Bengals have fourth round history of success
The Bengals traded the 38th pick overall in the second round in the NFL Draft on Friday night to the New England Patriots for the 44th pick overall in the second round and 122nd and No. 139th picks overall in the fourth round. The trade drew criticism from Cincinnati fans who thought they missed out on an offensive lineman.
Cincinnati drafted Clemson OL Jackson Carman with the 44th pick. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. stated on their telecast that the Bengals reached for the Fairfield, Ohio native. The move nets the Bengals two extra picks in the draft that they need to continue rebuilding their roster. Cincinnati has had recent success in the fourth round.
Defensive end Carl Lawson was a 2017 fourth-round pick by Cincinnati. Lawson had 20 sacks in four seasons in Cincinnati but dealt with injuries before signing with the New York Jets during the 2021 offseason in free agency. Gino Atkins was the Bengals fourth-round pick in 2010 and became one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.
Atkins is a potential Hall of Famer. In 11 seasons in Cincinnati, Atkins was named eight times to the Pro Bowl, three times a first-team All-Pro, a one-time second-team All-Pro, to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team and to the Sporting News 2010s All-Decade Team. Cincinnati cut Atkins in the offseason and he is still a free agent.
Several Hall of Famers and recent NFL stars have been drafted in the fourth round. The ability for the Bengals to add two more players in the middle of the NFL Draft will create more competition on the roster and give the Bengals a chance to add a potential star player with development.
In the 2021 fourth round, the Bengals will likely try to add some combination of picks on the offensive line, a second edge rusher, another wide receiver, or linebacker. The priority for Cincinnati in this draft was adding another playmaker on offense, help on the OL and at edge rusher. Secondarily is upgrading talent and depth.