Zac Taylor made a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show and his comments prove he knows what it takes to get the Cincinnati Bengals on top.
Since before the Cincinnati Bengals secured the first overall selection in the 2020 draft, there has been speculation surrounding what it would take for them to trade out of that spot. The argument has been that the team has a lot of holes on the roster, so trading back and acquiring multiple premium draft picks would help them field a competitive team sooner rather than later.
However, in an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, head coach Zac Taylor proved he knows exactly what he’s doing at the helm in Cincinnati. When discussing the first overall selection, he had this to say,
"“If there’s a guy there that you believe in that can really change the franchise over the next 10-15 years, then that’s a hard thing to pass up on. People all the time ask me, ‘What would it take to give up that pick?’ If there’s somebody there that people are willing to give up a lot for, that they believe in, then that really verifies what we think about those players as well.”"
The logic here makes sense. Imagining the king’s ransom the Bengals could get in return for the number one overall pick and the rights to draft Joe Burrow can be a fun avenue to explore, tempting even. But if a team is willing to give up so much for a player, what does that say?
Even if another franchise decided to mortgage their future, the success rate on first-round picks is roughly 50%. In the event the Bengals got a haul of 5 first-round selections, the chances are, only 2 or 3 of them would pan out. In addition, the front office would be forfeiting a chance to select the most elite prospect in this class at the game’s most important position.
It was never really in doubt but now it seems all but assured the Bengals will hold on to their lottery ticket and swing for the fences with Burrow. Looking at recent history, this is the right decision.
The Bengals had great rosters from 2012-2015 and it resulted in nothing but first-round playoff exits because they lacked elite quarterback talent. With the opportunity to add the best prospect since Andrew Luck, it’s time to pull the trigger.
From altering the front office’s entire stance on free agency to ensuring they select Burrow, Zac Taylor has got the Bengals on the right path. In his own words, he hates how they got here. But he’s proving that now they’re in this situation, he is going to make the most out of it. There’s still a ton of work to do, but Taylor is making the aggressive (and correct) decisions. Ultimately, he’s setting the Bengals up to not only reach the playoffs but make a serious run down the line.