NFL Draft News & Analysis

Cincinnati Bengals 7-round mock draft: Bengals beef up their interior, add offensive weapons

2TAC0YR Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) during an NCAA college football game against TCU, Saturday Nov. 11, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Matt Patterson via AP)

• Three interior defenders headline the Bengals' haul: Texas Byron Murphy II is the team's first-round pick, and Khristian Boyd and Jaden Crumedy join in the later rounds.

• Malik Washington, Erick All provide more offensive firepower: Washington's footwork is precise and sudden, which makes him an effective separation player from the slot. All, meanwhile, is an all-around tight end.

Draft and trade for yourself: Try PFF's Mock Draft Simulator — trade picks and players and mock for your favorite NFL team.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Click here for more draft tools:

2024 Mock Draft Simulator | 2024 Big Board | 2024 Draft Guide
2024 Player Profiles | 2024 Mock Drafts | NCAA Premium Stats

As the 2024 NFL Draft nears, our seven-round team mock draft series continues with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Round 1, Pick 18: DI Byron Murphy II, Texas

The 6-foot-1, 305-pounder brings elite-level strength and athletic ability to trench play, earning a spot on Bruce Feldman's 2023 “Freaks List.” Murphy's punch and press are violent and strong, allowing him to utilize his lower leverage to dictate run-defense battles. Teams may think they can run at him due to his measurables, but he has great lower-body strength and doesn't yield much ground versus combo blocks. Perhaps nothing better sums up Murphy’s strength than that he played nose tackle despite 360-pound T’Vondre Sweat's presence along Texas’ defensive line. His strength and explosiveness led to excellent pass-rush grades and win rates.

Round 2, Pick 49: C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

Frazier has the perfect background for an interior offensive lineman, as he was a four-time state wrestling champion in high school. That built-in core strength is a massive boon to his work on the interior. His body control and forearm/grip strength allow him to latch on to defenders. His flexibility is impressive, and he can get low to consistently win with leverage at the snap, even on quarterback sneaks. His arms are short, which is OK for a center, but he will lose cross-face reps against longer defensive linemen. He won't blow you up with power at contact, but he does have the weight, power and technique to anchor well in pass protection.

Round 3, Pick 80: WR Malik Washington, Virginia

Washington was one of the most productive players in the country in 2023. He's small, and that has its disadvantages — he lacks natural strength and length for jump balls and blocking assignments. Nonetheless, his footwork is precise and sudden, which makes him an effective separation player from the slot, especially when finding soft spots in zone coverage. He has an excellent first step to chew up a defensive back's cushion. He also has an above-average ability to change direction yet maintain or regain speed. He does not have much experience against press coverage, so he is likely a slot-only receiver.

Round 3, Pick 97: TE Erick All, Iowa

All is an all-around tight end prospect. He is a willing move blocker who is often detached from the line of scrimmage to lead, get to the second level or perform split-zone blocking responsibilities. He brings blocking fundamentals and good hand usage, though he could display more of a finisher's mentality. He understands how to use leverage and angles to wall off defenders without holding. He has big hands, although he did have frustrating drops in college. All is a better athlete than he gets credit for, as his change-of-direction fluidity yielded high separation rates in 2023. He also showcases good balance for yards after the catch.

Round 4, Pick 115: RB Audric Estime, Notre Dame

At nearly 230 pounds, Estime is tough between the tackles. Once he gets up to speed, he's a load to bring down, especially since his big legs continue to churn after contact for an impressive yards-after-contact rate. The finesse parts of his game are limited. His burst and long speed will be merely average compared to other NFL backs, and though he is nimble behind the line of scrimmage, changing direction once up to speed takes multiple steps. As for third down, he was not used much as a receiver, but his pass-protection potential is good due to his size and strength. A big plus is he will be just 20 years old on draft weekend.

Round 5, Pick 149: EDGE Gabriel Murphy, UCLA

Gabriel Murphy projects as a specialized outside linebacker type of edge pass rusher at the next level. He is undersized for the position and will have trouble overcoming length deficiencies in the NFL. However, he has lightning-quick hands with a technician's mindset. He has a good understanding of how and why to attack the half-man — reducing his strength and size limitations. He also shows a plethora of pass-rush plans (using speed and quickness as his foundation to win) with a good amount of counters, which he executes quickly (almost second nature).

Round 6, Pick 194: CB Johnny Dixon, Penn State

Dixon might be a rotational matchup specialist against smaller receivers in the NFL. He is fiery in his approach to the position and possesses adequate agility for the NFL level. If he can become a more reliable tackler, he certainly has the coverage skills to see the field in some capacity.

Round 6, Pick 214: DI Khristian Boyd, Northern Iowa

Boyd likely lacks the length to be a consistent difference-maker in the passing game, but his power and size make him a good candidate to be a backup defensive lineman in odd or even fronts.

Round 7, Pick 224: DI Jaden Crumedy, Mississippi State

The pass-rush production just isn't there for Crumedy, but his 72.8 run-defense grade in 2023 proves that he does have the ability to develop into a rotational player on the defensive line.

Round 7, Pick 237: TE Tanner McLachlan, Arizona

McLachlan is a good enough athlete for his size to get an opportunity as a big slot receiver, but his lack of a blocking profile will make him a liability as an in-line tight end.

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protect your family with fast, free will.
NFL Draft Featured Tools

Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit