Cincinnati Bengals Final NFL Draft Grades 2024: Amarius Mims, Kris Jenkins, Jermaine Burton Headline Bengals’ 10-Player Class

Did the Cincinnati Bengals retool their roster during the 2024 NFL Draft to return as an AFC contender this year? Here's a look at their grades.

The Cincinnati Bengals‘ disappointing season and pair of potential contract extensions will shape the team’s approach heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.

Let’s take a closer look at the Bengals’ draft grades and if they helped build around quarterback Joe Burrow approaching the upcoming NFL season.

Cincinnati Bengals 2024 NFL Draft Grades

Round 1, Pick 18: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The Bengals continue to fortify the unit in front of Burrow by selecting the imposing offensive tackle prospect Amarius Mims out of Georgia. Mims’ size (6’7’’ 340 lbs) and length both fall in elite territory, which gives him an immensely high ceiling entering the NFL.

He flashed exceptional potential with dominant reps both as a pass protector and bulldozer in the run game. He doesn’t have the lengthy track record of success of some of the top tackle prospects in this class, but Bengals fans can expect him to contribute fairly quickly and potentially develop into an All-Pro talent down the road.

Grade: B+

Round 2, Pick 49: Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan

The Bengals lost D.J. Reader this offseason and already had major struggles slowing down opposing rushing attacks last season – finishing 26th in the league in 2023. Cincinnati managed to land imposing interior defensive tackle prospect Kris Jenkins out of Michigan to help fortify the unit up front.

Jenkins has an impressive set of physical traits that suggest he could develop into a dominant force with exceptional power and lateral movement, but he lacked the consistency to garner first-round capital.

Grade: B

Round 3, Pick 80: Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama

The uncertain future of WR Tee Higgins helped define the Bengals’ approach heading into a 2024 NFL Draft with a deep wide receiver class, and Cincinnati decided to add a dynamic talent in Jermaine Burton out of the University out of Alabama.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Complete Results, Recap, Order, and All 257 Picks

With his flashes of vertical playmaking, great separation skills as a route runner, and twitchiness as a ball carrier, Burton gives Burrow another potential weapon on the perimeter. Rumblings of locker-room concerns likely pushed him down the draft board for some teams, but there is no doubt the Bengals got themselves a very talented receiver prospect at No. 80 overall.

Grade: B+

Round 3, Pick 97: McKinnley Jackson, DT, Texas A&M

The Bengals decided to double down on addressing the interior of the defensive line and landed themselves a jumbo-sized stop sign with the 97th overall pick in DT McKinnley Jackson out of Texas A&M.

Jackson is a two-gap specialist who requires a formal moving part to dislodge him from his parking spot in the A-gap when he plays with proper leverage. Jackson and second-round pick Kris Jenkins should help deter teams from trying to physically impose their will up front in 2024.

Grade: A

Round 4, Pick 115: Erick All, TE, Iowa

The Bengals’ addition of Mike Gesicki to the tight-end room this offseason wasn’t enough to pass on TE Erick All in the fourth round out of Iowa. The Hawkeyes have an impressive track record of putting productive tight ends into the league in recent years.

But after suffering a torn ACL in 2023 and a back injury that cost him time in 2022, his durability concerns entering the league make this pick suspect.

Grade: C+

Round 5, Pick 149: Josh Newton, CB, TCU

After spending numerous picks on skill-position players in the middle rounds, the Bengals turned their attention back to the defensive side of the ball by selecting TCU cornerback Josh Newton at No. 149 overall.

Newton is a bit undersized and doesn’t possess elite top speed (4.51 40-time) or short-area burst, but he’s not afraid to pop the pads in run support and shows a far better feel in zone coverage when he can react to the action in front of him. Newton could factor into the DB rotation with Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner down the road.

Grade: B

Round 6, Pick 194: Tanner McLachlan, TE, Arizona

The Bengals decided to double down on addressing the tight end position by selecting Tanner McLachlan out of Arizona with the No. 194 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. All — their tight end selection from the fourth round — has all kinds of medical concerns that cloud his future in the NFL.

McLachlan’s fluid athleticism, reliable hands, and excellent body control at the catchpoint make him a far better value than All in the draft but still receives a slight deduction in the grade due to addressing this position twice in three picks.

Grade: B-

Round 6, Pick 214: Cedric Johnson, DL, Ole Miss

The loss of Reader this offseason still looms large over the Bengals’ defensive outlook heading into the 2024 NFL season, which likely prompted Cincinnati to invest another draft resource at No. 214 overall in Ole Miss defensive lineman Cedric Johnson in the sixth-round.

Johnson possesses some exceptional physical tools — 4.63-second 40-yard dash time at 6’3’’, 260 pounds with a 38’’ vertical — which give him the type of ceiling to develop into a future starter along the defensive line if he can expand his pass-rushing arsenal and improve his hand usage while developing over the next few seasons.

Grade: B

Round 7, Pick 224: Daijahn Anthony, CB, Ole Miss

The Bengals doubled down at the cornerback position on Day 3 by making Daijahn Anthony out of Ole Miss the 224th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Anthony has nice size at 6’0’’, 195 pounds, and ideal arm length at 32 1/2″ but lacks the top linear speed, which causes him to get a bit too grabby and play with too much cushion in off coverage.

He flashes some nice reps in press coverage but could have a limited ceiling due to his lack of elite physical traits.

Grade: B-

Round 7, Pick 237: Matt Lee, C, Miami

The Bengals used their final pick of the 2024 NFL Draft to add depth behind center Ted Karras by selecting interior offensive lineman Matt Lee out of the University of Miami.

Lee doesn’t have the mass (288 pounds) or arm length (32 1/8’’) to regularly handle powerful 0-technique specialists with an exceptional bull rush in pass-blocking scenarios, but he has the proper awareness to sort through stunts and regularly complete his assignments that could project him to be a reliable backup center in the NFL.

Grade: B-

Cincinnati Bengals 2024 NFL Draft Summary

The Bengals clearly prioritized both the offensive and defensive line units heading into the 2024 NFL Draft and executed that strategy effectively by investing three of their first four picks in the trenches with Georgia OT Amarius Mims, Michigan DT Kris Jenkins, and Texas A&M DT McKinnley Jackson.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Draft Complete Results, Recap, Order, and All 257 Picks

The best value pick of the draft may have been Alabama WR Jermaine Burton at No. 80 overall, who enters the league with some character issues but immensely production upside with his explosive vertical skill set.

Final Grade: B

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Related Articles