The Bengals selected center Billy Price with the 21st overall pick. Now that they’ve filled their biggest need, who could they take with their three picks on day two of the draft? They have picks 46, 77 and 100.
Here are ten players who could be on their radar today:
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan – The Bengals are looking for someone to compliment Geno Atkins and Hurst would be the perfect fit. He’s a first round talent that could fall all the way to pick 46 because of heart irregularities doctors diagnosed him with at the combine. He would likely be the top player on their board in round two IF the Bengals feel he’s good to go from a health perspective. Odds are he will get picked prior, but medical evaluations are hard to predict.
Justin Reid, S, Stanford – This is one of multiple safeties that will be on the Bengals’ radar today. Reid is the athletic playmaker they have been looking for this offseason. He had five interceptions and six pass breakups in 2017. He has a chance to be better than his brother Eric, who visited the Bengals a few weeks ago. If Reid is there at 46, I could see the Bengals running to the podium. I thought the Steelers were going to take him with the 28th pick last night.
Jesse Bates, S, Wake Forest – Bates is extremely versatile and has great ball skills. He had six interceptions and 15 passes defensed in 2015. It’ll be interesting to see if the Bengals consider him at 46. Maybe they roll the dice and hope he falls to 77. They also have the ammo to trade up at some point today if there’s a player they love. The good news is they may get their pick of Bates or Reid in round two, depending on how the board falls to them.
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama – Harrison is the dark horse at the safety position. The Bengals met with him and have a history of liking players from the SEC. The analysts I’ve talked to don’t like him as much as Reid or Bates. I don’t think he will be in play at 46, but I could see them taking him in round three if they haven’t addressed safety.
James Daniels, C, Iowa – Could he fall to them in round two? It’s not likely, but there’s a chance. Daniels is the most athletic center in this draft and could potentially be the top player on the Bengals’ board at 46. I think they want to address defense in round two, but they could be tempted to take Daniels if he’s available. Price has the versatility to play guard down the line and Daniels has the most upside of any center in this draft.
Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State – Rankin is a big bodied offensive lineman who could give the Bengals a boost. He played tackle in college and could possibly be brought it to compete at the right tackle spot. They could also try kicking him inside to guard. I’m assuming they want Price to play center, but there has been plenty of speculation about Rankin playing center in the NFL.
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma – Brown is a scary prospect. There’s a lot to like when you watch him, but he had an historically bad combine. If he falls to pick 77, I think the Bengals would be tempted to draft him. Is he strong enough to succeed in the NFL? Is he athletic enough? He didn’t show it at the combine or his pro day. The Bengals have taken prospects like that before – Paul Dawson comes to mind.
Arden Key, edge rusher, LSU – Key is a great prospect with character concerns. The Bengals watched him at LSU’s pro day and visited with him a day later. He would give them another edge rusher, which was their biggest draft need a year ago. Assuming he’s available, Key will probably in the conversation in the third round – pick 77 or pick 100.
Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State – Could the Bengals take back-to-back players from Ohio State? Hubbard will be in the mix at pick 46. He isn’t a great athlete, but he’s solid and could contribute right away. The Bengals could use another edge rusher and drafting a player like Hubbard would continue their “win-now” offseason.
Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas – The Bengals need to get more athletic at linebacker and Jefferson is exactly that. He ran a 4.52 40-yard dash and is a mid-round player worth keeping an eye on. Linebackers coach Jim Haslett took a long look at Jefferson at Texas’ pro day. He should be in the conversation in round three.
— dré (@Andy_Fenelon) March 28, 2018
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State – The Bengals used a top 30 visit on Rudolph and clearly have interest in him. I don’t think he falls to 46, but if he does, it’ll be interesting to see if they take him. They need a quality backup quarterback for 2018 and I’d bet the Bengals would prefer Rudolph over Matt Barkley. I don’t think it’s likely, but there’s a chance.