NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, one of the most well respected draft analysts in the business, had a perfect first round selection for the Cincinnati Bengals in his latest mock draft (actually, it’s his first mock of the year).

Jeremiah has Cincinnati taking Georgia tight end Darnell Washington with the No. 27 overall pick.

From NFL.com:

Washington can function as a sixth offensive lineman in the run game, regularly using his massive frame (6-7, 270) to dominate at the point of attack. The two-time national champion is still growing and developing in the passing game, though.

Bengals
Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs tight end Darnell Washington (0) reacts after his touchdown reception against the LSU Tigers during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

This would be a tremendous selection for the Bengals for a couple of reasons.

First, as Jeremiah mentions, Washington could be an asset in the run blocking game.

Secondly, the former Georgia standout is a mismatch in the passing game. He still has some growing to do in that area, but his size and athleticism make him an instant mismatch and a potential nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.

Lastly, landing Washington in the first round would give the Bengals a potentially elite tight end who would be cheap for up to the next five seasons. With large extensions for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase looming, the Bengals need cheap.

Current Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst is scheduled to be a free agent after this season and he’ll likely be looking for a multi-year contract. Washington would give Cincy a cost-effective player with more upside than Hurst.

Washington has a lot of things you can’t teach. If he’s developed correctly, he could be a superstar in the NFL.

Featured image via Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

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