Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Draft Review

1st/9 John Ross, WR

Ht.: 5’11 Wt.: 188 School: Washington

With Andy Dalton lacking elite traits the Bengals are forced to invest in adding weapons around him. Looking to add a speed element the Bengals are taking a chance on Ross hoping that his lengthy injury issues are a thing of the past. In his first healthy season John Ross scored 17 touchdowns and averaged over 14 yards per catch. His combine record 4.22 speed will force safeties to help allowing AJ Green to get more single coverage.

 

2nd/48 Joe Mixon, RB

Ht.: 6’1 Wt.: 228 School: Oklahoma

While supremely talented on the field Mixon’s physical assault of a female Oklahoma student three years ago will forever haunt him. Cincinnati desperately needs a feature back and willing to bet on Mixon going forward and willing to take the blunt of the criticism for taking him this early. If Mixon can stay out of trouble he will give the Bengals a do it all back and and another weapon for Andy Dalton.

 

3rd/73 Jordan Willis, DE

Ht.: 6’4 Wt.: 255 School: Kansas State

The reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the year Willis had 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2016 using good straight line speed and a motor that never quits. Willis will be used as a pass rushing replacement for Michael Johnson initially giving the Bengals some explosiveness off the edge. If Willis can improve his take on skills he could find himself in the starter lineup sooner than expected.

 

4th/116 Carl Lawson, DE

Ht.: 6’2 Wt.: 261 School: Auburn

At times Lawson has looked like a potential top ten pick but missing two seasons because of a torn ACL and cracked hip has robbed some of his athletic ability. The injuries are significant enough that teams didn’t even comfortable till day three but if Lawson is able to stay healthy and regain some of his flexibility the Bengals could have the steal of the draft.

 

4th/128 Josh Malone, WR

Ht.: 6’2 Wt.: 208 School: Tennessee

After drafting John Ross in the first round the Bengals add another potential weapon for Dalton. Malone broke out this past season with 972 yards receiving with 11 touchdowns, but it was his 19.4 yards per catch that shows his ability to win down the field that can have him in the Marvin Jones role that was never filled.

 

4th/138 Ryan Glasgow, DT

Ht.: 6’3 Wt.: 302 School: Michigan

With the selection of Glasgow, the Bengals have now drafted five defensive tackles in the last six years trying to find a run stuffing presence next to Geno Atkins. While Glasgow has some short area burst he wins at the point of attack with sheer power and strong hands to control the lineman.

 

5th/153 Jake Elliot, K

Ht.: 5’9 Wt.: 167 School: Memphis

Investing a fifth round pick in a kicker doesn’t bode well Randy Bullock who had a disappointing 2016. Elliot was automatic in college never missing an extra point or kick under 30 while 60% of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. If you are going to draft a kicker early, they better be good.

 

5th/176 JJ Dielman, C

Ht.: 6’5 Wt.: 309 School: Utah

After losing both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency the Bengals had to restock their depth. Dielman played in only five games last year because of a lower leg injury but has played both right tackle and center in his career which can make him a valuable reserve initially.

 

6th/193 Jordan Evans, LB

Ht.: 6’3 Wt.: 232 School: Oklahoma

Evans is a space linebacker who is at his best dropping into coverage where his 16 pass break ups is second best in school history. With the Bengals depth at linebacker Evans will need to use those skills to carve out a role on special teams if he wants to hold a roster spot.

 

6th/207 Brandon Wilson, CB

Ht.: 5’10 Wt.: 198 School: Houston

Cincinnati loves drafting cornerbacks and Wilson is a perfect late round flyer, with a 4.36 40-yard dash and 41” vertical leap at his pro day, to take a chance on. Scoring six different ways in his college career including on special teams only enhances his chance of making the team.

 

7th/251 Mason Schreck, TE

Ht.: 6’5 Wt.: 253 School: Buffalo

With Tyler Eifert providing the Bengals an elite receiving option at tight end they’ve struggled to find the inline blocker to pair with him. Shreck is a limited athlete but has the ideal frame and length to develop into a good edge blocker while providing some receiving ability.

 

Best Pick

Lawson (fourth round)

 

Upside Pick

Dielman (fifth round)

 

Overall Thoughts

Selected Mixon is the story of their draft but when you get past his actions the Bengals hit on their goals of fixing the pass rush and giving quarterback Andy Dalton more weapons. The combination of Ross and Mixon will pay immediate dividends while Willis and Lawson will do the same on defense.

Grade: B

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