Bengals invest in weaponry for Joe Burrow in new 2023 NFL mock draft

The Cincinnati Bengals have sights on the AFC title game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

But mock draft season has hit full speed in earnest as the biggest names start dropping their opening efforts of the process.

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One notable mock draft had the Bengals taking a tight end near the end of the opening round.

That’s actually what ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Bengals doing in his first mock draft, too. There, they pick 28th and select Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid:

“Hayden Hurst had a decent bounce-back season after signing in Cincinnati, but he’s hitting the free agent market again this offseason. The Bengals need to find a long-term tight end target for quarterback Joe Burrow. Even with Hurst, the offense ranked 29th in receiving yards by tight ends (556). Adding a big red-zone target is a way for it to level up.

Both Kincaid and Luke Musgrave (Oregon State) have a chance to be Round 1 picks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few teams preferred one of them over Michael Mayer (Notre Dame) as the top-ranked tight end in this class. Kincaid had 16 touchdowns over the past two seasons, while Musgrave was in line for a breakout before he suffered a knee injury in October that prematurely ended his season. Kincaid has more speed, but Musgrave’s size (6-6, 250 pounds) and upside intrigues NFL scouts. Cincinnati would upgrade with either player here.”

Kincaid sure looks like a Bengals pick after 70 catches for 890 yards and eight scores in 2022. Plus he boasts that experience they look for, having played at the college level since 2018.

As always, the Bengals taking a tight end early might imply Hayden Hurst isn’t back others like Drew Sample won’t return.

Cincinnati would also undoubtedly use early-round picks on more cornerbacks and offensive linemen to keep thinking about keeping the long-term contention window open as long as possible.