The Cincinnati Bengals have the 28th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and while there will be a lot of discussions about what positions the team might look to address at pick 28, what about the positions they WON'T be looking at?
Obviously we know they won't be taking a kicker, punter, or long snapper in the first round so those don't need to be mentioned here. What other positions will the Bengals likely be passing on in the first round for one reason or another?
This one goes without saying. The Bengals have Joe Burrow as their starting quarterback so taking a signal-caller at pick 28 wouldn't make much sense.
This year's draft has four quarterbacks that teams will be looking to mold into starters in the near future and there's a solid chance that all four of those guys go in the top 10 picks. So, even if the Bengals did plan to take a quarterback, they wouldn't have much of a chance late in the first round.
I'm not ruling out Cincinnati drafting a quarterback later on in the draft but they won't be doing so in the first round. If they do, then I think it's safe to say that all of Cincinnati would be in complete and total shock.
The only way I could see the Bengals selecting a running back in the first round is if Bijan Robinson somehow fell to them at pick 28. Otherwise, they won't be taking a running back in round one.
While the Bengals could certainly use some help at the position, they can do so on Day 2 or 3. Joe Mixon, for the time being, is still the starting running back and the team also has Trayveon Williams and Chris Evans as depth pieces. They'll take a running back at some point (at least they should) but it won't be in the first round.
Running back isn't as valued as it once was and that's evident by how few are taken in the first round. The Bengals haven't selected a running back in the first round since they took Chris Perry in 2004 and the odds of them breaking that streak this year isn't high.
The Bengals could shock the fans by trading Tee Higgins or cutting ties with Tyler Boyd before draft weekend but if both of those guys are still on the roster come draft night, Cincinnati probably isn't taking a wide receiver at pick 28. Ja'Marr Chase, Higgins, and Boyd round out the best starting WR trio in the league so it's doubtful the team will be looking to spend a pick at the position.
Maybe one of the top prospects somehow falls to Cincinnati late in the first round but even in that case it's hard to see the team spending a first-rounder on a position they're already stacked at.
Despite the Bengals having a solid defense, they'll still be looking to upgrade their defense in the first round. The only position they won't be looking to do so at is linebacker.
Cincinnati re-signed Germaine Pratt in free agency and the contract still allows them to extend Logan Wilson. What was once considered one of the biggest weaknesses for the Bengals defense has turned into one of the biggest strengths and it'll remain that way with Pratt returning to the Queen City for the next three years.
Could you see the Bengals drafting any of these positions in round one?