Joe Burrow and Beyond: The Cincinnati Bengals Aced 2020 NFL Draft

Cincinnati Bengals, Tee Higgins(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Tee Higgins(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The Bengals had one of their best drafts in recent memory last week, which could be a sign that times are truly changing in Cincinnati.

On day one of the NFL Draft, most fans were just hoping the Cincinnati Bengals would do the right thing and select Joe Burrow first overall, but what they did after that exceeded all expectations and set up Cincinnati with young, athletic players who can contribute immediately. Here, we grade every selection the Bengals had in the 2020 NFL Draft:

1. Joe Burrow, QB: A+

Pretty obvious A+ grade here. The Bengals were able to get their franchise quarterback with the first overall pick and help this team going into the future. Joe Burrow is an extremely smart and accurate quarterback and coming into his rookie season, he will have plenty of offensive weapons around him. With the release of Andy Dalton, Burrow looks to take the reigns immediately as the starting quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals.

33. Tee Higgins, WR: A-

With the first pick on day two, the front office addressed their receiving corps, and they did it well. Tee Higgins out of Clemson is a big receiver with great hands, but don’t let his size fool you, he has some great RAC ability. He’ll make defenders miss after the catch as well as go up and make contested catches. This was a tremendous pick for the team in the second round. Higgins is a long time Bengals and A.J. Green fan, and even models his game after the Cincinnati legend.

65. Logan Wilson, LB: A-

Lou Anarumo mentioned earlier in the offseason that the Bengals are looking for a three-down linebacker, and that’s exactly what they are getting out of Logan Wilson out of Wyoming. The 23-year-old is athletic, solid in coverage, and a very effective tackler. Wilson is going to have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on the Bengals defense. Another great addition by the Bengals in round three.

107. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB: A

This pick was a slam dunk. Akeem Davis-Gaither was thought to go as early as the second round, but due to an injury concern, he fell to the Bengals in the fourth round. The former Appalachian State linebacker is very versatile. He’s good in coverage, can pass rush, and has great athleticism for his position. While a little undersized, he makes up for it in other areas of his game. Not to mention his size doesn’t prevent him from making some big hits. A fantastic pick up for the Bengals to start day three.

147. Khalid Kareem, DE: B-

Most fans were hoping the Bengals would go the offensive line route here with Netane Muti or Prince Tega Wanogho, but they seem to be confident in their line and decided to go with depth on the edge. Kareem is a dependable edge rusher and has a little potential. Overall, this pick was solid but could have been better. Regardless, the Bengals were able to improve the depth on their defensive line, so a B- isn’t a bad grade by any means.

180. Hakeem Adeniji, OL: A-

In the sixth round, the Bengals picked up a versatile offensive lineman. This pick was mostly for depth, but getting Adeniji who had grades as high as round 4, they are getting a dependable offensive tackle/guard who can step in and play in emergency situations. The former Kansas lineman can potentially develop to more than a depth role, so this was a good value pick in round six.

215. Markus Bailey, LB: A

Yet another slam dunk pick for the Bengals, Marcus Bailey was receiving 2nd round grades before his second ACL tear before the 2019 season. Bailey is an athletic linebacker and an effective tackler. If the former Purdue Boilermaker can stay healthy, this pick could turn out to be one of the steals of the draft.

Related Story. Tee Higgins, Bengals’ WR Corp will be Mismatch Nightmare. light

Overall grade: A-

The Bengals knew what they had to do to set up their franchise for the future, and they did it. Getting their franchise quarterback as well as fixing the entire linebacker corps was a huge turnaround for the team. The 2020 season is sure to be exciting, but what is even more thrilling is going to be seeing how much this draft class helps the Bengals leap into the future.