NFL Draft Analyst Ian Cummings Sends JC Latham to Bengals in Latest Mock Draft

The Bengals go heavy in the trenches and wait to get Joe Burrow and the offense their first weapon until the fifth round in Cummings' latest mock draft.

The Cincinnati Bengals were efficient — and predictable — in free agency, filling many of their most obvious needs, giving themselves more flexibility in the 2024 NFL Draft.

In his latest seven-round mock draft, PFN Draft Analyst Ian Cummings has the Bengals addressing nine different positions with their 10 picks.

Cincinnati Bengals 2024 Draft Picks

The Bengals received two compensatory picks this year. One is in the third round as a result of losing Jessie Bates III in free agency, and the other is in the sixth, the result of the Vonn Bell departure.

Cincinnati also garnered a seventh-round pick after pivoting from an outright release of Joe Mixon to a trade of the running back to the Houston Texans for the extra selection.

Which prospect is Cummings sending to Cincinnati in Round 1?

  • Round 1, Pick 18: JC Latham, OT, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 49: Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson
  • Round 3, Pick 80: Jarvis Brownlee Jr., CB, Louisville
  • Round 3, Pick 97: McKinnley Jackson, DT, Texas A&M
  • Round 4, Pick 115: Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina
  • Round 5, Pick 149: Jacob Cowing, WR, Arizona
  • Round 6, Pick 194: Jarrett Kingston, G, USC
  • Round 6, Pick 214: Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy
  • Round 7, Pick 224: Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State
  • Round 7, Pick 237: Anthony Goodlow, EDGE, Oklahoma State

Cincinnati Bengals 7-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1, Pick 18: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

The signing of Trent Brown in free agency is only a temporary fix, and the length of that patch could depend on a number of variables. One of them is how quickly JC Latham can challenge the veteran for the job.

MORE: Top OTs in the 2024 NFL Draft

The long-term plan is for Latham to be the right tackle of the future, but he also could find his way into the starting lineup along with Brown.

Cincinnati is looking to get more out of the left guard position, which has been handled by Cordell Volson for 33 consecutive games since the team took him in the fourth round in 2022.

Latham could kick inside to guard to give the Bengals immediate versatility in addition to a long-term plan at right tackle.

Round 2, Pick 49: Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson

Cincinnati director of player personnel Duke Tobin said at the Combine in February that the Bengals always are going to be interested in adding talent in the trenches, and Cummings’ pick here stays true to that mission.

The loss of D.J. Reader in free agency has left the Bengals void of a big run-stopper, and outside of T’Vondre Sweat, there aren’t any strong options in this class. The next best thing is to get a 3-technique who also can defend the run to back up B.J. Hill (free agent in 2025) and Sheldon Rankins (free agent in 2026) and eventually become the starter.

In addition to 11.5 sacks the last three seasons at Clemson, Ruke Orhorhoro had 24 tackles for loss.

Round 3, Pick 80: Jarvis Brownlee Jr., CB, Louisville

This one would be a bit of a surprise. Not because of who it is, but who it isn’t. As in a wide receiver.

It’s hard to imagine the Bengals not drafting one in the first three picks knowing this is most likely Tee Higgins’ last season in stripes.

But cornerback always is in play in Cincinnati, even with a crowded secondary that has the coaching staff trying to figure out what to do with 2022 first-round pick Dax Hill.

Jarvis Brownlee Jr.’s aggressive play style led to 21 pass breakups over the last two years, and he would be a valuable depth piece who could be in the mix for a starting job in 2025 and beyond.

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

In PFN’s first staff draft using the multi-user Mock Draft Simulator, I asked Cummings who would be a good mid-round defensive tackle with a lot of upside as a run stopper. McKinnley Jackson was his answer, so it’s no surprise to see him here.

If the Bengals go with Latham (or any offensive tackle) in the first round, defensive tackle becomes the obvious biggest need. And throwing multiple darts at the board on the first two days of the draft makes sense.

Round 4, Pick 115: Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina

Starting linebackers Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt are back, and Cincinnati re-signed Akeem Davis-Gaither and Joe Bachie in free agency.

I would expect the team to wait a little later to look for another backup and special-teams contributor, as both Wilson (2027) and Pratt (2025) are under contract for multiple years.

Round 5, Pick 149: Jacob Cowing, WR, Arizona

I absolutely could see the Bengals taking Jacob Cowing here, but only if they get a more versatile receiver earlier in the draft. The speedy but small Cowing (5’8″, 165 pounds) would be a slot-only type of option, and Cincinnati is looking for a receiver who the coaches can move around in order to also move Ja’Marr Chase around more.

Round 6, Pick 194: Jarrett Kingston, G, USC

This is probably too much of a reach. Yes, the Bengals need to add depth on the interior, but they especially need someone who has experience playing center. Jarrett Kingston played guard and tackle while making 37 starts at USC.

Even if Cincinnati really likes him, the team likely could land him in the seventh round or possibly even after the draft.

Round 6, Pick 214: Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy

This is exactly the point in the draft where I expect the Bengals to add to their running back room, which already features Chase Brown, Zack Moss, Trayveon Williams, and Chris Evans.

Kimani Vidal would have a real chance to beat out Evans for a spot on the 53-man roster, and if he can move ahead of Williams to be active on game days, he could be in the mix as one of the two kick returners the team will utilize with the new rule.

Round 7, Pick 224: Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State

The Bengals have ignored the tight end position for too long, not drafting one since the second round of 2019. There have been 71 tight ends drafted since then, with each of the other 31 teams taking at least one and 23 franchises taking at least two.

Dallin Holker is a great fit here with intriguing upside, but they can’t make this their one and only stab at the position with Mike Gesicki and Tanner Hudson under contract for one year and run-blocking specialist Drew Sample signed through 2026.

Round 7, Pick 237: Anthony Goodlow, EDGE, Oklahoma State

We’ve seen the Bengals take a late-round flyer on an edge rusher in two of the last three drafts, so this would be right in their wheelhouse.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

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