Irv Smith Jr.
Instead of drafting tight end prospects such as Michael Mayer or Darnell Washington in the first or second round respectively, the Bengals chose to roll with free agent acquisition “Swervin’ Irv” Smith Jr.
The former 2019 second-round pick to the Vikings was on the Bengals draft board, but after Cincinnati traded down, the Vikings took Smith two picks before the Bengals. This caused Zac Taylor to scramble in his first draft and take the next tight end prospect, Drew Sample.
We all know this pick turned out, but now the Bengals have both tight ends. Irv Smith Jr. has shown flashes when healthy, but he is often hurt, starting only 15 games since being selected in 2019. The Bengals tight end room is thin, but it runs through Irv Smith Jr. who is on a prove-it deal, hoping to solidify himself as a consistent starter if healthy.
The Bengals defensive coordinator, oftentimes returned to as a mad scientist, has been given plenty of weapons the past two drafts. Anarumo was reportedly in top-3 consideration for the Arizona Cardinals head coaching job, and there’s good reason for it.
He has continued retooling the Bengals' defense, loading up on young pieces in the secondary. Third-round pick Jordan Battle could develop into being a Pro-Bowl-level safety, and second-rounder D.J. Turner will look to be the cornerback of the future opposite Cam Taylor-Britt.
The mad scientist got a flashy new weapon for the defensive line in Myles Murphy and is simultaneously loading up on defense while getting younger, faster, and cheaper. As long as Lou Anarumo is the Bengals' defensive coordinator and is given draft capital, the Bengals' defense will be just fine.