The draft is next week and with so many previous mocks I will do something a little different. This time I will accept a trade down with the Dolphins. The difference is I will not be taking any other QB prospect this year because I dont really believe in them. Burrow is a mile ahead of these prospects and if you are going to trade down its because you have different names in mind, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. I will use this draft to prepare a team ahead of the coming of one of those prospects along with adding ammo for next year in the likely scenario the Bengals will need to trade up.
The trade: Miami receivers pick #1. Bengals receiver pick 5, 18, 26, 56, and a 2021 1st and 2nd. That is 3 first rounders and 2 second rounders to move down 4 spots.
In an effort to help the tank I will be cutting Andy Dalton and starting Ryan Finley for the season. With the huge amount of help added in free agency, the draft, and Jonah Williams and AJ Green returning I expect to be better regardless of QB play.
5-Tristan Wirfs RT Iowa-The Giants go with Isaiah Simmons and I get exactly who I want. This is a dream fit for both as Wirfs wont be forced to shift to LT and the Bengals get an elite RT to play across from Jonah Williams. Wirfs is everything you want in a RT he is big and super athletic. The tackles are great going forward which will really allow Fields to do great things with his legs.
18-Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma-I think the media has really hyped up how good of a prospect he is but the need is so glaring I will take him here. His role has been to just run after the ball and not do much in coverage so there is concern but he is so athletic he will be able to develop down the road and will be an immediate player for Cincy.
26-Denzel Mims WR Baylor-Able to land him before the Ravens or Packers snatch him away. Fantastic athlete, good blocker, amazing senior bowl alleviates route running concerns that may have been an offensive scheme issue. Playing him opposite AJ Green will give Fields two big targets to throw to.
33-Cesar Ruiz IOL Michigan-Fixed RT and now able to fill RG with a really high upside player in Ruiz. Super athlete and coming out young. Nothing to not like about Ruiz and positional value drops him to the second. LT/RG/RT are set with high talent young players.
56-Jeremy Chinn S/LB Southern Illinois-Will fill a similar role that Shawn Williams does now. Will come in as an athletic Nickel LB at 6'3" 220. Chinn is comparable to Isaiah Simmons. Chinn can cover man, drop as a safety, play the run, and blitz the QB from a nickel LB role that will become very versatile. The LB crew becomes very athletic very quickly for the Bengals.
Third-Adam Trautman-Fantastic TE prospect from Dayton. Has the size and agility to turn into a pro-bowl tight end. Trautman and Sample are very similar big bodied athletic tight ends that will be great assets for Fields in the NFL. This is just BPA.
Fourth-James Lynch 5-tech Baylor-If you have followed my other picks Lynch is AJ Epenesa but not quite as good. At 6'4" 290 he will be a 5-tech type player that is big enough to take up space in a 3-4 but athletic to rush the passer if solo blocked by a guard. Should be a productive player but has a somewhat limited upside. Happy to land him in the fourth.
Fifth-AJ Dillon RB Boston College-Exactly the type of player to pair Joe Mixon with. Mixon is elite and should get the ball as much as possible but Dillon will be able to take carries on rushing short yardage rushing downs. This type of back will take a lot of wear and tear off Mixon during the season. End of game, short yardage, first down carries can go to Dillon and everything else can stick with Mixon as he begins to get thrown the ball more.
With the extra picks the offensive line now becomes a strength. I was able to add WR/TE/RB I really like to the offense which will allow Fields to enter from day 1 and have a good team around him. The defense was given some help as well with a LB and 5-tech that along with the free agency additions should really help.
The biggest problem with all of this is how do we go about get a pick high enough for Fields. Assume the #1 pick wont be traded away and will grab Lawrence. The Bengals will add all of these players in the draft, add an insane free agency class that really helps the defense, Jonah Williams and AJ Green return from injury, and last year the Bengals lost 8 one possesion games. Even if they start Ryan Finley this is still a team that could win 8 games in 2021. The Bengals will need to get lucky to land Fields and if not they could be stuck with another decade of a talented team with an above average QB that is unable to win anything of importance. Its fun to think about but I am happy to be landing Joe Burrow.