2017 NFL Draft analysis: Cincinnati Bengals

Jeff Walner, The Sports Xchange
John Ross poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI
John Ross poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. Photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals made 11 choices in the three days of the draft, but the one that will make the most headlines is running back Joe Mixon.

Nearly three years ago, Mixon broke a woman's jaw with a punch and was suspended by Oklahoma, but then returned to play. The incident then came under scrutiny again when a video was circulated.


After making the selection, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said, "We've done such a lot of work regarding Joe Mixon, throughout the entire process this year and based on all the time, all the research, we felt that we can continue to move forward. Joe's situation kind of came to a settlement in all ways this week, which also led us to feel better about the opportunity here to move forward.

"We have done all our due diligence we could do, time spent, interviewing people, everybody around him, everybody around his background, people that have coached at Oklahoma with insight regarding him and how he has carried himself since that day."

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How the Bengals drafted:

Round 1/9 - John Ross, WR, 5-10, 188, Washington.


There are concerns about his injury history and size, but Ross fills an immediate need for an over-the-top receiver to go along with A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell in the Bengals' passing game. Ross' 4.22 40-yard dash at the Combine was a record-breaker, but he's more than just a deep threat. Ross also is adept in the red zone where the Bengals have struggled.

Round 2/48 - Joe Mixon, RB, 6-1, 227, Oklahoma.

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The Bengals believe Mixon was the best running back in the draft so they were willing to shoulder the public relations burden that comes with the selection. Mixon broke a woman's jaw with his fist during a 2014 incident. A video of the incident was released in December, sparking outrage. The Bengals say Mixon has done all the right things in the three years since. There's little question he can impact their rushing attack immediately.

Round 3/73 - Jordan Willis, DE, 6-4, 255, Kansas State.

Willis was graded in the second-round by many prognosticators, so the Bengals might have gotten lucky with this one. Willis has speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash) and a considerable wingspan. He started three years for Kansas State with 11.5 sacks and will serve as a complement to Pro-Bowler Carlos Dunlap on the left side or Michael Johnson on the right.

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Round 4/116 - Carl Lawson, DE, 6-2, 253, Auburn.

Lawson is a powerful edge rusher although slightly undersized. According to Pro Football Focus, Lawson rated second nationally in right-side pass rush productivity. He could project to linebacker in nickel situations. Had 14 career sacks in 33 games at Auburn including 20 starts.

Round 4/128 - Josh Malone, WR, 6-3, 208, Tennessee.

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In contrast to their first-round draft choice John Ross who is only 5-foot-11, Malone is a rangy 6-foot-3 who can go get the ball. He has 4.5 speed, but also could help the Bengals in the red zone with his ability to outleap defenders. He led the Vols with 50 catches for 972 yards and 11 touchdowns with a school-record 19.4 yards per catch.

Round 4/138 - Ryan Glasgow, DT, 6-3, 302, Michigan

The former walk-on was second-team all-Big Ten last season and the Wolverines' defensive lineman of the year. He was the third defensive lineman chosen by the Bengals in the first four rounds. Glasgow missed his junior year with a torn pectoral muscle, but returned to compile 39 tackles and four sacks. His brother, Graham, is a starting guard with the Detroit Lions.


Round 5/153 - Jake Elliott, K, 5-9, 167, Memphis

Elliott was the first kicker to be chosen in this year's draft and the first specialist drafted since 2009. He hit 21 of 26 field goals for the Tigers, including 10 from 50 yards or longer in his career. Cincinnati had some turmoil at kicker last season when veteran Mike Nugent was released after missing six extra points. Ryan Bullock was signed as Nugent's replacement and performed well down the stretch. But, head coach Marvin Lewis promised competition at kicker in this year's training camp, so Elliott will battle Bullock and Jon Brown this summer.

Round 5/176 - J.J. Dielman, C, 6-5, 309, Utah

The Bengals addressed the need for some depth on the offensive line with Dielman who suffered a season-ending leg injury after just five games with the Utes. He also played right tackle in college. He was a second-team all-Pac-12 selection as a junior. Bengals starting center Russell Bodine is entering the final year of his contract.

Round 6/193 - Jordan Evans, LB, 6-2, 233, Oklahoma

Evans excels in pass coverage with 12 pass breakups over the past two seasons, both of which ended with second-team All-Big 12 selections. Last season, Evans led the Sooners with 98 tackles and four interceptions. Scouts say he has an NFL body for the position, but needs to be more physical and less finesse which can earn him a future starting role. {b: Round 6/207} - Brandon Wilson, CB, 5-11, 200, Houston


The Bengals traded two seventh-round picks to move up and get Wilson who was a three-way player for the Cougars, seeing time at running back, cornerback, and kick returner. Wilson boosted his stock on his pro day, running a 4.36 40-yard dash with a 41-inch broad jump. Last season, he earned second-team all-American Conference honors with 43 tackles, one interception and 512 kick return yards. {b: Round 7/251} - Mason Schreck, TE, 6-4, 253, Buffalo

The Bengals were expected to add depth at tight end, and did so with their final pick of the 2017 draft. Schreck caught 59 passes. He also has speed for a big man with a 4.76 40-yard dash. Cincinnati needed some depth at this position considering the injury history of Pro Bowler Tyler Eifert.

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