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NFL mock draft: Cincinnati Bengals select Tyler Linderbaum

The Bengals’ 2021 season ended with Joe Burrow under siege. By adding Tyler Linderbaum in our 2022 Community Mock Draft, Cincinnati bolsters the weakest point on their roster.

Vrbo Citrus Bowl - Iowa v Kentucky Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

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:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
  3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
  4. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
  7. New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  9. Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
  11. Washington Commanders: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
  13. Houston Texans: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
  14. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
  15. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
  16. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
  17. Los Angeles Chargers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
  18. New Orleans Saints: Drake London, WR, USC
  19. Philadelphia Eagles: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
  21. New England Patriots: Zion Johnson, iOL, Boston College
  22. Green Bay Packers: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  23. Arizona Cardinals: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
  24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M
  25. Buffalo Bills: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
  26. Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
  28. Green Bay Packers: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
  29. Kansas City Chiefs: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
  30. 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.

Erik’s thoughts:

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.

You can follow along with every pick + grades in our Community Mock Draft tracker.

Poll

What grade do you give this pick?

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  • 83%
    A
    (243 votes)
  • 10%
    B
    (31 votes)
  • 3%
    C
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    D
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    F
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