5 ways the Bengals can build upon an already-strong offseason

Larry Ogunjobi #65 and Sam Hubbard #94 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Larry Ogunjobi #65 and Sam Hubbard #94 of the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Kaiir Elam (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

2. Draft young defensive talent in the secondary and on the d-line

In the past few draft classes, the Bengals have added young, high-level talent on the offensive side of the ball. Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Ja’Marr Chase were all selected in the past two drafts and will be huge parts of the Bengals’ Super Bowl window.

On the defensive side of the ball, Cincy has added less through the draft and more by spending money in free agency. This year it seems like they have flipped the script, first, by spending money on offense in free agency, and now they complete that process by drafting young talent on the defensive side of the ball.

Unless a stud offensive lineman unexpectedly falls to the 31st pick, the Bengals should draft a defensive player in the first round for the first time since William Jackson III in 2016.

The cornerback, defensive tackle, and defensive end/edge rusher positions are all spots where the Bengals could use an injection of young talent. Players who could realistically be on the board that stand out to me as home run picks at 31 are Kaiir Elam, Arnold Ebiketie, Boye Mafe, and Devonte Wyatt. Names like Kyler Gordon, Andrew Booth Jr., Perrion Winfrey, and Logan Hall stand out too, but they wouldn’t excite me quite as much.

On Days 2 and 3, Cincinnati should continue to target defensive talent. With past success at finding defensive talent outside of the first round with picks like Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and Jessie Bates III, the Bengals have shown a knack for finding value on defense. Nik Bonitto, Myjai Sanders, Alontae Taylor, and Cam Taylor-Britt are a few examples of players I could see the Bengals nabbing on Day 2 who could become big-time players.

The Bengals have a lot of young studs on offense and then solid veterans on defense, this year they need to do the reverse to find a good balance.