Holding a late first-round pick is tricky. Do the Cincinnati Bengals address a position of need or do they go with the best player sitting on the board? That's what the team will have to ask themselves this April.
One of the more intriguing prospects is Texas running back Bijan Robinson. As most of you know, it's not a popular move to select a running back in the first round but Robinson is a special talent. The Longhorn running back compiled just under 1,900 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns during his 2022 campaign and had double-digit rushing touchdowns in back-to-back seasons.
With Joe Mixon's future in Cincinnati up in the air, if Robinson fell to the Bengals at No. 28, would fans be okay with the team spending a first-rounder on him? Bengals Reddit tackled just that.
If Bijan Robinson is on the board when the Bengals draft, should they select him?
Here's what some Bengals Redditors had to say on the matter. Comments have been left as is.
"You draft the best player. Bijan isn’t making it to us but if he did we’d be fools not to take the elite option that’s there. So yes we should take him. We should be paying oline pieces in free agency." - u/BlackGabriel
"After watching Pacheco for the Chiefs after getting drafted in the 7th I don’t want us to take RB before the what, 4th at the earliest? Just too many spots that will need to be filled in future years and this team can (somewhat) afford to draft for the future as we don’t have any glaring holes. Cut Mixon, resign Perine, and find an explosive RB in late rounds" - u/Dan_Marino_
"No running backs and no tight ends in the first two rounds please. There are legitimate pieces that need to be replaced by 2024, especially OT. We will basically be starting over at one of the most important positions after 2023." - u/CosbySweaters1992
"No. There’s no reason to draft a RB in the first rd at all.
Browns found nick Chubb in the second, so can bengals
Trade back abs acquire picks and really fix that defense and OL" - u/ckutasy (guessing they mean "trade back AND acquire picks")
"My ideal offseason is to cut mixon and trade TB for a second, use that $18 M for a FA o-line, then draft bijan in the first and take a tackle and hopefully darnell washington in the second, then DI, WR, and CB in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th in any order. I'd prefer the WR to be cedric tillman. A lot would have to go right for us to pull it off but imo that would improve the team across the board except the drop off from the loss of Boyd, which would be more than compensated by the receiving talents of bijan and red zone threat/blocking from washington." - u/billbrasky___
"People saying you don't draft RBs early need to realize that he is the 4th highest ranked prospect and we'd be taking him 28th. If we were picking 10th then I would agree, but I like it a lot better than reaching for an OL who doesn't have first round grade, similar to what we did with Carman when we took him 2.05" - u/AJGreenMVP
As you can see, the fans' thoughts on this subject are pretty split. Some feel like if Robinson is still on the board at pick 28, the Bengals would be idiots NOT to draft him. Others, however, said that it's stupid to take a running back in the first round, no matter how good they are.
Something I wanted to touch on from these comments is the one about Isaiah Pacheco of the Chiefs. Kansas City got him in the seventh round of last year's draft and he went on to be a major piece in their Super Bowl-winning core. While Pacheco is awesome, finding someone in the seventh round isn't always going to solve the running back issues.
Robinson would be a lot of fun in the Bengals offense and part of why the Chiefs have been so good despite losing talent is that they grab those players who fall. If Bijan Robinson slips to 28, the Bengals would have landed a top-10 talent at the end of the first round and those kind of moves help teams contend.