The Cincinnati Bengals landed the son of a former NFL player in an early 2024 mock draft from Pro Football Network.
PFN has the Bengals selecting Syracuse wide receiver Oronde Gadsden II with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Gadsden II is the son of former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Oronde Gadsden (the elder Gadsden once caught six passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns for the Dolphins in a 31-16 win against the Bengals in 2000).
From PFN: The hope is that the Bengals extend Tee Higgins, but even if they do, Tyler Boyd is also a free agent in 2024. Oronde Gadsden II, at 6’5″, 216 pounds, can function as a dynamic big-slot weapon for Cincinnati, with the play pace to separate, and vice-grip hands to capitalize on contested opportunities.
The elder Gadsden was known for having great hands which allowed him to seemingly pluck the ball from the air with ease. It’s not a surprise that the younger Gadsden is described as having “vice-grip hands”.
It’s pretty clear that Cincinnati wants to keep Tee Higgins on the roster longterm, but we’ve seen in recent years how tough it can be for teams to hold on to one elite wide receiver (the Green Bay Packers with Davante Adams and the Kansas City Chiefs with Tyreek Hill, for example).
There’s no doubt that Ja’Marr Chase is a bigger priority for the Bengals. And with Joe Burrow also set to receive an extension, it’s certainly possible that Cincinnati has to either trade Higgins or watch him leave in free agency.
Gadsden II could be a nice replacement for Higgins if the Bengals aren’t able to extend the former Clemson standout.
It’s obviously a bit early to be checking out 2024 mock drafts, but it’s always interesting to get an early idea of which players are being hyped. And then waiting to see if those players deliver on the hype.
Gadsden II will be a player for Bengals fans to keep an eye on this fall.