Bengals Could Benefit from Drafting a Wide Receiver Early

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Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham catches a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We knowA.J. Green is scheduled to hit free agency in 2016 if the Bengals don’t re-sign him or franchise tag him before then. Cincinnati also has Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones who will also hit free agency after the 2015 season. The future for Bengals wide receivers might not be as bright as many fans like. Because of this, the Bengals should prioritize a wide receiver early in this year’s NFL Draft.

We have seen a number of rookies sit on the sidelines due to Marvin Lewis preference for “redshirting” his young players. If that is going to continue being the case, picking up a top wide receiver early in this year’s draft to prepare him for the 2016 season makes sense. Realistically, the Bengals can keep two of the three impending free agent wide receivers, but money and injury would remain a major concern. This begs the next question, when and who do you draft?

The Bengals have already hosted receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham out of Oklahoma. CBSSports.com has him ranked as the 34th overall prospect and a late first to early second round pick. If this proves correct, it would set up a scenario for the Bengals to trade down into the late first or early second round, which would also allow the team to add more selections.

Another draft prospect who could fill the receiver need is Jaelen Strong from Arizona State, who is projected to go in the second round. He is 6’2″ receiver who has good speed and can adjust to find open field. It would be another selection that the Bengals could trade into the second round for multiple picks.

The benefit to both of these receivers is the ability to grow into their role and provide the Bengals with stronger depth. Plus, remember the wide receiver battle we wrote about earlier this month? Either player would be a great last minute addition to that battle.

Whether it is moving up from the mid-second round pick or trading back from the 21st overall selection, the Bengals will likely need to look into making a move in order to score either player at a proper value. Either way, the Bengals will have ten days to finalize their draft board and make decisions on who will become part of the 2015 Bengals.

Next: Paul Dawson Could Start for the Bengals

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