The Cincinnati Bengals came up just shy of winning the Super Bowl and fans rightfully believe that the team can compete for the Lombardi Trophy again in 2022. In order to do so, however, they have to hit a home run in the draft because the AFC isn’t getting any easier.
Fortunately, Cincinnati added three offensive linemen in free agency and that’s instantly going to make them a better team. Joe Burrow was sacked a whopping 51 times in the regular season and then hit the turf another 19 times in the playoffs, including nine times in the Divisional Round and seven times in the Super Bowl.
Adding help on the o-line was something the Bengals needed to do this offseason and they’ve delivered. They’re now in a situation where they don’t have to take an offensive lineman in the first round but what is something that Cincinnati absolutely cannot do when the draft gets underway?
Here’s the biggest mistake the Bengals could make come draft weekend.
Cincinnati is fortunate to have a young roster loaded with talent and they need to continue adding players who can immediately step into the lineup and make an impact. To ensure that this happens, the Bengals can’t reach on players when their turn comes up.
At pick 31, Cincy needs to go with someone who can step into their lineup and pack a punch from Day 1. While the Bengals need both a cornerback and a tight end, reaching for one at the end of the first round isn’t the way to go here.
Cincinnati signed Hayden Hurst to fill C.J. Uzomah’s shoes for the 2022 season and he’ll be a solid enough option. Now, if Trey McBride or Isaiah Likely are on the board in round two, that’d be an acceptable time to take a tight end.
Cornerback is another position that the stripes shouldn’t reach on. If someone they like is there with the 31st pick, then great! If not, however, then they could take someone later on to develop as an eventual starter and go with Eli Apple in the role.
"Ranking the Bengals’ top 5 options with No. 31 pick in 2022 NFL Draft"
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a great spot heading into the 2022 NFL Draft but they can’t miss on their draft picks. If they reach on someone and that player doesn’t make an impact as a rookie, it’ll hurt them. That’s the one mistake they can’t make when the 2022 NFL Draft gets underway.