Cincinnati Bengals 2024 Mock Draft: Pick Predictions and Team Needs

Our seven-round NFL mock draft for the Cincinnati Bengals as the 2024 NFL Draft approaches.

Cincinnati Bengals 2024 Mock Draft: Pick Predictions and Team Needs

The Cincinnati Bengals were plagued by injury in 2023, losing superstar quarterback Joe Burrow for a large portion of the season, thrusting backup Jake Browning into action for seven starts in nine games last season.

Browning turned heads after having little expectations as Cincinnati’s leader. Browning finished with an impressive 4-3 record, completing a league-best 70.4% of passes for 1,936 yards and 12 touchdowns.

With Browning at the helm for a large chunk of the 2023 season, the Bengals turned in a 9-8 record, earning them the 18th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Cincinnati holds 10 picks in the upcoming draft, allowing them to infuse its roster with a solid amount of talent given the deep talent pool in this year’s draft class.

How to watch the 2024 NFL Draft:

  • NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes

NFL Draft Dates:

  • April 25-27
  • Round 1: Thursday, April 25, 8 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 26, 7 p.m. ET
  • Rounds 4-7 Saturday, April 27, noon ET

Cincinnati Bengals Team Needs on Draft Day

Ja'Marr Chase, Joe Burrow

The Bengals are in a good place offensively, featuring Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins out wide, but lacking a true number-one tight end option. Defensively, the Bengals need help up front after losing D.J. Reader in free agency.

Bengals’ Draft Picks
Round Pick (Overall)
1 No. 18
2 No. 49
3 No. 80
3 No. 97 (Compensatory)
4 No. 115
5 No. 149
6 No. 194
6 No. 214 (Compensatory)
7 No. 224 (via HOU)
7 237

Starting tight end

The Bengals have been searching for consistent tight end play since the loss of C.J. Uzomah. Cincinnati signed veteran tight end Mike Gesicki but has been heavily linked to Georgia star Brock Bowers, who many think could fall in the first round.

Defensive line

Cincinnati will almost certainly target the interior of their defensive line after losing D.J. Reader to the Detroit Lions in free agency.

Starting right tackle

The Bengals landed tackle Trent Brown in free agency, but lack depth at the tackle spots. There are a number of options for Cincinnati to target at tackle in this draft class.

Cincinnati Bengals 2024 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1, No. 18: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Byron Murphy Bengals
Credit University of Texas, Getty Images

Cincinnati kicks their draft off using the 18th pick on Texas defensive tackle, Byron Murphy. Murphy is a plug-and-play option for a Bengals front looking to fill the void left by former Bengal, D.J. Reader.

At 6’1″, 300 pounds, Murphy is an anchor on the inside with exceptional athleticism for his size. Murphy clocked a 4.87 40-yard dash and impressed with a 33-inch vertical as well. In 2023, Murphy totaled 29 tackles, 8.5 for loss, and six sacks, earning him second-team All-American honors.

Murphy’s compact frame and quick twitch on the line of scrimmage offer the potential as a gap-shooter in the run game with upside as a pass-rusher, if developed correctly. He offers a combination of power and athleticism with quick hands to knock off block attempts from interior offensive linemen.

At 18th, Murphy fills a big need for Cincinnati with the potential to step in as a day-one starter on their defensive line.

Round 2, No. 49: Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas

JaTavion Sanders Bengals
John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With their second pick, the Bengals reunite Texas Longhorn teammates by selecting Murphy’s teammate, Ja’Tavion Sanders.

Sanders is a pass-catching tight end with solid athleticism, displayed in his 4.69 40-yard dash time. Sanders earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors after catching 45 passes for 682 yards, adding two touchdowns.

Sanders has a high floor at tight end with immense upside as a pass-catching option for Joe Burrow, giving the Bengals the true tight end they’ve been looking for. He offers a big frame at 6’4, 245 pounds, with potential as a run-blocker due to his size.

Sanders matches up well versus linebackers and displays strong hands on contested catches, fighting through traffic regularly to make difficult grabs. His route running ability and run-blocking upside make him an enticing prospect for Cincinnati at 49th.

Round 3, No. 80: Blake Fisher, OT, Notre Dame

Fisher Bengals
Credit: Getty Images

The Bengals wait until the third round to address the tackle spot, selecting Notre Dame tackle, Blake Fisher.

Fisher has the potential to be a plug-and-play option for Cincinnati, opposite Orlando Brown. Fisher had experience at both tackle spots during his time at Notre Dame, making 25 starts from 2022 to 2023. He has athletic upside which he displayed at the combine, raising his draft stock in the process.

Fisher offers enticing agility with the ability to pull and combo-block as needed. He has good hands and technique, allowing him to keep pass rushers in front of him with a combination of reaction time, hand technique and athleticism. Landing Fisher with their third pick could be a great selection for the Bengals.

Round 3, No. 97: Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State

J Wilson Bengals
Credit: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With their second pick in the third round, the Bengals sure up a receiver room with question marks, selecting Johnny Wilson out of Florida State.

Wilson offers an exciting combination of size and speed, notching a 4.54 40-yard dash time at 6’6″, 230 pounds. Wilson caught 41 passes for 617 yards and two touchdowns in 2023, showing his ability as a jump-ball receiver with an impressive catch radius.

Along with an elite catch radius, Wilson isn’t shy about using his hands to fight off physical cornerbacks to create separation and carries this physicality with the ball in his hands, displaying toughness as a runner. Wilson’s frame also gives him the tools and potential to develop as a run blocker on the perimeter. Wilson could be a solid Higgins replacement if a deal can’t be worked out with the disgruntled receiver.

Round 4, No. 115: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Kalen King Bengals
Credit: AP Photo/Barry Reeger

With their first pick in the 4th round, Cincinnati reinforces their secondary, selecting cornerback Kalen King from Penn State.

King offers a physical press at the line of scrimmage, allowing him to jam receivers and camouflage his low high-end speed. In 2022, King posted 15 pass breakups with three interceptions. He fits best with Cincinnati developing in Mike Hilton’s role as a nickel corner.

King has great hands at the point of attack, with the length to get a hand in catch windows. His physicality will translate nicely to the NFL and he has the potential to develop as a tackler in the nickel-back role.

Round 5, No. 149: Christian Jones, OT, Texas

With their lone pick in the fifth round, the Bengals add depth to their offensive trenches, picking their third Texas Longhorn of the draft in Christian Jones.

Jones isn’t the most athletic tackle in the draft but offers a great combination of strength and length this deep in the draft. Jones was two-time Honorable Mention All-Big 12 in 2022 and 2023 and offers experience at both tackle spots.

Jones offers a lean frame with good power in his lower and upper body. Though his hands aren’t the fastest, he offers solid technique to account for a lack of speed to wall off defenders on the edge. Selecting Jones with the 149th overall pick is great value for a Bengals team looking to bolster their tackle spots and offensive line as a whole.

Round 6, No. 194: Will Shipley, RB, Clemson

With their first pick in the 6th round, Cincinnati fills a need after losing Joe Mixon in a trade to the Houston Texans, selecting Clemson running back Will Shipley.

Shipley is an experienced starter that offers Mixon-type versatility as a rusher and pass catcher out of the backfield. Shipley was a three-year starter at Clemson, starting as a true-freshman and eclipsing 1,100 yards with 15 touchdowns on 210 carries in 2022. In his three years at Clemson, Shipley rushed for over 2,700 yards and 31 touchdowns and is just 21-years-old.

Shipley offers great acceleration out of the backfield with solid hands and feet to be utilized as a receiver and returner. He possesses good size for the position with a 5’11, 205-pound frame and can make cuts in the blink of an eye. Shipley is a shifty back with tremendous upside and could find himself as Cincinnati’s feature back with his skillset.

Round 6, No. 214: Jowon Briggs, DL, Cincinnati

With their second selection in the sixth round, the Bengals look to further infuse youth within their defensive line, selecting Jowon Briggs out of Cincinnati.

The Bengals have had their eye on Briggs for some time given he’s played right up the road for the Bearcats in college. Briggs offers a massive frame, standing at 6’2, 315 pounds and boasts some athletic upside, clocking a 5.00-flat 40-yard dash at Cincinnati’s Pro Day.

Staying in Cincinnati, Briggs is versatile in the trenches and will be able to play a number of positions along the defensive line. Briggs offers a good motor for a defensive lineman and displayed the ability to use pass-rush moves as necessary in college. He fits well in gaps with his large frame, making him a potential threat as a run defender.

Round 7, No. 224: Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State

With their first pick in the final round, the Bengals take tight end, Dallin Holker, out of Colorado State by way of BYU.

Holker is a pass-catching tight end who exceeded expectations in a big way in 2023, catching 64 passes for 767 yards and six touchdowns after three seasons as a backup at BYU. Holker tested very well with a 4.78 40-yard dash and a near 33-inch vertical.

Holker has potential as a pass catcher and offers some upside as a run blocker in the NFL. He offers a wide catch radius with long arms, giving him potential to make the 53-man roster. Holker offers slot receiver versatility with good body control during contested-catch situations.

Round 7, No. 237: Daijahn Anthony, Safety, Ole Miss

Daijahn Anthony Bengals
Credit: Carleigh Harbin-The Grove Report

The Bengals cap off their draft by making an addition to their secondary, selecting safety Daijahn Anthony out of Ole Miss by way of Liberty.

Anthony is an explosive safety with hard-hitting ability and a solid frame at 6’0, 195 pounds. He plays with the physicality you look for in a safety and displays such with highlight reel hits. In 2023, Anthony totaled 61 tackles and added three interceptions, displaying solid coverage ability over the top.

Anthony is a nice option in man coverage, showing versatility when lining up as a nickle back during his time at Ole Miss. He offers decent ball skills and has untapped potential at a gadget player on Cincinnati’s defense. The Bengals addressed safety with the addition of Geno Stone in free agency, but could land a chess piece in the late rounds with Anthony.

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