CINCINNATI — With free agency just six weeks away, the Bengals still have plenty of time to put together a plan for the draft. It's becoming more and more clear that they'll likely take an offensive player with the fifth overall pick.
Oregon's Penei Sewell and LSU's Ja'Marr Chase are at the top of most Bengals' fans wish list, but there's a chance neither guy falls to No. 5.
There are plenty of other great options if those two guys are off the board. Cincinnati lands arguably the best skill player in the country in mock draft 2.0.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15) – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
2. New York Jets (2-14) – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
3. Miami Dolphins (10-6) (via Texans) – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
4. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
5. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1) – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
For the second-straight mock, both Sewell and Chase are off the board by the time the Bengals are on the clock. They would take either player if they were available, but with the top offensive lineman and wide receiver off the board, the Bengals take arguably the best prospect in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence.
Some will say Chase is the second best prospect and that may be true. If it is, then Kyle Pitts is a close third. He's one of the best tight end prospects ever.
The 20-year-old had 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in just eight games for Florida in 2020. He averaged 17.9 yards-per-reception and has shown the ability to lineup all over the field.
Pitts can beat safeties and cornerbacks in man coverage. He has a knack for finding soft spots against zone defenses. Zac Taylor can put him in the slot or on the outside and be confident that Pitts will be open.
At 6-6, 246 pounds, he has ideal size and should be able to add a few pounds to his frame without losing his explosiveness.
The Bengals took a long hard look at O.J. Howard with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Pitts is a much better prospect than Howard. He's drawn comparisons to Darren Waller, who's arguably the second best tight end in the game.
Pitts doesn't turn 21 until Oct. 6, which means he could just be scratching the surface of his true potential.
The Florida product has an age advantage over DeVonta Smith, who will be 23-years-old in November. That's one of the many reasons why the Bengals end up taking Pitts in this spot.
He's the best prospect on the board. Pitts is better than Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw or Smith.
Some will wonder about positional value, but ask Patrick Mahomes how valuable Travis Kelce is to the Chiefs' offense. The same goes for Rob Gronkowski, who might not be what he once was, but is a big reason why Tom Brady seems to go to the Super Bowl every year.
Joe Burrow will be a happy man if the Bengals add a weapon like Pitts this offseason. He should bring an instant spark to the Bengals' offense.
Pitts has the potential to become one of, if not the best tight end in the NFL.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
7. Detroit Lions (5-11) – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
8. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
9. Denver Broncos (5-11) – Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, Alabama
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-10) – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
11. New York Giants (6-10) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
12. San Francisco 49ers (6-10) – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
13. L.A. Chargers (7-9) – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
14. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
15. New England Patriots (7-9) – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
17. Las Vegas Raiders (8-8) – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
18. Miami Dolphins – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
19. Washington Football Team (7-9) – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
20. Chicago Bears (8-8) – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
21. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
22. Tennessee Titans (11-5) – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
23. Jets (via Seattle Seahawks) – Trevon Moehrig, S, Missouri
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) – Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
25. Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) – Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
26. Cleveland Browns (11-5) – Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama
27. Baltimore Ravens (11-5) – Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
28. New Orleans Saints (12-4) – Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
29. Buffalo Bills (13-3) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) – Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
32. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) – Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
You May Also Like:
Be sure to keep it locked on AllBengals all the time!