4 positions Bengals could draft in first round of 2023 NFL Draft, 3 to steer clear of
Steer Clear Of: Wide Receiver
I'm all for the Bengals getting someone in this draft to replace Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd, as both of their contracts are coming up and chances are one-- or potentially both-- are going to be gone after this season (for Boyd) or the next (for Higgins). With paying Burrow and Chase being the top priorities for the front office, there will be a team whose going to offer these guys more than the Bengals are willing to match.
However, even with that being said, I don't think the Bengals should use a first or even a second-round pick on wideouts. They can afford to be patient and still find a good wide receiver late in this draft, just like with running backs.
For example, Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Lions, a player quietly becoming one of the best young wide receivers in the league, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, a class that included Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, and, of course, Ja'Marr Chase.
This 2023 wide receiver class seems to be just as deep, if not deeper. When the first round is over and done with, there will still be several quality pass catchers left on the board.
Kashon Boutte, another LSU receiver, could be worth taking a shot at. He's considered a developmental, project receiver, but he's also expected to drop as far as a Day 3 pick after once being projected to go in the first round, so it would be a low-risk, high-reward situation if the Bengals got to take him with, say, their fifth-round pick.
That's just one of many who could be available by the end of the second round, with other guys like Rashee Rice (SMU), Cedric Tillman (Tennesse), and Nathaniel Dell (Houston) potentially being on the board by the time the third round rolls around.
Like it is for running backs, the Bengals can be patient here and get a steal in this draft if they want to draft a replacement for Boyd and/or Higgins, there's no need to jump the gun.