Cincinnati is going to have a chance to establish a new identity this offseason. That identity is dependent on Zac Taylor and company’s first selection in the NFL Draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals under Marvin Lewis attempted to become a team that wins games with a defensive style while fielding an offense designed to score just enough to get over the hump. Andy Dalton is the definition of a game manager, and his role ideally would be to take care of the ball, get first downs, and put his team in enough positions to score to sneak out victories that may be more one-sided than they appear.
However, with the addition of Zac Taylor, the Bengals likely will take a more offensive minded, analytical approach to winning football games. I would be very surprised if Taylor opts for the same grind it out style that Lewis envisioned. I believe that when the Bengals are on the clock at pick eleven, we will see exactly the kind of style that the team will be playing next season encapsulated in their selection.
There is a lot of speculation as to the position the Bengals are most looking at drafting. Personally, I believe that Devin White will be unavailable at eleven, as he is the most sure-fire linebacker prospect we have seen in a long time. With these facts considered, drafting an offensive lineman would tell me the Bengals are continuing to invest in Joe Mixon, while a quarterback selection would undoubtedly set the organization on a different path than it is currently on.
Whoever Cincinnati decides to select with the eleventh pick, it will be somebody who will be a symbol of the thought process of the new regime. For better or worse, I believe that the Bengals will be looking to take a different path.
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