With NFL Draft a little more than 24 hours away now, we got our staff together to get their final thoughts on what the Cincinnati Bengals should do come Thursday night.
“Who should be the Bengals first draft selection at pick #21?, and should they trade the pick and move up or back?”
If I am the Bengals I am trying to trade back a few picks with my eye on Jonathan Cyprien. Safety is the biggest need on this team IMO and he I think he is the best one in the draft. He is very good against the run, but also has the athleticism and the skill to play back in the zone. He makes good reads on the ball and has the ability to extend and pick it off. He would be perfect to pair with Reggie Nelson and could really elevate this defense to the next level.
I think the Bengals need to trade up. Like I have said before, Reggie Nelson is really good, but that is only one safety. His zone cannot take up the whole width of the field. Chris Crocker is old, and Taylor Mays just isn’t that good. Kenny Vaccaro is the best safety in this draft, and safety is the biggest need on this team. Vaccaro can cover very well, and actually caught Tavon Austin. He was one of, if not the only thing that shined on that Texas defense. He is also solid against the run, and is a hard hitter. We need a linebacker and a runningback, but that is what the 2nd and 3rd rounds are for.
The pick will depend on a few things, one is Andre Smith resigned, two who is available, and three can they pick up a first next year or a second this year if they trade back. Like every draft there will be a player who drops, similar to David DeCastro and Riley Rieff last year, and if San Francisco offers a 1st and 2nd to come up and pick one of those fallers, I want to say take it. However, the team has 10 draft picks and only 6-7 make the team, so adding more draft picks this year may not be the best option.
It’s obvious if a player like Tavon Austin, Lane Johnson, or Xavier Rhodes is there at #21 you take him, the pick at 21 should be the highest player on their board and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bengals pick seems like a reach/not need pick to some.
At #21, the Bengals should select Tyler Eifert. I know a TE doesn’t seem like a need, but what is needed are tough third down catches and more touchdowns in the redzone. Eifert is one of the cleanest prospects in the draft and could line up tight or split out. The pick would also allow the team to trade or move on from Gresham who’s madding consistently/limited blocking has been the angst of Bengals fans.