Way Too Early Bengals 2017 NFL Draft Preview

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Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number 21st overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number 21st overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL Draft
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Losing Giovani Bernard is bad but not a season breaker.  Yet, losing A.J. Green for more than one game destroys any hope for the Bengals to compete with the Steelers.

The Last Stand

Somehow, Marvin Lewis could very well survive this horrible season of football.  Whether he does or not, the 2017 Bengals season could be the year the door completely closes on this team.  A healthy A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert along with an improved Tyler Boyd and Jeremy Hill will give this team a chance automatically.

The 2017 NFL Draft becomes that much more important in the search for a Playoff win.  If the team can draft young players who can immediately contribute on both sides of the ball there will be joy in Cincinnati once again.  Any free and open time on Managements calendar from this day forward needs to go towards College scouting and Draft projections.  Simply put: the Bengals cannot mess up this Draft.

The Future

The latter rounds of the Draft should focus on finding young talent for the Offensive Line, Defensive line and a speed running back to alleviate pressure on Jeremy Hill.  There are hidden gems throughout College Football that will be dug up in rounds 5-7.  Some of these players could provide support for this season but most players in those slots won’t contribute for a few years.

Next: Loss Shows No Urgency

The Bengals need to reinvent themselves and a solid showing in the late rounds of the Draft will go a long way in meeting that long-term need.  No team or fanbase deserves playoff success more than the Cincinnati Bengals.  Hopefully, this upcoming offseason and Draft will provide hope for what currently seems mostly hopeless.

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