With the 2019 season now over, the offseason soon officially begins for the Bengals. With it comes the opportunity to build something exciting in Cincinnati going forward.
To say that the 2019 season was a disappointment for the Bengals would be an understatement. Growing pains were in abundance as the season went on. Now, the season is over. It is time to look towards 2020. Throughout the bumps and bruises, there were signs of promise from this coaching staff.
The team never quit, no matter what the final record says. By the end of it all, growth could be seen in players and coaches alike. That is something that can be built on. Still, 2-14 means the Bengals have a lot of work to do. This offseason presents an opportunity to build a solid foundation. If the front office makes the most of this opportunity, brighter days could be ahead in the Queen City.
It looks like the Bengals will be getting the chance to coach the Senior Bowl again this year. It provides them with a tremendous shot to get a jump start on looking at some of the top prospects in this year’s draft. This is especially crucial for a coaching staff that is heavily leaned on in terms of scouting.
The bright spot of the 2-14 record is having the first pick of the draft. Everyone is interested in the number one overall selection, and rightfully so. However, the Bengals will also be getting the first pick in every other round of the draft. As obvious as it is, the importance of that cannot be understated.
The Bengals will have the opportunity to get a first round talent in the second round and a second round talent in the third. There is potential to build a collection of premium talent in April.
It is early in the draft process, but the front runner for the first pick is LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow has been an endless topic of discussion. We don’t need to go into detail any further here. Simply put, with Burrow comes the possibility of having a franchise quarterback for the next ten years or more.
Still, whoever the first pick is, they cannot bring the organization back into prominence on their own. The Bengals have to supplement this roster through trade or free agency.
In order to get the most out of the draft, the Bengals must use free agency to fill holes on the roster. Then, they can go into the draft and take the best talent as opposed to reaching for needs. This is a must in proper team building.
One position that comes to mind is linebacker. There are a few quality linebackers available to be signed in March. The Bengals have to find another linebacker once the new league year begins. It seems that the pickings will be slim, but not bare in April. Cory Littleton among some others would be a more than welcome addition to Germaine Pratt and company.
The Bengals should also be looking to upgrade the offensive line, cornerback and wide receiver. Between the draft, free agency, and trading and releasing unwanted veterans, the roster can have a dramatic new look going into the 2020 season.
This can and should be an exciting offseason in Cincinnati. The Bengals have plenty on their plate, but they also have the chance to set the table for a very bright future. the offseason is the season of hope. So here’s hoping.