Debatably, this could one of the best times to be a Bengals fan in recent memory. Three trips to the Playoffs in four seasons is refreshing, and it’s nice to be able to have some legitimate room to talk smack to those annoying Cowboys or Steelers fans in the office for once. While this line of thought coupled with last year’s incredible Draft Day success may suggest the Bengals are comfortable and capable of selecting 21st or later with their first pick, it doesn’t mean that mocking that pick something that Bengals fans are used to.
In fact, in the past decade the Bengals have only selected in the back third of the Draft three times – Chris Perry in 2004 (26th), Johnathan Joseph in 2006 (24th) and Jermaine Gresham in 2010 (21st). Since Perry was the product of a double trade-down from the 17thpick and thus completely unforeseeable, and both Joseph and Gresham were very obvious selections as both the best player available as well as fitting serious positions of need, the complexity of forecasting this Cincinnati’s first round this year is as difficult as it has been in recent memory. There have been more than ten names circulated as selections by the Bengals already, ranging from offense to defense, secondary to running backs. Part of this is that so much of the offseason is still open-ended. Specifically, five major decision points remain before mocking the Bengals becomes more than just enthusiast’s guesswork.