The Bengals take Michael Mayer in ESPN’s mock draft

Joe Burrow to Michael Mayer? Could happen.
Notre Dame's Michael Mayer (87) runs during the first half of an NCAA college football game...
Notre Dame's Michael Mayer (87) runs during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Cincinnati, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(Darron Cummings | AP)
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 7:38 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Could the Bengals draft another “Cincinnati Kid” in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft?

That’s what ESPN draft expert Matt Miller predicted will happen in a two-round mock draft he released on Monday.

Miller has Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer going to the Bengals with the team’s 28th pick in April.

Mayer, widely considered the best player at his position in a “loaded” class, was the first tight end off the board in Miller’s draft.

The Independence native and CovCath product disclosed last year his favorite player is Joe Burrow and his favorite team is the Bengals.

Miller had the Bengals taking Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo in the second round.

Mayer, according to Miller, could help the Bengals develop an inside pass game to complement the outside weapons in wideouts Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

“Mayer is a throwback tight end who reminds me of T.J. Hockenson, showcasing an in-line blocking game and terrific seam game as a receiver,” Miller wrote. “The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Mayer had 67 catches for nine touchdowns in 2022 while playing in an offense without an established quarterback. And while he doesn’t have elite speed or positional versatility, the top-ranked tight end in the class is a tremendous value at this spot, especially with Hayden Hurst hitting free agency.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has described Mayer as a red-zone force whom linebackers “simply can’t cover.”

The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs wrote of Mayer last week: “Mayer has been highly productive throughout the course of his career at Notre Dame and pairs size, ball skills, physicality, and surprising versatility to offer the total package to an NFL team fortunate enough to secure his services. Expect Mayer to be ahead of the curve as far as NFL tight ends are concerned and become a quality starter shortly after entering the league.”

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