The Bengals have been building for the future indefinitely. With a ton of talent available in the upcoming draft, it’s time to claim the best and win now.
I would like to start out by pointing out that for the majority of my life as a Bengals fan, the Bengals have drafted extremely well. Mike Brown and Co. tend to stick to the best player available and not succumb to drafting based on needs. So it is hard to point out many flaws without mentioning home run draft choices.
That being said, I feel like fans have been lulled into this drafting for the future type mindset that continues year after year. The defense isn’t getting any younger, and Marvin Lewis is just flat running out of time to get that elusive playoff win. So, this article will focus on players that have been mocked to us and why we should–or shouldn’t–draft that player.
Foster has been selected by the Bengals in many mocks, and for good reason. Our linebackers are slower and older. In years past, the Bengals have gone to free agency to add a backer who is past his prime. This has been largely hit or miss (see: James Harrison, A.J. Hawk, and Karlos Dansby). It’s time to invest a high pick in our backer corps. Foster has the speed, intelligence and productivity to warrant being the 9th overall selection. Adding Foster to our defense would be a great selection that immediately improves the team.
More from Cincinnati Bengals Draft
- 5 recent Bengals draft picks who could be cut in summer of 2022
- Revisiting the Bengals’ only supplemental draft pick
- 5 prospects linked to the Bengals in way-too-early mock drafts
- Bengals predicted to select a wide receiver in 2023 mock draft
- Cincinnati Bengals’ 2022 draft considered one of the worst
Barnett is probably mocked to the Bengals just as much as Foster. While the pass rush needs an upgrade for sure, this isn’t a solid selection. Barnett doesn’t have the size the Bengals like coming off the edge. If he were available late in round one, I would be behind the idea of trading back in to select him. He has a high motor and played in the SEC, so he wasn’t playing against scrubs. But as the 9th pick, that seems like a reach. One that doesn’t help us this next year. Plus, this class is deep at pass rusher. Our second-round pick could very easily add that dynamic rusher at a better value.
This pick could be excellent if Williams falls. But I’m not so sure it has the immediate impact that Foster would have. As seen this past year, the offense is flat without Green and Eifert. Williams would give us a dynamic No. 2 receiver that could bring back visions of the Brandon Marshall/ Alshon Jeffery combo in Chicago a few years back. In the case of Eifert missing significant playing time, (which appears likely year after year), Williams would force the opposing defenses to not roll everyone over to Green’s side of the field.
See above for why drafting a playmaking WR is a good choice. Davis as the pick would give the Bengals a number two receiver in the mold of Marvin Jones. Davis will be more talented as a rookie than Jones was, but they both have the speed to take the top off of a defense and the height to go up and grab jump balls. If Williams is off the board, Davis is the next best option.
My personal choice would be Foster if he were to last until the 9th selection. I would like to see the Bengals go all in with this draft class. We need to have the perfect blend of best player available and one who fits our team needs, as this class will likely make or break the future of the Lewis era.