Cincinnati Bengals 7-round Mock Draft: Joe Burrow gets another dynamic playmaker; elite corner tops draft

Bengals get elite corner, dynamic playmaker for Joe Burrow.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Coming off a last place finish in the AFC North with a 9-8 record, the Cincinnati Bengals will be motivated to re-gain their status as the top team in the league with the return of a healthy Joe Burrow

In a division with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, it will be a tough task, but the Bengals aren’t that far away from a competitive standpoint with those teams as constructed. 

With some key players set to hit free agency like cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, right tackle Jonah Williams and nose tackle DJ Reader, the Bengals must use the 2024 NFL Draft to add depth at those positions, if not replacements for those players.  The team did stick the franchise tag on wide receiver Tee Higgins, which was key to keeping the key playmakers around Burrow intact, but adding another big-time playmaker could benefit a team in a league with stingy defenses.

In keeping an eye on what those other AFC North teams are doing to improve their squads, the Bengals approach to the draft would be to plug some potential holes due to free agency with young talent ready to come in and compete.

Bengals add exciting young cornerback to the defensive secondary

. Clemson. CB. Nate Wiggins. Scouting Report. 56. Nate Wiggins. Nate Wiggins. 18. player

There is some elite wide receiver talent in the AFC North even before the Browns pulled off a trade with the Denver Broncos for Jerry Jeudy.  The Bengals will have a shot at another receiver at No. 18 but selects the fastest cornerback in the draft in Clemson’s Nate Wiggins.

Tall, long and obviously fast with a 40-yard dash time of 4.28 at the NFL Combine, Wiggins could come in right away and defend some of those quicker wide receivers in the division like Jeudy and Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers.  Along with his scheme versatility, Wiggins would be very coachable working alongside Mike Hilton and Cam Taylor-Britt who was a breakout player in 2023.

The only downside to Wiggins is that he did suffer a hip injury at the combine that teams will be monitoring entering the draft, but his overall talent at the cornerback position will be tough to pass up in the middle-to-late rounds of the NFL Draft.  The Bengals jump on the opportunity to add more speed to their secondary.