With free agency in full force, the 2019 NFL Draft is starting to take shape. The Cincinnati Bengals have been awfully quiet and are leaving fans in a panic. The club will have to fill its glaring needs in the upcoming draft.
The Bengals are operating as if they will rely primarily on the NFL Draft to fill voids on the current roster. With free agency slowing down a little, teams are starting to figure out exactly what they will need in the upcoming draft. That also allows the Bengals to get a feel for who will be around when it’s their turn to pick with the 11th overall selection. Here are a few players who the Bengals can potentially land and how they should try to land them.
Players to trade up for
Dwayne Haskins QB, Ohio State
There have been rumblings of the Cincinnati Bengals possibly turning the page on Andy Dalton and looking for his replacement in the upcoming draft. While these are mere rumors, it leaves open a possibility of them drafting a quarterback in the first round. If the Bengals fall in love with the hometown kid Dwayne Haskins, they will need to trade up ahead of the New York Giants who may also be in the market for a quarterback of the future. The Giants currently hold the 6th overall pick.
Haskins is arguably the most NFL ready quarterback in this years class. He is a pure pocket passer with all the intangibles to succeed in the NFL. Haskins shredded in his first year as a full-time starter at Ohio State throwing for 851 yards, 50 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions. Haskins would bring life to the part of the fanbase that desperately wants the team to move on from Andy Dalton.
Devin White LB, LSU
Devin White has been a fan favorite amongst Bengals. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have expressed a heavy interest in White. With them losing Kwon Alexander via free agency, it all but seals the deal. It looks as if Devin White will be a top 5 draft pick. The Bengals would need to trade up to No. 4 to get ahead of the Buccaneers if they want to secure White.
White is far and away the best linebacker in this years class. He has elite sideline to sideline speed with the ability to play the run and pass exceptionally well. With the Bengals having the NFL’s worst linebacking corps, a player like White would fill a major need. White could come in and change the face of the defense for the next 10-12 years.
Players to trade back for
Devin Bush LB, Michigan
Devin Bush is another player that the fanbase would love to see in Bengals stripes. Bush is in that rough area of being good enough to warrant a first-round pick, but not elite enough to take 11th overall. If the Bengals deem Bush as their guy, they should look for a partner to trade back with and acquire him in the late teen’s area of the draft.
Much like White, Bush would come in a change the face of the linebacking core. Bush displayed elite athleticism during the NFL Combine. He plays excellently in pass coverage and adds sneaky grit in the run game. He is undersized a bit, but in today’s NFL, he will fit right in.
Mack Wilson LB, Alabama
Mack Wilson hasn’t exactly helped his draft stock nor hurt it in the early going of the process. Wilson being picked with the 11th overall selection might be a small reach. The Bengals could trade back and still land the Alabama product. The Pittsburgh Steelers could be in play for Wilson or Devin Bush with the 20th overall pick, so trading into the late teens would be the sweet spot to land Wilson.
Wilson is a gifted athlete with elite cover skills. He fits the mold of what it takes to be a linebacker in today’s game. He approaches the run game with bad intentions, he can deliver hard blows to the ball carrier. Wilson can arrive day one and become an instant starter for the Bengals.
Players to pick at No. 11
Jonah Williams OL, Alabama
Jonah Williams is arguably the safest offensive linemen in this year’s class. Some scouts project him as an All-Pro guard, however, Williams is determined to prove his worth at left tackle. He has a high floor with an even higher ceiling. Taking a solid player like Williams with the 11th overall pick is a home run.
Williams doesn’t dominate a particular skill set, he simply does everything exceptionally well. He has three years of solid production as a starter at Alabama. With Williams versatility, the Bengals would have the flexibility to start him wherever they see fit.
Ed Oliver DT, Houston
Ed Oliver was once projected to be a top three pick until an injury-riddled season halted his production. The way free agency has gone along with team needs of those in the top ten could push Oliver right to the Bengals with the 11th overall selection. Taking a potential All-Pro would be a steal at this point in the draft.
Oliver is a dominant player in the middle. He makes guards and centers look silly with his quickness in small spaces. Oliver matched next to Geno Atkins would be a nightmare for opposing offenses to stop. The Bengals would have arguably the best duo at defensive tackle.
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"Why 2019 is the Most Important Draft for Cincinnati in a Decade"