he caught an ACC-best 10 TDs. “This guy’s big, got really great hands, was productive down (at Florida State) and is a big target. I know (wide receivers) Coach Bob Bicknell thought highly of him and felt like it was a good opportunity for us to add another guy to come in here and compete with the rest of the wide receivers.” --Head coach Marvin Lewis