The Bengals made a splash in free agency after signing three offensive linemen in Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La'el Collins. Those signing have caused a slight shift in the latest mock drafts as more draft guru's have the Bengals going defense at pick 31.
Andrew Booth – CB, Clemson
Now that the Bengals have shored up the offensive line, they can address their need for depth at cornerback. Booth is dealing with a core muscle issue, but his talent will eventually shine through for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati did a great job of shopping for value additions to its defense last season but the goal should be to elevate the level of talent like they have done on the offensive side of the ball. Through offseason additions, the offensive line is in a much better place and that allows the team to use more assets on the other side of the ball.
Booth is a springy, ball-hawking cornerback who can thrive in zone or man with the Bengals.
This pick was going to be an offensive lineman until the Bengals addressed that glaring need. Cincinnati did so in free agency by signing guard Alex Cappa and center Ted Karras, so it shifts its focus to the secondary and takes Booth.
Kyler Gordon – CB, Washington
Cornerback will live at the top of the priority list for the Bengals, and Gordon would bring all the qualities the Bengals covet. His physical, aggressive playing style fits the mold of Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton. They are always looking for playmakers and Gordon brings good ball awareness and a senior season where he had two interceptions, a forced fumble and seven passes defensed. He's a touch on the raw side, but they don't need him to necessarily start on opening day with Eli Apple in the mix. But if he could develop and take over the job by some point midseason, he could become a staple on the outside in Cincinnati for the next five years.
Travis Jones – DT, Connecticut
The Bengals have significantly retooled their offensive line this offseason, adding four new starters in free agency. That takes some of the pressure off Joe Burrow (literally) in Year 3, as he was battered in his first two seasons. The Super Bowl runners-up can now afford to fill a different need with this pick, and I see Jones as a replacement for Larry Ogunjobi, who had a great 2021 season.
Jones is a 325-pound nose tackle with extremely long arms who can controls gaps with his strength. He was impressive at the Senior Bowl in January, boosting his stock into the top 50 picks. He could make sense for a Bengals team that is poised to compete for another AFC North title.
David Ojabo – DE, Michigan
After signing three free agents to upgrade the O-line, they can wait for Ojabo, who tore an Achilles last week at his pro day workout.
Boye Mafe – DE, Minnesota
With the addition of La'El Collins, the Bengals could look to go elsewhere in the first round. Mafe is a high upside pick that the Bengals can make with the position their roster is in right now. Mafe was one of the best players at the Senior Bowl and tested off the charts at the Combine.
Tyler Linderbaum – C, Iowa
The Bengals continue to bolster their offensive line. Linderbaum has Pro Bowl potential at the center position.
** Trade with Tennessee up to pick 26
The overhaul continues for the Bengals' offensive line, as they jump up a few spots in front of Tampa Bay to grab the best center in this year's class.
Linderbaum could be the final piece to Cincy's rebuild up front, putting them over the top in their chase to get back to the Super Bowl with Joe Burrow at the helm.
Bernhard Raimann – OT, Central Michigan
When you might have the league's next great quarterback (Burrow) on your roster, but he's sacked a league-high 51 times in the regular season – and 19 more in four playoff games this year – pretty obvious what needs to be done. Raimann is a good athlete who could stop last season's revolving door at right tackle.