I am making this mock draft using The Draft Network‘s simulator available on their website. There will be no trades, and every pick (other than the Bengals) is simulated. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Round 1 Pick 1: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
This pick should require no explanation. Joe Burrow is the best player in the draft and the Bengals need a franchise quarterback. Not much more to say here (If you think the Bengals will/should trade the #1 pick, I advise you to read this article).
Round 2 Pick 33: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Both Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen were available here, but I opted for Queen. While Queen is smaller than Murray, his explosiveness more than makes up for it. This was simply a matter of preference as I personally believe that Queen has a slightly higher upside than Murray.
Nonetheless, linebacker is a massive need for Cincinnati and Queen will be an instant starter alongside Germaine Pratt. The linebacker corps for the Bengals will be very young, but also very talented. As long as both can stay healthy, linebacker shouldn’t be as much of a burden as it was last season for the Bengals.
Round 3 Pick 65: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
The 2020 NFL Draft is simply overflowing with talented wide receivers and it would be a crime to not take advantage of that. Peoples-Jones was the best WR available. While the receiver is not an immediate need for Cincinnati, it can’t hurt to have a talent like Peoples-Jones learning behind the likes of A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Not only does he provide depth, but he should also be able to become a solid slot receiver in the future and help lessen the blow of A.J. Green’s eventual departure.
Round 4 Pick 107: Matthew Peart, OT, UConn
Even with Jonah Williams returning next season and the signing of Xavier Su’a-Filo, the Bengals will still need to work on upgrading their offensive line. Matthew Peart isn’t an instant starter, but he should be able to develop and slide in at tackle (or guard) in a season or two. He won’t have much competition, but he needs some fine-tuning before he can safely be relied upon to start on an NFL offensive line. If he can build up some strength and get some of his technical issues under control, he could reach his ceiling as a decent starter, if not, he will be a quality backup or swing guy.
Round 5 Pick 147: Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati
With the departure of Tyler Eifert, the Bengals need some more depth at the tight end position. C.J. Uzomah is entrenched as an average starter, and Drew Sample is a blocking tight end in need of some development. Deguara will be able to slide in as a reliable backup as he can both catch and block. He is not going to wow you with his athletic ability or strength, but he never gives up and that is a very good quality to have in a player. If he can work to his strengths, he should be a reliable receiving tight end that can rotate on the field if Uzomah needs a break.
Round 6 Pick 180: Antoine Brooks Jr, S, Maryland
Antoine Brooks Jr. is a hard-hitting safety whose strength is primarily in run defense, as he is a liability in both man and zone coverage. The Bengals are not in the need of a starting safety as they have quality players at the position, but they do need a solid depth piece and special teamer to fill the void that Clayton Fejedelem left when he signed the Miami Dolphins. Brooks Jr. can fill that exact role if he can find a spot on special teams and maintain his physicality. A value pick in the 6th round.
Round 7 Pick 215: Chris Orr, LB, Wisconsin
Chris Orr is a pure tackling linebacker. He is built for filling gaps and shooting through the offensive line on blitzes, and that is exactly what he does. He is a liability in coverage, but he should never be tasked with that when both Germaine Pratt and Patrick Queen are on the roster. Orr should make appearances only in obvious stop-the-run situations or in the case of injury. He will probably never be a starter but his niche ability in shooting gaps makes him a quality situational/rotational player. In the 7th round, that is about all you can ask for.