The Bengals must focus on these key areas as the rebuild begins
Rebuilding the Bengals: Defensive Tackle
The defensive tackle spot should have been a strength for this Bengals team. D.J. Reader was a big free-agent acquisition and lived up to the hype early in the year. The dominant run stuffer’s quad injury came as a big blow.
Paired with the injury concerns surrounding Geno Atkins and Mike Daniels, the depth at tackle has been tested. That test has been overwhelmingly failed. Christian Covington and Xavier Williams are short term solutions that aren’t cutting the mustard.
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo had hoped to make use of a multiple front, but a lack of interior talent has put that idea to rest. Going forward, the hope is Atkins can regain fitness and spearhead this group with Reader.
The Bengals committed 12% of their 2020 salary cap to the tackle position. Therefore, any lack of depth needs to be addressed through the draft. A long term successor for Atkins has to be a priority. While the opposite side of the trenches has been a long term focus, don’t be surprised if a key early pick is used on a defensive tackle.