Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 2.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Cincinnati Bengals from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Bengals:

Rotoworld - Thor Nystrom (8/21)

3. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

It won't take long to submit this card. Sewell is easily the most dominant offensive lineman in this class, and he's still only 19. The light-footed bulldozer would ensure Joe Burrow's blind side is clean for the foreseeable future. Sewell's presence would significantly upgrade Cincinnati's Achilles heel; over the summer, PFF ranked the Bengals' offensive line No. 31 in the NFL. Sewell and Jonah Williams would solve the tackle issue, leaving Cincinnati a few interior starters away from turning a negative position group into a positive.

PFF - Mike Renner (8/19)

4. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Parsons' "eliteness" rivals that of Sewell. He's a two-time member of Bruce Feldman's Freaks List and runs in the 4.4s at nearly 250 pounds. In our six years of grading college football, Parsons' 94.8 run-defense grade is second to only Reuben Foster's ridiculous 2016 season. The Bengals have thrown a lot at the linebacker position recently, but Parsons is too talented to pass up here.

The Draft Network - Kyle Crabbs (8/19)

5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

What else needs to be said other than: reunion! Getting Burrow his top target from the college ranks to run it back as Cincinnati prepares to move on from an aging A.J. Green is a no-brainer.

Pro Football Network - Oliver Hodgkinson (8/16)

3. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The Cincinnati Bengals found their franchise quarterback by selecting Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in last year's draft and will look to build around him as they seek to become a consistent challenger in the AFC North. A raft of wide receivers are due to hit free agency in 2021, including A.J. Green, so adding weapons for Burrow while adding offensive line pieces to help keep him upright will be a priority in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner, Ja'Marr Chase led the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns as a sophomore. Chase is a genuine deep threat due to a combination of phenomenal catching skill and ability to play taller than his 6'0'' frame. Tough to take down with the ball in his hands, he should be a playmaker in the NFL.

ESPN - Todd McShay (8/12)

3. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Remember how much I talked about Joe Burrow's toughness and mobility in the pocket leading up to the 2020 draft? Well, those traits will be important in Cincy. The Bengals' line surrendered 48 sacks and recorded a 46.5% pass block win rate, second worst in the NFL, according to ESPN's pass-blocking metrics. When you invest a No. 1 pick in a franchise QB, you have to protect him. Yes, they get 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams back from injury at left tackle this season, but that line is still a serious work in progress, especially at right tackle. Enter Sewell, the best player still on the board here and the most talented offensive lineman in the class.

The Draft Network - Jordan Reid (8/10)

3. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Despite a lackluster 2-14 season in 2019, there's a lot of excitement surrounding the Bengals offense. With Joe Burrow firmly entrenched as the new face of the franchise, it'd be wise for the team to continue to build around him. Needing protection, the franchise is disappointed that the Washington Football Team selected Sewell. Tyler Boyd pieced together another 1,000-yard receiving season, but with A.J. Green on the franchise tag at 32 years old and John Ross remaining inconsistent, the team pivots to selecting a familiar weapon as they reignite the Burrow-to-Chase connection.

Although it was a record-setting connection on their way to a perfect 15-0 record and national title victory, it went much deeper than that. Chase averaged a monstrous 21.2 yards per reception. His after the catch dynamics were also impressive as 699 of his 1,780 receiving yards came after the catch, which also included a team-high 23 broken tackles.

Pro Football Network - Matthew Valdovinos (8/9)

3. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

The Bengals drafted their franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow, and they have the 2019 11th overall pick Jonah Williams expected to come back from injury. Pairing Jonah with Penei Sewell would give the Bengals one of the best young offensive tackle duos in the NFL. Sewell is, in my opinion, the best player in the 2021 NFL Draft class, and the Bengals land him at third overall.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (8/3)

3. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Joe Burrow is an exciting young quarterback with the ceiling to become one of the NFL's most dynamic passers, but his offensive line is littered with question marks. The guards are slated to be some combination of Michael Jordan, Billy Price, and Xavier Su'a-Filo. Jordan struggled his way through nine starts as a rookie in 2019, Price is teetering on bust status and Su'a-Filo has been a replacement-level player since entering the league in 2014. Bobby Hart is a liability at right tackle, but has found a way to hold his position. Jonah Williams, Cincinnati's first-rounder in 2019, missed all of his rookie season with an injury.

Sewell, who turns 20 in October, brings a terrific blend of length, power, size, and mobility that gives him the makings of a top-tier offensive tackle at the next level. To give Burrow his best opportunity to succeed, Cincinnati must get serious about building up the offensive line.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

Previous update: Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft Roundup 1.0

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