2020 NFL Draft could go down as best draft in Bengals history
With the 2023 NFL Draft just weeks away, we're all going back in the time machine and looking at past drafts by the Cincinnati Bengals. It's becoming crystal clear that the 2020 NFL Draft could go down in history as the best-ever Bengals draft.
First and foremost, this was the draft in which the Bengals got Joe Burrow as their franchise quarterback. Burrow won a national title, won the Heisman Trophy, and threw for 60 touchdowns during his 2019 season at LSU so he was a no-brainer as far as who was going number one overall in the following draft.
While Burrow didn't immediately turn things around for the team, that was because he was injured as a rookie. In year two, he helped lead the Bengals to a Super Bowl where they came up just shy of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history.
In the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bengals selected Tee Higgins who has had 1,000+ yard seasons in two of his three years with the organization. He would have likely gone over that mark as a rookie but Burrow's injury prevented that from happening. Higgins still finished with 908 receiving yards during the 2020 season.
Round three brought Logan Wilson to Cincinnati. He's had over 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons and it feels like he still has room to grow. The linebacker position did not use to be a strong one for the Bengals but Wilson, paired with fourth-round pick Akeem Davis-Gaither and seventh-round pick Markus Bailey helped change that (and Germaine Pratt, of course, but he was a member of the 2019 draft class).
Was the 2020 NFL Draft the best draft ever for the Bengals?
I mentioned Davis-Gaither and Bailey as members of this class but the other two picks also contributed to this franchise. Khalid Kareem was the fifth-round pick and Hakeem Adeniji was the sixth-round pick for Cincinnati. Kareem was a rotational defensive piece while Adeniji served as a backup offensive lineman and has started several games for the team every year.
While the later picks of this particular draft won't end up being the players we talk about, even just looking at the first three picks shows how important this draft was for Cincinnati. They got their franchise quarterback in round one, a No. 2 wide receiver who could be a No. 1 receiver in the second round, and a tackling machine of a linebacker in the third round.
That sounds like a pretty damn good draft to me.