Bengals fans shouldn’t be upset if Ross Blacklock is the 33rd pick
The available players for the 33rd pick are now official and Bengals fans seemingly have a clear agenda on who they want the pick to be. However, a new name has emerged and fans should not be disappointed if the buzz turns out to be true.
Now that the Bengals have officially made Joe Burrow the first pick in the draft, fans have turned their attention towards the second round. Ian Rapoport has heard buzz that TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock is one of the front office’s targets with the 33rd pick.
The general consensus among Bengals fans after the first round has been that the pick should either be Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims or Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones. While Rapoport mentions Mims alongside Blacklock, fans on Twitter have voiced concern about the possibility of the TCU defensive lineman being the pick.
Fans should not be ready to pull out their pitchforks if Blacklock is the pick. While he may not be the name many were expecting, he is actually a solid player who could be a great fit in Cincinnati.
The Bengals certainly have a good group of defensive linemen already, but many fans still see the defense as a 4-3 front when that is not the actual reality of Lou Anarumo‘s unit. Under Anarumo in 2019, the Bengals used multiple fronts, often lining up in 3-4 and 5-2 formations, in addition to their typical 4-3. Many believe that in 2020, the plan is to lean even more heavily towards 3-4 looks.
In a 3-4 defense, the Bengals could still use another defensive tackle, that’s where Blacklock fits in. Currently, Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader are a formidable unit on the interior. While in 3-4, Blacklock would play alongside of Atkins and Reader as the three linemen with Carlos Dunlap and Sam Hubbard serving as “outside linebackers” or what many would call edge rushers.
Blacklock isn’t just a good fit, he’s also a great player. The TCU lineman has many of the attributes a team could ask for in a lineman, size, power, athleticism, and technique. At times in college, he looked unblockable.
While Mims and Jones remain the favorites to be selected 33rd for good reason, Bengals fans should not find themselves upset if expectations are subverted and Ross Blacklock is the pick. Doing so could give the Bengals the best defensive line in the NFL.