There was an overwhelming sense that Cincinnati would select a tight end in this year’s draft. Much to our surprise, or even dismay, they did not.
Once the final snap of the 2023 season takes place, undrafted rookie free agent Christian Trahan will be the only tight end under contract. Therefore, unless the Bengals bring in three or four free agents, expect the team to select at least one player from that position in the 2024 draft.
However, the profile of the type of tight end they should look for will not have changed. With the firepower of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Charlie Jones out wide, expect the Bengals to target a tight end who can excel at pass and run blocking while being a dependable security blanket for Burrow.
After having passed on a couple of great options to fill that role in this year’s draft, Cincinnati will be in a position to have to target tight ends next year.
Then again, with only one tight end on the roster, the team will not have to limit themselves to a particular type of player.
Receiving threat Benjamin Yurosek, blocking menace Brevyn Spann-Ford, and do-it-all Jaheim Bell are all names Bengals fans should get to know.
Also, we should not completely count out the possibility that former second-rounder Drew Sample, or recent free agent acquisitions Irv Smith Jr. and Devin Assisi could be long-term answers at the position.
With none of them under contract beyond this season, there is more than a good chance Cincinnati will need to bring in more talent at tight end heading into the 2024 season.
The 2024 NFL Draft is stacked with talent at positions the Bengals will need to address because of expiring contracts or a particular skill set currently lacking on the roster. Unless those issues are addressed through free agency, expect right tackle, edge rusher, nose tackle, and tight end to be the priorities heading into the 2024 draft.
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