The 2021 NFL Draft is important for all 32 teams, but it's massive for the Cincinnati Bengals. They need to add multiple pieces in their quest to build around Joe Burrow.
With many holes to fill, the Bengals have a chance to improve on some of those in a couple weeks.
Check out my first mock draft of the season below.
5. Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver
Even though offensive line is the biggest need for the Bengals, they could capitalize on a very strong offensive tackle class and take Chase with the fifth pick. He is an electric receiver and is only 21 years old. He would give Burrow a true No. 1 wide receiver to throw to. A trio of Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Chase would give the Bengals one of the best wide receiver units in the NFL.
38. Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Tackle
After getting a weapon in round one, the Bengals add offensive line help. Landing a quality tackle like Leatherwood in the second round would be ideal, especially if the Bengals take Chase at No. 5. He has experience at right guard and can start there until he's ready to move to tackle.
69. Patrick Jones, EDGE
After offensive line help, getting a better pass rush is next on their top list of needs. Lucky for the Bengals, this edge rusher class is talented as well. Jones is a strong 4-3 edge rusher from Pittsburgh. He piled up 17.5 sacks in his last two seasons with the Panthers.
111. Marvin Wilson, Defensive Tackle
Wilson would likely be the best player available at this point of the draft. The Bengals could use another interior defensive lineman, even though they signed Larry Ogunjobi to replace Geno Atkins in free agency. Wilson is a talented defensive tackle who can rotate between the three and five technique. He’s a capable pass rusher and would give the Bengals two young defensive linemen to build around moving forward.
149. Drake Jackson, Guard/Center
In round five, Jackson would be a security pick of sorts. Although he’s talented and capable of starting in the NFL some day, the Bengals are thin at guard and center. Jackson would immediately add more depth with starting center Trey Hopkins coming back from a torn ACL.
190. Richard LeCounte, Safety
The Bengals have a talented safety duo in Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. Despite that, they add the Georgia alum at this stage of the draft. LeCounte would be a nice addition to the revamped secondary in Cincinnati. He likely would rotate behind Bell and be insurance in case of injury.
202. Chris Rumph, EDGE
Late in the draft the Bengals could double down on edge rushers and take advantage of this talented class. Rumph is an athletic pass rusher that could develop into a productive player at the next level.
235. Tre Walker, Wide Receiver
Even though the Bengals added Chase in the first round, they could still use more speed at wide receiver. Walker has plenty of speed. He has the potential to develop into a quality deep threat. He would likely be used on special teams as a rookie, but could take on an expanded role in the future.
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