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Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL Draft Projections, Positions Needed & Mock Draft

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals displayed two things in their surprise run to Super Bowl LV. First, a foundation that could make them the kings of the AFC North for the next number of seasons. Second, no franchise is (arguably) more cursed than Cincinnati. The Bengals blew a 10-point, third-quarter lead, losing, 23-20, to the Los Angeles Rams.

Cincinnati was able to surge to the top of the AFC riding the arm of second-year quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow nearly tripled the number of touchdown passes this past season, from 13 as a rookie to 34, while passing for 4,611 yards. Cincy already started rebuilding its weak offensive line, signing center Ted Karras, forrnerly of the New England Patriots (three years, $18 million), ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer right guard. Alex Cappa. (four years, $35 million) and right tackle La’El Collins, late of the Dallas Cowboys (three years, $30 million).

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL Draft Projections, Positions Needed & Mock Draft
Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL Draft Projections, Positions Needed & Mock Draft

However, the Bengals need to find a way to establish long-term success. Cincinnati swept Baltimore and Pittsburgh last season, but neither team will likely want to give ground to a franchise it had previously dominated. The Bengals have plenty of money to add to their roster, with $25 million in cap space as of this writing. The Bengals have a real chance to shed their reputation as one of the NFL’s doormat destinations.

Players Leaving the Cincinnati Bengals

Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi made the most out of his one year in Cincinnati after spending the first four years of his career in Cleveland. Ogunjobi recorded a career-high seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss, help to lead a productive defensive line. However, his performance priced him off the team as he signed a bigger deal with the Chicago Bears.

Cincinnati released offensive lineman Trey Hopkins, saving the Bengals $6 million in the process.

The Bengals also cut cornerback Trae Waynes at a saving of $10 million. A disappointment since signing with Cincinnati before the 2020 season, Waynes didn’t play at all that season, and only appeared in five games this  past season (injured hamstring).

Positions Needed by Cincinnati Bengals

The offensive line supersedes pretty much any other concern of the Bengals. Cincinnati didn’t protect Burrow last season, allowing 55 total sacks in the regular season. That porous play continued during the postseason, a ghastly seven sacks in the Super Bowl.

Waynes’ departure means Cincinnati will want more depth at cornerback. Eli Apple had an above-expectations season last year, with two interceptions while second on the team with 10 passes defending. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie led the team with 14 passes defending, also adding two picks.

The Bengals will want more depth on the defensive line to help with what was a strong pass rush last season. Cincinnati compiled two sacks, led by 14 from Trey Hendrickson. Sam Hubbard (7½), Ogunjobi (seven) and B.J. Hill (5½) all recorded at least five sacks. With Ogunjobi leaving, the Bengals need to replace him on the inside.

Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals have eight selections to make in the 2022 draft. They were busy in free agency the past couple of seasons, but may choose to fill other needs via cheaper rookies.

In the first round, the Bengals will be pursuing offensive guard Zion Johnson, a 6-foot-3 mammoth out of Boston College. Johnson started his career at Davidson, transferring to Boston College in 2019. Johnson was selected to the all-ACC second team.

In the second round, Cincinnati could grab Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe. Jobe, at 6-foot-1, intercepted two passes and defended four for the Crimson Tide. He recorded 38 tackles, including 28 solos.

In the third round, the Bengals could add more secondary depth by grabbing Oregon safety Verone McKinley III. McKinley intercepted six passes (also defending six) for the Ducks last season. McKinley forced a fumble and made 77 tackles, 44 of which were solos.

Cincinnati could also add some defensive lineman Jayden Peevy. Peevy recorded two sacks and forced a fumble last season. Peevy has some athleticism as he deflected three passes and also intercepted a pass. Check Bengals’ NFL Draft odds and NFL Odds.

2022 NFL Draft Event Information

  • Date: Thursday, Apr. 28th (Round 1) | Friday, Apr. 29th (Rounds 2-3) | Saturday, Apr. 30th (Rounds 4-7)
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET (Thursday) | 7 p.m. ET (Friday) | Noon ET (Saturday)
  • Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
  • TV Channel: ABC | ESPN | NFL Network
  • NFL Draft Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass

2022 NFL First-Round Draft Order (with 2021 records)

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Houston Texans
  4. New York Jets
  5. New York Giants
  6. Carolina Panthers
  7. New York Giants (via Bears)
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
  10. New York Jets (via Seahawks)
  11. Washington Commanders
  12. Minnesota Vikings
  13. Houston Texans (via Browns)
  14. Baltimore Ravens
  15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
  16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
  17. Los Angeles Chargers
  18. New Orleans Saints
  19. Philadelphia Eagles
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers
  21. New England Patriots
  22. Green Bay Packers (via Raiders)
  23. Arizona Cardinals
  24. Dallas Cowboys
  25. Buffalo Bills
  26. Tennessee Titans
  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  28. Green Bay Packers
  29. Kansas City Chiefs (via Miami from 49ers)
  30. Kansas City Chiefs
  31. Cincinnati Bengals
  32. Detroit Lions (via Rams)

Teams with no First Round Pick

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Denver Broncos
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Miami Dolphins

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