Picking the best Day 3 draft targets for the Cincinnati Bengals after free agency

The month of April has arrived, indicating a shift in the NFL offseason from free agency to the NFL Draft.

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Six new veterans have joined the Cincinnati Bengals, and they all play positions of need. Safety, running back, tight end, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle have all been addressed in some capacity, though long-term needs are still prevalent at a few important positions.

Outside of the pressing needs that are likely addressed in the first three rounds, the Bengals will look to continue loading up their skill position groups for the ever-evolving Joe Burrow offense on the third day of the draft. Additional help on defense is also expected to be sprinkled in with the team’s six picks from rounds 4-7.

Draft selections outside the top 100 picks are a constant source of potential surplus in value. Here are a few players who can bring that to Cincinnati.

Notre Dame RB Audric Estimé has nearly everything the Bengals could want

The post-Joe Mixon era in Cincinnati will be more of a backfield committee approach, but an all-around back with size will always be welcomed. Estimé is still just 20 years old and produced at a notable level against Notre Dame’s perennially tough schedule. His one flaw is long speed as evidenced by his 4.71 40-yard dash time, but he’s got more explosion than you’d think at 5-11 and 221 pounds.

Running back has been a position targeted exclusively targeted by the Zac Taylor Bengals after the first four rounds, but Estimé is likely to come off the board in the fourth round. He’d be an ideal addition to the backfield along with Zack Moss and Chase Brown.

The Bengals sent a coach to Estimé’s pro day.

Iowa TE Erick All will pretty much bring it all at the position for Cincinnati

Investing in any tight end out of Iowa is probably a safe bet to make. All started out at Michigan but transferred to a the Big 10 rival program for his final year in 2023. He not be the athletes that George Kittle or Sam Laporta were before him, but he comes into the NFL with solid production and size at the position.

The Bengals will be interested in a tight end with blocking experience to pair with Drew Sample for the long-term. All has that in his bag and can also block while detached from the line. He’s currently projected to go anywhere between the fourth and sixth rounds.

Cincinnati sent a coach to watch All’s pro day and reportedly had a top 30 visit with him.

UTEP LB Tyrice Knight will find the ball for the Bengals’ defense

College linebackers who account for the majority of his team’s tackles end up faring well in the NFL. Knight finished the 2023 season with 84 solo tackles for UTEP. The next closest teammate had 29. Knight owned the market for tackles last year, and with plenty of speed to go with his 6-1 and 233 pound frame, he’s got all the makings of a useful second-level defender.

Successful linebacker picks made several drafts ago have put the position on the back burner for Cincinnati in recent years. Now that the position needs a replenishment of depth, a late Day 3 pick like Knight should get the job done.

The Bengals had a coach attend Knight’s pro day.

North Dakota State OL Jalen Sundell can reunite with a former teammate in Cincinnati

Taking a chance on a versatile offensive lineman from the FCS powerhouse of North Dakota State is something the Bengals are familiar with. They selected Cordell Volson two years ago on the third day of the 2022 draft, and they’ll have a chance to pick his former teammate in Sundell a little bit later than they picked Volson.

Sundell has mostly played center for the Bison, but finished his five-year run with the program at left tackle in 2023. He’s a bit light at 301 pounds and carries a shorter wingspan, which should keep him in the interior going forward. The Bengals may be interested in spending one of their seventh round picks on long-term depth at center to develop alongside Volson.

The Bengals met with Sundell at the NFL Scouting Combine.

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