The Cincinnati Bengals will have a long wish-list come the 2020 NFL Draft. Whether Chase Young or a quarterback should top that list is the source of some serious debate for fans.
Ideally, one would not like to be looking ahead to the draft at the 10 game mark of the season, however, the very fact that the most exciting player for the 2019 Cincinnati Bengals has been kickoff returner Brandon Wilson epitomizes their catastrophic season. Zac Taylor still awaits his first win and Paul Brown Stadium has been merely scattered with fans since the bleak situation of the team became apparent.
With it looking virtually imminent that the team will have a very high draft position, opinions on the direction that Cincinnati should go in April 2020 are already polarising Bengaldom. On one side, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, a local favourite, looks to be a can’t miss prospect that could transform the Bengals under-performing defensive line. On the other are 3 standout quarterback prospects: Joe Burrows of LSU, Justin Herbert of Oregon and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama. However, a recent injury to the latter could put his future in jeopardy.
Chances drafting this high are rare and the Bengals have passed on opportunities to pick a franchise-changing player at sports’ most important position (see John Ross over Patrick Mahomes in 2017 or Billy Price over Lamar Jackson in 2018). There is, however, one difference this year: Andy Dalton has been benched and the Bengals do look to be in the market for a QB with Ryan Finley not having the arm for a starting NFL quarterback.
The Bengals are also talent poor. A.J. Green is rarely healthy and even cornerstones such as William Jackson III and Geno Atkins have had down years. Most of the faces of the talented teams that experienced wildcard woes are either out the door or will be when the next good Cincinnati Bengals team emerges. This is a perfect time to stockpile picks and hit the reset button as a new “face of the franchise” can emerge.
Furthermore, if I can leave one point it is this: the quarterback touches the ball on virtually EVERY offensive snap of the game. That is, therefore, going to have the greatest impact on the development of your team. I don’t care if Young is the second coming of LT, 30 sacks in a season is not going to transform your team half as much as a dynamic playmaker behind center. Take the 2019 Arizona Cardinals as an example in comparison to the 2018 Cleveland Browns. The former took Kyler Murray and look head and shoulders better than last year with real promise to take huge leaps next year. The latter went 1-15 in Garrett’s rookie year, despite him performing admirably.
I am not a draft nick but I am a believer in simple logic. I am not saying which QB to draft but simply, with the Bengals frankly antiquated method of avoiding free agency and building through the draft, there is one way to surge to the top – hit on a star passer. So please Bengals fans, let’s think with our heads, not with our hearts.