We’re to pick 28 in our 2023 NFL Community Mock Draft, where Pride of Detroit readers act as general managers for individual teams. The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock, and acting as their general manager is commenter MaizeAndBlueWahoo.
Before we jump into their pick, make sure you catch up to the first 27 picks in the draft by heading over to our 2023 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker. There you will see each pick, links to each individual article, and grades provided to each pick as voted on by other Pride of Detroit commenters.
Back to this selection. With the 28th pick in the POD Community Mock Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Cam Smith, cornerback out of South Carolina.
Here’s MaizeAndBlueWahoo with an explanation for the pick:
“Let’s start with what the Bengals need, and what they don’t. Analysts everywhere have zeroed in on tight end as the Bengals’ biggest need. I’m less convinced. They signed Irv Smith in the offseason to a one-year, prove-it deal clearly hoping to duplicate the success of Hayden Hurst, who turned his prove-it deal into a three-year contract with Carolina. They may want a long-term solution eventually, but since I’m the Bengals GM I get to impose my philosophy, and that means no first-round tight ends, especially not in a draft loaded with them.
“Offensive tackle is another need, but not a heavily pressing one anymore with the signing of Orlando Brown. While the Bengals might have a little wish list on offense, nobody really looks at that side of the ball and thinks it’s a huge problem.
“Really the weakest aspect of the team is their pass defense, which sat 23rd in 2022 in yards allowed per game. They’re still not bad, exactly, but they could use a talent infusion, having gotten mediocre cornerback play and also having lost both their starting safeties to free agency, as well as not re-signing Eli Apple.
“This is one thin draft at the top for safeties, though. Fortunately, there’s Cam Smith. Smith is nominally a cornerback, but he might be the most versatile one in the draft. From Smith’s draft profile via SI’s NFL Draft Bible:
“Stellar length for the position, long arms, and rangy frame. Logged snaps as a boundary corner, nickel defender, and post safety….Has the skill set to play man coverage, but the acuity to shine in zone.”
“ESPN’s Jordan Reid notes that Smith could play on the outside or in the slot. This makes him a perfect scheme fit for Cincy defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, whose scheme is not to have a scheme. His players often call him ‘the Mad Scientist’ for his ability to cook up different ideas for attacking different offenses, which makes Smith’s versatility a perfect match. Throw in the multiple scouting reports that praise Smith’s ball skills, and his 9.69 RAS, and this is the ideal fit for the Bengals.”
What do you make of the Bengals’ pick? Grade the selection in the poll below, and don’t forget to share your opinions in the comment section by scrolling down.
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