The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 28 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
That means Cincinnati will have to wait to see how the draft unfolds before they’ll have any idea which players they’ll have a shot at landing in the first round.
One player that’s been a popular mock draft suggestion for the Bengals has been Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer.
The Bengals could use a tight end as Irv Smith Jr, Cincinnati’s expected starting tight end in 2023, signed just a one-year deal this offseason.
Landing Mayer in the first round could potentially give the Bengals an elite tight end on a rookie deal for the next five years. And that’s incredibly important for Cincinnati with extensions for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase (and maybe Tee Higgins) looming.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, it looks like this scenario won’t be happening.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler put out a new seven-round mock draft this week and he has the Dallas Cowboys selecting Mayer with the No. 26 overall pick.
A mock draft obviously doesn’t mean much, but Brugler included a note that suggested Dallas won’t be passing on Mayer.
From The Athletic: As one plugged-in league source told me about Mayer and the Cowboys: “I just can’t see Dallas passing.” The Cowboys are looking for a tight end who can hold his own as a blocker but also move the sticks as a receiving threat. If Mayer makes it this far, it’s a good bet he will have a star on his helmet.
There are always a lot of rumors flying around before the draft. Brugler, however, is one of the most well-connected draft analysts in the business. And typically, the stuff he puts out there is legit. That doesn’t mean that he’ll be 100 percent correct, but I’d bet on his information over many of the other draft analysts around.
Fortunately for the Bengals, it’s not like landing a tight end in the first round is going to make or break the franchise.
Cincinnati is ready to compete for a Super Bowl with the roster the way it is right now. But it’s certainly a move that could make managing the salary cap a bit easier in the future.
However, if Mayer is going to wear a Bengals uniform this fall, Cincinnati will likely have to trade up to select him.
Lou Anarumo would love the Bengals’ pick in recent mock draft