The Bengals first draft pick needs to result in landing a franchise changing player. Here are a few of the best options.
Later this week, the football world will descend on Nashville for the 2019 NFL Draft. For Cincinnati this draft is unusually unpredictable.
The team is in between phases. On paper, the roster seems to be one of a rebuilding team defensively as they lack any true star talent and have a fair share of youngsters in the mix.
However, the team has some elite playmakers on the other side of the ball in A.J. Green, Joe Mixon, and Tyler Boyd. With a few additions to the offensive line and steady quarterback play, the Bengals could have one of the leagues better offenses.
The AFC North seems to be opening up with the Steelers losing two superstars, the Ravens losing several defensive stars, and the Browns yet to prove anything.
Thus, this draft will indicate to the fan base where the Bengals front office believes the team stands as far as contending anytime soon. Are we in the midst of a rebuild in Cincinnati? Or can the franchise realistically make it back to the postseason for the first time since 2015?
Regardless the Bengals need to find a franchise player with the 11th overall pick. Someone who can come in, wake up a fan base that ranked second worst in attendance last season, and help the team win games down the road and potentially now.
With that backdrop, Let’s take a look at three names the Bengals should strongly consider selecting Thursday evening.
LB Devin Bush, Michigan
No defense gave up more yards than the Bengals in 2018. One of the main reasons why Cincinnati’s defense was so poor is because they were missing production at the most important position on defense, middle linebacker.
With LSU’s Devin White likely to be off the board by the time the Bengals are on the clock, they should take a hard look at the next best thing, Devin Bush. Though White may be slightly better, Bush isn’t much of a step down.
The former Michigan standout recorded 172 total tackles in three college seasons, one of which only saw him appear in seven games.
In 2018, Bush recorded 66 total tackles with 8.5 of them coming for a loss. He also recorded 4.5 sacks to finish his career with ten from the inside linebacker position.
What makes Bush special is his quickness which allows him to help in both pass and run defense. Bush ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
He is a player the Bengals can plug in at middle linebacker right away. Also, he can become the stedy captain the team so badly needs on the defensive side of the ball.