The Cincinnati Bengals were the surprise team of 2021, and given the young nature of their roster, many expect them to be competitors for a long time in this league. The duo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase has the looks of some of the most iconic QB/WR duos in NFL history. Of course, we’re just one year into this pairing (not including their time at LSU). Let’s not jump the gun.
The Bengals’ season ended in thrilling fashion on the biggest stage of them all. Cincinnati held a lead in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl, meaning they are just on the cusp of bringing a championship to Cincy for the first time ever.
In our 2022 Pride of Detroit Community Mock, it’s the Bengals turn to hopefully get a player that could help them push the franchise over the top. Acting as general manager for our AFC cat compatriots is Smurph0404.
POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
- Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
- Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
- New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
- Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
- New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
- Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
- Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
- New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
- Washington Commanders: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
- Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
- Houston Texans: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
- Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
- Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
- Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
- Los Angeles Chargers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
- New Orleans Saints: Drake London, WR, USC
- Philadelphia Eagles: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
- New England Patriots: Zion Johnson, iOL, Boston College
- Green Bay Packers: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
- Arizona Cardinals: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
- Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M
- Buffalo Bills: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
- Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
- Green Bay Packers: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
- Kansas City Chiefs: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
- Kansas City Chiefs: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
With the 30th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Tyler Linderbaum, a center from Iowa.
Here’s Smurph0404 with the explanation:
The Bengals have an interesting choice here. Defensive tackle and defensive back are positions of need. Devonte Wyatt is a player I looked hard at. He would be just the #2 DT off the board, and could step in and contribute on Day 1. The options at DB are already pretty picked over, so that is less exciting. On the other hand, picking at the back of the first round means I can consider some “low value” positions that other teams can’t. Adding an elite player at a low-value position can be better than adding a pretty good player at a high value position if your team isn’t in a rebuild with a bunch of holes to fill. The Bengals went to the Super Bowl last year, so this is anything but a rebuild.
So with Wyatt as the default pick, I went looking for a player that fit the bill of an “elite player at a lower value position,” and I think I found one in Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Linderbaum was PFF’s top-graded college center in both of the last two years, and his career grade is actually the highest of any CFB center that PFF has ever graded. Now, this puts the Bengals in a spot because they did just sign Ted Karras to a big contract, and Karras is generally thought of as a center. But I think one of Karras or Linderbaum could easily slide over to guard and still be a massive improvement on the Bengals’ offensive line. There are concerns about Linderbaum’s arm length and strength, but I’ve long been of the opinion that if a player is really really good in college, you should just stop talking yourself out of them. If I’m the Bengals and I’m picking at the end of the draft, my goal has to be to get elite talent, not just hole fillers. Linderbaum can be elite.
The Bengals land a top-20 talent at a major position on need. If this happens they should be jumping for joy and running to the podium. I’d play Linderbaum at center—always play your best interior offensive lineman at the pivot—and shift others around him. The Bengals not only got an elite player at No. 31 here, but he should anchor their line for years.
As Smurph0404 mentioned, Wyatt should be considered, but Linderbaum has the potential to be at a Frank Ragnow level player, so this was a no-brainer, smart pick in my opinion.
What grade do you give this pick?
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