AFC North

Bengals Draft Needs

Joe Burrow. Photo by Tammy Anthony Baker. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

For the first time in a long time, the Bengals have decided to spend money in free agency. They have made some major improvements on both sides of the ball, which takes a lot of pressure off the team coming into the draft and allows them to focus on their biggest needs. Below are the team’s draft needs on both sides of the ball.

Offense

Throughout the year’s Andy Dalton has been the Honda Civic of quarterbacks. He is by no means a flashy sports car like Lamar Jackson or a mean truck like Patrick Mahomes. He’s good enough to be our quarterback, but we’re definitely not going to brag about it. I honestly don’t believe the Bengals have a huge need at quarterback. Dalton is just fine. However, the opportunity to draft a quarterback who is coming off of maybe the best season of college football in the history of the game does not come often. Thus, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the first overall pick will be the Ohio kid out of OSU/LSU Joe Burrow. Now that the quarterback position is lock and the running back position is well filled with Joe Mixon (assuming there is no holdout) and Giovani Bernard. As for the wide receiver position, the Bengals have one of the strongest and diversely talented cores in football with Green, Boyd, and Ross. Tight end is becoming a position of need for the Bengals after losing Tyler Eifert in free agency. This is a position I suspect them to target late in the draft. Keep an eye out for Thaddeus Moss; who was a solid target for Joe Burrow in LSU. This would be a very similar move to what the Colts did when they drafted Coby Fleener; who played college ball with their top pick, Andrew Luck. The team’s biggest need on offense and maybe as a whole would still be their offensive line. Last year’s 11th overall pick, Jonah Williams, finally seeing the field will greatly help the O line. However, even with the addition of Williams and the free agency grab of Xavier Su’a-filo, the offensive line is still the biggest need and will likely take up more of our 2020 draft picks than any other position

Key players we didn’t have in 2019: AJ Green, Jonah Williams, Xavier Su’a-filo, and most likely Joe Burrow.

Defense

They secured the defensive line with the signing on D.J. Reader; who will fix the run defense and line up beautifully with Geno Adkins, Carlos Dunlop, Carl Lawson, and Sam Hubbard, making this one of the meanest defensive lines in football. Cincinnati put a lot of money into the secondary by bringing in Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander from Minnesota, as well as Vonn Bell, who is a perfect fit to stop the run. The Bengals are looking a lot better on defense after free agency with both the Defensive line and the secondary problems mostly fixed. However, the Bengals still desperately need to address the biggest week spot on defense, which is of course linebacker. Cincinnati has had the one of, if not the worst linebacker in the league. Even with hope in the second year man Germaine Pratt and the signing of veteran Josh Bynes, linebacker is still the position they need the most help with on the defensive side of the ball. The Bengals should be selecting a linebacker within the first three rounds of the draft.

Key players we didn’t have in 2019: D.J. Reader, Trae Waynes, Vonn Bell, Mackensie Alexander, and Josh Bynes.

Summary

The Bengals own the top pick and appear to be getting one of the most hyped-up players that the draft has seen in decades. They are coming off of one of the best free agencies some Bengals’ fans have ever seen from this franchise. Even though Cincinnati is coming off the worst season the team has had in decades, there is more hope and excitement in this team than we have had in a while. It’s always the darkest before the dawn and last year was pretty dark Cincinnati. Let’s see some sun.

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