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Cincinnati Bengals mock draft 2023: Assembling a Super Bowl champion

The Cincinnati Bengals have become one of the best teams in football thanks to several years of strong draft classes. With the 2023 NFL Draft class approaching, another strong haul could be what puts the Bengals over the top as a Super Bowl contender.

Cincinnati’s recent draft hauls are responsible for where it stands today. Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are three of the best players at their respective positions, while the likes of Joseph Ossai, Sam Hubbard, Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson are ascending impact players.

The Bengals are now a perennial contender, sparking a rivalry with the Kansas City Chiefs and proving to be a force in the playoffs. If the right selections are made in the 2023 NFL Draft, Cincinnati could hoist the Lombardi Trophy in short order.

Before diving into our Cincinnati Bengals mock draft, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know before the draft day for Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals draft picks 2023

Here are the Bengals’ draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Round 1: 28th overall
  • Round 2: 60th overall
  • Round 3: 92nd overall
  • Round 4: 131st overall
  • Round 5: 163rd overall
  • Round 6: 206th overall
  • Round 7: 246th overall

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order

Cincinnati Bengals draft needs 2023

Following NFL free agency, here are the Bengals draft needs in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Safety
  • Tight End
  • Running Back
  • Cornerback
  • Linebacker
  • Offensive Line

Related: 5 Cincinnati Bengals draft targets

Cincinnati Bengals mock draft

First round, 28th overall: Michael Mayer, tight end, Notre Dame

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The Bengals should be happy with either Dalton Kincaid or Michael Mayer in this spot. Kincaid is the better offensive weapon and that could be beneficial with the chance of Higgins or Tyler Boyd eventually leaving in NFL free agency. However, Mayer is no slouch as a pass-catcher and Cincinnati could depend on him as an in-line blocker.

Mayer’s NFL comparison to Jason Witten exists for a reason. The 6-foot-4 tight end isn’t a great athlete – 7.61 Relative Athletic Score – but his size, ball skills and blocking are excellent. He knows how to create clean releases even when dealing with contact and he consistently positions his body well to create a window for his quarterback. While he doesn’t create a ton of yards after the catch, Meyer will move the chains and can be a red-zone weapon.

Unlike Kincaid, Mayer is a good in-line blocker who is very comfortable helping finish blocks to create running lanes and he can stay back and help in pass protection. Mayer is the most well-rounded tight end in the draft class and could fit nicely in the Bengals’ offense.

Related: 2023 NFL power rankings

Second Round, 60th overall: Sydney Brown, safety, Illinois

NFL: Combine
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Cincinnati lost safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates in NFL free agency, creating a huge need in the backend of this secondary. While there is certainly some hope that Daxton Hill – 31st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft – is ready to step up, there are no guarantees he will be an effective starter.

Even if Hill plays relatively well in his first season as a starting safety, Nick Scott isn’t someone you want playing heavy snaps. So, Cincinnati takes a chance on one of the most athletic prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft class.

Brown, 5-foot-10, is small for a safety. What he lacks in size, though, the Illinois defensive back makes up for with elite athleticism (9.67 Relative Athletic Score). Brown is a versatile defensive back, with his instincts and speed enabling him to make plays deep and even make some plays underneath. With tackling being an issue for him, he could be utilized by Lou Anarumo as a coverage specialist who helps cover the intermediate and deep areas of the field.

Related: Cincinnati Bengals expected to make big changes at running back

Third round, 92nd overall: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, cornerback, TCU

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Media Day-Texas Christian
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Rounding out the highlighted picks in our Bengals mock draft is cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson. Cincinnati will be getting top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie back in 2023, but he is recovering from a torn ACL. With the depth behind him a legitimate problem, Hodges-Tomlinson becomes an appealing target.

Size (5-foot-8) will limit the number of teams interested in Hodges-Tomlinson. However, he was one of the top cornerbacks in college football last season with the most forced incompletion (21) and he ranked 22nd in coverage stops (14), per Pro Football Focus.

Elite athleticism, instincts and aggressiveness are some of Hodges-Tomlinson’s best qualities. Let him play off wide receivers and focus on taking away everything underneath in zone coverage. With Anarumo’s preference for mixing things up schematically, Hodges-Tomlinson could be the ideal rotating cornerback who makes solid contributions as a rookie before eventually developing into a full-time starter.

Cincinnati Bengals mock draft: 7-round projections

  • 1st Round, 28th overall: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
  • 2nd round, 60th overall: Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
  • 3rd Round, 92nd overall: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU
  • 4th Round, 131st overall: Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
  • 5th Round, 163rd overall: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
  • 6th Round, 206th overall: Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida
  • 7th Round, 246th overall: Richard Gouraige, OT, Florida

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