The Bengals might not be counted on to do a lot of trading up in most years, but this isn't most years. With five sixth-round picks in tow, thanks to receiving three compensatory picks in the round and owning Dallas' pick at No. 198, the Bengals do have some ammunition to make a jump on Day 2 or possibly even Day 1 for the right player. Will Zac Taylor be on the lookout for a quarterback he can develop?

Below, you can check out which picks the Bengals currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.

As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.  

Current draft picks

1 11
2 42
3 72
4 110
5 149
6 183
6 198 from Dallas
6 210 Compensatory
6 211 Compensatory
6 213 Compensatory        
7 223

Team needs

The CBS Sports NFL writing staff recently compiled positional rankings to identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."

21.6 12.4 19.0 29.0 18.8 19.8 22.5 11.5

Pressing: OL

So we see the Bengals as a team with a bunch of needs, but with most of them not being much more pressing than the others, with the exception of offensive line. Last offseason's trade for Cordy Glenn and drafting of Billy Price locks in two spots and Clint Boling is pretty good at left guard, but the right side of the line could use some upgrades, for sure. After the Bengals cut ties with the much-maligned Vontaze Burfict they could use some help for Preston Brown at the second level, and with Carlos Dunlap and Geno Smith not getting any younger, the defensive line is becoming more of a need area as well. Our mocks are chock full of Jonah Williams picks, which makes a lot of sense, but two also have the Bengals landing Dwayne Haskins as an Andy Dalton replacement so Zac Taylor can have his own guy to build around. Either path would not surprise.

War room big board

The Bengals should focus on adding premium talent at linebacker, and while there's only two blue-chippers in this draft at the position, one is expected to fall out of the top 10. Here's how I'd project the Bengals' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:

  1. LB Devin White, LSU
  2. DT Ed Oliver, Houston
  3. QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
  4. LB Devin Bush, Michigan
  5. EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
  6. DL Rashan Gary, Michigan
  7. OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
  8. OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
  9. QB Drew Lock, Missouri
  10. OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma

Seven-round mock drafts

R.J. White:

1 11 ILB Devin Bush, Michigan
1 25 QB Daniel Jones, Duke from PHI*
2 42 to Philadelphia
3 72 OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State
4 110 DT Gerald Willis III, Miami
5 149 QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
6 183 TE Kaden Smith, Stanford
6 198 to Philadelphia from DAL
6 210 OLB Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington
6 211 RB Ryquell Armstead, Temple
6 213 CB Derrick Baity, Kentucky
7 223 G Javon Patterson, Ole Miss

The Bengals pass on a quarterback at No. 11 to take one of the two elite linebacker options in this draft in Bush, who immediately becomes the team's best linebacker whether he slots into the middle or at WILL, where he could provide excellent pass defense to go with his elite speed and athleticism. 

But the Bengals aren't done on Thursday, packaging a 2020 second-round pick with No. 42 and one of their many sixth-rounders to go up and get Jones, a franchise quarterback with good accuracy who new coach Zac Taylor can develop from Day 1. With quarterbacks on both offense and defense in the fold, the Bengals spend their remaining Day 2 pick on Howard, an athletic tackle who has plenty of upside to develop into a starter. 

On Day 3, the Bengals take a chance on Willis, a prospect with high upside on the interior of the defensive line if he can get certain issues corrected. He's no Ed Oliver (who went at No. 8 overall), but it's a nice consolation prize to add to their defensive front. Next up is a backup QB in Stidham who can develop in tandem with Jones and is great value in the fifth round. Smith can compete as a depth option at tight end, while Burr-Kirven is one of CBS Sports draft analyst Chris Trapasso's favorite sleepers this year. If nothing else, he should be a key special teams contributor. Armstead is a big back who could factor into a committee if needed, Baity brings size and toughness but has a lot of developing to do, while Patterson is more depth inside on the offensive line.

More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade

player headshot
Ryan Wilson
player headshot
Chris Trapasso
Round 1 LB Devin White, LSU
QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State*
Round 2 TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
LB Mack Wilson, Alabama
Round 3 QB Will Grier, West Virginia

Round 4 OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State
OT Oli Udoh, Elon
Round 5 CB Corey Ballentine, Washburn
G Javon Patterson, Ole Miss
Round 6 WR Anthony Johnson, Buffalo
CB Derrick Baity, Kentucky
G Terrone Prescod, NC State
S Mike Bell, Fresno State
RB Myles Gaskin, Washington
WR Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State
RB Tony Pollard, Memphis
DT Terry Beckner, Missouri
DE CeCe Jefferson, Florida
Round 7 WR Trenton Irwin, Stanford
TE Kaden Smith, Stanford

Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.