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Latest mock draft has Bengals going different direction, same position


Since the last mock draft , the New England Patriots have added a first-round pick, Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito retired and there are still shifting thoughts and deceptive dances across the rest of the NFL landscape.

So here is a look at how I think the first round of the draft will play out April 26.

And it’s an ideal scenario for both of Ohio’s teams.

1. Cleveland Browns

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Browns know who they are taking. Everyone else is just playing “eeny, meeny, miny, mo.”

2. New York Giants

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

If they’re willing to trade Odell Beckham Jr., they’re obviously focused more on the future than this year, which means finding Eli Manning’s replacement is a bigger priority than a 2018 impact player.

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3. New York Jets

Josh Rosen, QB UCLA

Like the Giants, the Jets have veterans in place – Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater – but they’re not good enough to warrant passing on someone with far more upside.

4. Cleveland Browns

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

The Browns get their quarterback AND arguably the best player in the draft. There won’t be much sadness in the factory on April 26.

5. Denver Broncos

Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State

The best defensive player in the draft should give a lift to a Broncos unit that has slipped into the average range since winning Super Bowl 50.

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6. Indianapolis Colts

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Hard to imagine the Colts would have traded back if they weren’t confident in Andrew Luck’s recovery. Now they need to find him some more protection.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Derwin James, S, Florida State

Tampa Bay needs an upgrade in the secondary. Lucky for them they get to choose the best safety in the draft or best corner (Ohio State’s Denzel Ward).

8. Chicago Bears

Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The next great linebacker for the Bears on the midway is more of a freak than a monster, and he’s still only 19 years old.

9. San Francisco 49ers

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

Can’t remember the last time two safeties came off the board before a cornerback, but 49ers general manager and Hall of Famer John Lynch is a former safety who knows what kind of impact Fitzpatrick can have.

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10. Oakland Raiders

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Linebacker is a huge need for the Raiders, and Smith is a huge talent who should excel under former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.

11. Miami Dolphins

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

There couldn’t be a more perfect fit to offset the departure of Ndamukong Suh.

12. Buffalo Bills

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

There’s going to be one entertaining quarterback competition in camp between Mayfield and former Bengals backup AJ McCarron.

Bengals Draft Position Previews

13. Washington Redskins

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The Redskins ranked last in the league in run defense last year.

14. Green Bay Packers

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Cornerback is the biggest need the Packers have, and they’ll be thrilled if the top prospect falls all the way to them at 14.

15. Arizona Cardinals

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Cardinals have a situation similar to the Jets with a pair of experienced quarterbacks on the roster (Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon) but neither looks like a long-term option.

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16. Baltimore Ravens

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The never-ending search for a No. 1 receiver continues in Baltimore.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Adding an athletic linebacker to two elite pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram is just what the San Diego defense needs.

18. Seattle Seahawks

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

After trading away their second- and third-round selections, don’t be surprised if the Seahawks trade back to get more picks. If they stay put, Jackson seems like an obvious choice after the departure of Richard Sherman.

19. Dallas Cowboys

D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

The Cowboys probably would have targeted a receiver even before parting ways with Dez Bryant. Now it seems like a lock.

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20. Detroit Lions

Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

One great edge rusher is good, two are better, so even though the Lions already have Ziggy Ansah, adding Marcus Davenport makes sense.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame

McGlinchey would be a plug-and-play right tackle who could instantly upgrade the offensive line. The Bengals will be thrilled if he falls to them, but for every tackle to still be available at this point, don’t rule out the possibility of a small trade back if they have first-round grades on two or more tackles.

PREVIOUS PICK: Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

22. Buffalo Bills

Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

Richie Incognito’s surprise retirement and the team’s investment in quarterbacks McCarron and Mayfield make this a need-based pick.

23. New England Patriots

Kolton Miller, T, UCLA

Miller often is compared to former New England first-round tackle Nate Solder, who left for the New York Giants after seven seasons with the Patriots.

24. Carolina Panthers

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Wide receiver is the biggest area of a need for the Panthers.

25. Tennessee Titans

Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Tennessee’s top two edge rushers, Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo, are heading into the final year of their contracts.

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26. Atlanta Falcons

Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia

An upgrade at right guard is one of the biggest priorities for the Falcons, who surprisingly have drafted just one UGA defensive player since 1994.

27. New Orleans Saints

Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

If one of the above quarterbacks somehow fall to the Saints, they won’t hesitate to grab Drew Bress’ replacement, but that doesn’t realistic, so upgrading at tight end is the next priority.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

The playoff loss to Jacksonville exposed how weak the Steelers were at linebacker after losing Ryan Shazier.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Jaguars beefed up their offensive line by adding Cincinnati native Andrew Norwell in free agency, so adding another playermaker for quarterback Blake Bortles should be the next order of business.

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30. Minnesota Vikings

Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

Mike Zimmer can never have enough defensive linemen.

31. New England Patriots

Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

Whether its via retirement or release, it sounds like Rob Gronkowski might not be with the Patriots for long.

32. Philadelphia Eagles

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

The Eagles have proven they can win with a “running back by committee” approach, so there’s no hurry for Guice to come in an establish himself as an every-down back.



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