4 potential draft needs for Bengals in 2024

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks during the 2024 NFL Draft Celebration at Campus Martius Park in
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaks during the 2024 NFL Draft Celebration at Campus Martius Park in / Annie Barker / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Cincinnati Bengals have set themselves up with excellent talent via the draft and free agency at several positions over the past couple of years. However, due to expiring contracts and a lack of production in specific areas, the team may have to look to the college ranks to replace outgoing talent and improve in insufficient categories next year.

Here are four potential draft needs for the Bengals to address in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Nose Tackle

We should all hope that defensive tackle will not be a priority in next year’s draft because we already have a great one on the roster. However, arguably the most important player to the Bengals’ defensive success is in a contract year, yet no one is talking about it. 

The fact that D.J. Reader is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2023 season is flying lower than the planes in the risky mission at the crux of the Top Gun Maverick movie. Spoiler alert.  

With the team seemingly concentrating on extensions for Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and even Logan Wilson, the need for Cincinnati to look for a replacement via the draft is mounting. 

Unfortunately for the Bengals or any team looking to the draft for a nose tackle, there currently are not very many highly ranked candidates who spent the majority of their time at that spot coming out next year. If your favorite team needs a 3-tech, then you’re in luck. Next year’s group of players is deep with talent at that position. That is not the case, at least for the moment, for nose tackles. 

The good news is if the Bengals do lose Reader in free agency, that would fetch them a pretty good supplemental pick. The bad news would be no longer having one of the best defensive linemen in the league to depend on. Also, spending draft capital on a player after losing one of the best at their position is not much fun either. 

Luckily for the Bengals, they won’t have to send their scouts very far for an exciting player who played most of his time at nose tackle last year. The University of Cincinnati and Colerain High School’s Dontay Corleone is someone Duke Tobin and his staff should have their sights set on regardless of what happens with Reader.