Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft buzz: FSU EDGE, Georgia OL or LSU playmaker at No. 18?

Bengals in position to take the best player available in the 2024 NFL Draft
Cincinnati Bengals 2024 NFL Mock Draft roundup
Cincinnati Bengals 2024 NFL Mock Draft roundup / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals are at a position where they could go in any direction with the No. 18 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.  With a healthy Joe Burrow returning, the focus is on protecting the franchise quarterback, but can the team afford to pass up on the best player available at any position?

Competing in what will be a very competitive AFC North division, the Bengals will be focused on taking back their throne after finishing last in the division in 2023.  Will they continue to beef up their offensive line, or add more talent to their defense?  Again, the Bengals are selecting in the middle of the first round, so it could be a best player available scenario where the team could address their need at cornerback, tackle or even trade the pick.

Cincinnati Bengals 2024 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

In looking around at some of the mock drafts, the Bengals are mostly predicted to either address the offensive line or the defensive line.  At both positions, the team would be drafting for the further. Mock Draft: OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

Burrow will have Orlando Brown and newly signed tackle Trent Brown as the bookends of the offensive line in 2024, but most draft analysts feel the Bengals will still address the offensive line with the No. 18 selection.  The best available cold be Georgia tackle Amarius Mims who is as big as both Orlando and Trent and would be in the perfect position to learn behind both tackles and take over as the tackle of the future with Orlando’s age and Trent just in on a one-year deal.’s Dan Parr likes Mims for the Bengals for that very reason.

He writes:

“The Bengals like having large human beings at tackle to protect Joe Burrow (SEE: Orlando Brown, 6-foot-8, 345 pounds; Trent Brown, 6-8, 355). With Brown on a one-year deal, Cincinnati prepares for the future at right tackle by adding, you guessed it, a 6-8, 340-pounder in Mims.”  NFL Mock Draft – EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

2024 NFL Draft prospect Jared Verse
Florida State's Jared Verse / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

If the Bengals go defense, a corner like Clemson’s Nate Wiggins could be available, but most NFL mock draft enthusiasts have the Bengals addressing the defensive line with players like Jer’Zhan Newton or Byron Murphy II to eventually replace DJ Reader.  Solid choices for the Bengals, but’s Jonathan Jones has the team adding the young, explosive defender Jared Verse to the pass rush in what would be taking the best player available.

Jones writes:

“Slightly surprised Verse is available here, but it feels like best player available for Cincy. He can play inside or out for Lou Anarumo.”

The Bengals will look to get back on pace offensively, but in adding a player like Verse to the defense, Cincy will be adding speed and power to go against the likes of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.  Let’s not forget Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson are also in the division.

StripeHype 7-round NFL Mock Draft – WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

Our partner site is not convinced Tee Higgins will be a target for Burrow long-term, so StripeHype staff writer Ryan Heckman has the team selecting another LSU star in Brian Thomas Jr.  With Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase already a top connection in the NFL, adding another player from their former school seems too perfect.

Heckman writes:

“With their first pick at no. 18, the Bengals go with LSU's "other" receiver, Brian Thomas Jr. If it wasn't for Malik Nabers, Thomas would be getting a whole lot more attention. Standing 6-foot-3, Thomas ran a 4.33 at the Combine and is coming off a season which saw him score a touchdown every four passes he caught -- absolutely unreal production. Thomas joins another former LSU Tiger in Ja'Marr Chase, and the Bengals can feel free to trade Higgins at any point.”

All intriguing possibilities for the Bengals, but the question is what direction will they ultimately go in?  Will Verse or Thomas slip down to No. 18?  Will Mims be the best available offensive lineman?  These questions will be answered when the 2024 NFL Draft takes place on April 25-27.