Bengals News

Two Big Takeaways from the Bengals 2019 Draft

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 06: Germaine Pratt #3 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after recoving a fumble by the Boston College Eagles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina State won 28-23. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 06: Germaine Pratt #3 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after recoving a fumble by the Boston College Eagles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina State won 28-23. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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After the NFL Draft, answers about what the Zac Taylor Bengals will look like are becoming clearer.

Even with the draft done, a lot will happen between now and September. Still, two things are now crystal clear in regards to the near future of the franchise.

A Safe Approach at Quarterback:

The Bengals have not made the playoff since 2015. The most popular thing to do when a team is struggling is change the quarterback. However, when you list the Bengals problems, you go awhile before you get to quarterback. Since 2016, Andy Dalton has thrown 64 touchdowns to just 31 interceptions.

When you draft a prospect as highly touted as Dwayne Haskins, the temptation is to play him the second the established starter has a bad half, and Dalton will. It is never a good thing for a coaching staff as inexperienced as this one to deal with a circus at the quarterback position. That is exactly what a guy like Haskins would have created. Taking a lesser known prospect like Ryan Finley avoids a possible circus type atmosphere while still getting Dalton’s possible long-term replacement in the building.

With Finley being a fourth round pick, there is huge upside and no downside. If he ends up being the post Dalton answer, great. If not, fourth rounders get cut all the time with very little damage done to the franchise as a whole. The Bengals addressed the quarterback situation in a perfect way this draft.

 

The Plan is to Get Tougher:

No one really knew what the plan was for the first edition of Zac Taylor’s Bengals heading into the 2019 season. There is still a lot we don’t know, but we now know the philosophical approach after the draft. Apart from quarterback Ryan Finley and some late secondary and running back depth, every single pick will affect the line of scrimmage on one side of the ball or the other. This includes former Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams. Williams was possibly the most polished prospect at his position group in the entire draft. He will likely be a day one starter somewhere along the offensive line.

The Bengals also added Michael Jordan, who spent last year protecting Haskins. Throw in a tight end in Drew Sample who is better known for his blocking than receiving, and it all means the top objectives are keeping Dalton upright and bigger holes for Joe Mixon.

The approach is similar on defense. Cincinnati bagged a defensive tackle and a pair of raw but versatile linebackers who can do a little bit of everything. Former NC State linebacker Germaine Pratt in particular will likely be asked to contribute right away.

As the season wore on last year, the Bengals had a hard time combating initial body blows from opponents. Taylor and the new staff were clearly aware of that. The only way to fix that is to get tougher in the trenches on both sides of the ball. That is exactly what this draft addressed. Thus, even though some fans, and probably even some within the organization wanted a top flight quarterback prospect, it is hard to fault Cincinnati’s logic.

Want to read more about Cincinnati’s offseason? Be sure to check out all of our Bengals coverage on Stripe Hype!

"Is Ryan Finley Cincinnati’s Quarterback of the Future?"

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