Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.
For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.
Bengals Team Need No. 1: Offensive Line
Letting LT Andrew Whitworth and RG Kevin Zeitler walk in 2017 free agency had disastrous results. The Bengals’ trade for LT Cordy Glenn was a step in the right direction, theoretically shoring up the left side next to stalwart LG Clint Boling. Recurring foot and ankle injuries cost Glenn 15 games the past two seasons, however, and center, right guard and right tackle remain in flux.
Editor’s Note: Compete in a live snake draft right now! Drafts take as little as 2 minutes to complete and last just one night. For a limited time, DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers a FREE entry into a real money draft and a Money-Back Guarantee up to $100! Here's the link.
Bengals Team Need No. 2: Linebacker
Injuries and suspensions cost WLB Vontaze Burfict 28 games over the past four years, and he is facing another four-game ban for alleged PED use. MLB Vincent Rey and SLB Zach Vigil are replacement-level starters. In related news, the Bengals must get promising sophomores OLB Carl Lawson and DE Jordan Willis on the field more this year, boosting their pass rush internally.
Bengals Team Need No. 3: Wide Receiver
Quarterback is another arguable need; entering his eighth season as the Bengals’ starter, Andy Dalton has shown he is only as effective as the personnel around him. In salary cap terms, Cincinnati could easily cut Dalton in any of the next three years. Getting Dalton more help remains the Bengals’ likeliest approach. 2017 first-round pick John Ross showed nothing as a rookie, and Brandon LaFell is one of the NFL’s lowest-impact number two receivers.
Norris’ Mock Draft
Round 1 (21): C James Daniels, Iowa - The Bengals allowed top offensive line talents like Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth to leave prior to the 2017 season. The offensive line was a mess because of it. Finding an anchor to replace the replaceable Russell Bodine is vital, and Daniels is one of the best interior linemen in this class. I gave him a Ryan Kalil comparison.
Round 2 (46): LB Fred Warner, BYU - There’s a lot to love about Warner’s game. He is athletic, can close, plays in space and will work off blocks. No. 46 might sound a bit early, but the Bengals must get faster at linebacker. Warner helps instantly there.
Round 3 (77): DL Tim Settle, Virginia Tech - More help in the interior is important, especially at stopping the run. Settle is an interesting case, as he flashes disruption in his first three steps while presenting ridiculous size for the position.
Round 3 (100): T Orlando Brown, Oklahoma - It makes sense. The Bengals love to draft big school prospects, and big-name ones at that. Brown’s evaluation is dropping, but his powerful style could create similarities to Andre Smith inside the Bengals from office.
Round 4 (112): S Armani Watts, Texas A&M - Watts has plenty of experience as a split safety, attacking forward on screens and runs, as well as covering the seam for tight ends and slot receivers. He closes very quickly.
Round 5 (151): G Colby Gossett, Appalachian State - Gossett is a very talented player, and it wouldn’t surprise to see him drafted in the third- or fourth-round. Double or tripling up on offensive linemen should not be out of the question for the Bengals this year.
Round 5 (158): CB M.J. Stewart, UNC - A slot corner who plays aggressively. In fact, it would not be surprising to see him transition to safety.
Round 5 (170): WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State - A big receiver who wins big after a productive collegiate career.
Round 7 (249): LB Oren Burks, Purdue - More athleticism at linebacker. Burks posted an athletic composite score in the 94th percentile.
Round 7 (252): EDGE Marcell Frazier, Missouri - An ideal frame for an edge rusher, but his game is that of a late pick or free agent.