Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Team: The Bengals by all accounts enjoyed a magical season in 2021. Riding their most successful regular season record since 2015, the Bengals began to see the fruits of many high draft picks during the previous seasons start to realize the potential that the investment the Bengals made in them start to come to fruition. The ascension of Joe Burrow to an elite level status among the NFL QB’s being the most obvious of many. Burrow’s 108.3 QBR during the regular season and the maturation of the Offense as a whole enabled them to make their first playoff appearance in 6 years, and maximize that opportunity by turning their first playoff win since 1991 into a determined run that would lead them to the Super Bowl and firmly establish them as one of the rising stars and help them turn the public laughing stock of a franchise into a perennial contender.
The Need: While enjoying the success that 2021 afforded the Bengals. It did shed some light on definitive areas of improvement that would need to be addressed to ensure their long term success. Interior Defensive line and Cornerback are areas that could stand to benefit from an infusion of talent. However, Offensive Line issues that lead to Burrow being sacked an NFL league high 70 times during the regular season, and running helplessly during the final quarter of the Super Bowl loss to the Rams, are a gigantic sized neon light, only Vegas would be proud of, sign of what is the outstanding need for this team and their young QB to continue to win. With that being said…. Regardless of the free agency additions to the line. When you have a chance to add a potentially generational OL talent and leader to your team….you do it.
The Pick: C – Tyler Linderbaum – Iowa. After securing the Rimington Trophy as the Nation’s Top Center to cap an extremely impressive collegiate resume. Linderbaum established himself as a possible Blue Chip prospect, with a very high floor and the potential to be the best center the draft has seen in almost a decade. With the right opportunity, and coaching…. Linderbaum has every opportunity to equal the rookie season Creed Humphrey provided for the Chiefs in 2021, and possibly surpass it. Centers are not often taken in the first round of the draft. However, it is not often to have a Center that combines the Tough, Gritty, Extremely Athletic and Intelligent profile that Linderbaum offers, stepping onto an NFL field. Many have mentioned his size as a concern at the next level. I believe the same was said about Jason Kelce when he emerged from Cincinnati (which has been many experts NFL comparison to Linderbaum). I believe we all have an idea how that worked out for the Eagles.
Strengths: Incredibly fast off the snap, Linderbaum uses a experience as a wrestler to control leverage during both run and pass downs. Excellent hand placement and textbook technique provide him the opportunity to control opponents at the point of attack. His athletic ability is most on display with his exceptional footwork to ensure not losing ground in 1-on-1 matchups and negating the opposing player to match his tremendous agility. His toughness and grit are always on display with a nastiness that coaches treasure at the NFL level. Package that with the Intelligence and Leadership qualities that define Pro Bowl centers and you have an excellent summary, of what Linderbaum brings with this pick.
Weakness: Size is the only viable concern when examining Linderbaum’s college career. Sitting at 6’ 2” and 296lbs, he is seen as undersized. Shorter than average arms also have been brought into light when looking at his NFL ceiling. Some have made reference to his ability to block the bull rush by bigger, stronger opponents. Sometimes simply being overrun by larger strength/size players.
Overall: Linderbaum is a legitimate top 15 talent in this draft. He is rated 12th by Mel Kiper and 13th by Todd McShay, both of ESPN. With the 31st pick of the draft and the Need-Talent match that Linderbaum offers the Bengals where they are selecting……they should sprint to the desk with their card.
Do you approve of this pick?
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2022 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Jaguars (HellBentOnHurts): DE Aidan Hutchinson
2) Lions (Friendly Neighborhood Philly Fan): DE Travon Walker
3) Texans (herbalonius): OT Evan Neal
4) Jets (RideHighTide): OT Ikem Ekwonu
5) Giants (Brendanekstrom): CB Ahmad Gardner
6) Panthers (Philliesandthebees): QB Kenny Pickett
7) Giants (Dr.MidnightGreen): DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
8) Falcons (Philly21): QB Malik Willis
9) Seahawks (chewy wellington) QB Matt Corral
10) Jets (tfrank9811): S Kyle Hamilton
11) Commanders (Negadelphia Norm): CB Derek Stingley Jr.
12) Vikings (Kephas): CB Trent McDuffie
13) Texans (Bdawk20rules): WR Drake London
14) Ravens (ablesser88): DT Jordan Davis
15) Eagles (Fly Like An Eagle): WR Chris Olave
16) Saints (20Safety_Hazard): OT Charles Cross
17) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!): DT Devonte Wyatt
18) Eagles (Phoenix X Minimus): CB Andrew Booth Jr.
19) Saints (Georgia_eagle): WR Garrett Wilson
20) Steelers (EagleDomiNation) WR Jameson Williams
21) Patriots (Domonate): DE Jermaine Johnson
22) Packers (Leo Bedio): WR Treylon Burks
23) Cardinals (big DUB): DE George Karlaftis
24) Cowboys (joey2arms): S Jaquan Brisker
25) Bills (ItownBallers22): CB Kaiir Elam
26) Titans (BrianMcE03): OL Kenyon Green
27) Buccaneers (4133Dave): OL Zion Johnson
28) Packers (The Player Formerly Known as Mousecop): OT Bernhard Raimann
29) Chiefs (GreenGrampa): DE Boye Mafe
30) Chiefs (Legend of Nick Foles): OL Trevor Penning
31) Bengals (Thedeuce9): C Tyler Linderbaum
32) Lions (Dtechman44)
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think should be selected next in the 2022 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Bengals pick at No. 31?
This poll is closed
OL Tyler Smith
CB Kaiir Elam
CB Kyler Gordon
S Daxton Hill
S Lewis Cine
S Jaquan Brisker
DE Boye Mafe
DE David Ojabo
DE Logan Hall
1) Jaguars: DE Aidan Hutchinson
2) Lions: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
3) Texans: OT Evan Neal
4) Jets: OT Ikem Ekwonu
5) Giants: OT Charles Cross
6) Panthers: QB Malik Willis
7) Giants: CB Ahmad Gardner
8) Falcons: QB Kenny Pickett
9) Seahawks: S Kyle Hamilton
10) Jets: DE Travon Walker
11) Commanders: CB Derek Stingley Jr.
12) Vikings: CB Trent McDuffie
13) Texans: DE Jermaine Johnson
14) Ravens: DT Jordan Davis
15) Eagles: WR Jameson Williams
16) Saints: OT Trevor Penning
17) Chargers: DT Devonte Wyatt
18) Eagles: LB Devin Lloyd
19) Saints: WR Garrett Wilson
20) Steelers: QB Matt Corral
21) Patriots: WR Chris Olave
22) Packers: WR Drake London
23) Cardinals: DE George Karlaftis
24) Cowboys: C Tyler Linderbaum
25) Bills: CB Andrew Booth Jr.
26) Titans: OL Kenyon Green
27) Buccaneers: OL Zion Johnson
28) Packers: OT Bernhard Raimann
29) Chiefs: WR Treylon Burks
30) Chiefs: LB Nakobe Dean