Hard to believe it is draft time again, but April 25th will be here before we know it. What needs does this team have? Who should the Bengals pick? What about the later rounds?
The Bengals in recent years have drafted very well and we have seen immediate impacts by guys like Zeitler, Dalton, Green, Sanu, and Jones, and this year’s draft should be no exception. We can all agree that one hot button issue is the lack of a homerun hitter at running back. However, other issues stick out like a solid free safety for years to come, a good cover linebacker, and a team can always beef up the offensive and defensive lines.
Quite a few mock drafts have the Bengals selecting Eddie Lacy with their first pick, running back from Alabama. Although this would be an excellent choice, using a first round pick on a running back that will more than likely be there in the second round, is not a wise decision. There is enough talent at the running back position in this draft to get a good one in either the second or third round. With that said who should be the 21st overall pick?
My gut tells me the Bengals are picking defense first either going with a linebacker, or a safety. Even if the Bengals re-sign Rey Maualuga, there is still going to be an instant need for an impact linebacker other than Burfict.
Look for them to go either the route of Alec Ogletree out of Georgia, because Georgia players and the Bengals seem to work out, or, I hate to say it, Manti Te’o. This is assuming they go linebacker with the 21st pick. Otherwise, they should pick either Kenny Vaccaro, FS from Texas, or Matt Elam, SS from Florida. Either one of these is a good fit and can be molded into an immediate impact player in the short term and a dynamic safety in the long term.