If the NFL’s entire pool of players were dropped into a mock draft for any team to select, where would Cincinnati Bengals stars land? How high would they be drafted?
It’s an interesting thought experiment to have, especially in the middle of July before training camp gets started.
We know Joe Burrow would probably go pretty high, but what about guys like Ja’Marr Chase and others?
That’s exactly the type of thought experiment Chad Reuter of NFL.com ran through, assembling a mock draft of active players and using the current draft order to see how things would shake out.
The first Bengals player drafted was — you guessed it — Burrow at fifth overall to the New York Giants. He went off the board behind only Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Chase came off the board at No. 22 to the Las Vegas Raiders, just after names like Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill.
The Bengals, by the way, used the 31st pick on running back Jonathan Taylor, which was an interesting approach, to say the least (they later take Kirk Cousins in the second round at QB).
Interestingly, the Bengals have plenty of players who wouldn’t have to wait much longer during a draft like this.
Tee Higgins, Jessie Bates, Trey Hendrickson and D.J. Reader come to mind first.
Also interesting? This mock exercise was about teams trying to win right now in 2022 and the writeup even notes that Burrow would go even higher off the board if it were about 2022 and future seasons.
Either way, it’s not a bad thing the Bengals have two first-round players in a leaguewide exercise like this.