Bengals still need to add a tight end in the draft after signing Irv Smith Jr.

Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84)
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84) / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals signed a tight end by the name of Irv Smith Jr. and while some fans might think this now puts them in the clear as far as drafting a tight end, I'm not so sure.

Smith is an incredibly athletic player and could fit in with the Bengals' offense quite well but there's one major problem when it comes to the former Alabama tight end -- He's injury-prone.

Since entering the league in 2019 as a second-round pick by the Vikings, Smith has only played a full regular season just once and that was during his rookie year. He missed three games in 2020, missed the entire 2021 season, and played in only eight games this past year.

The point here is that Smith can't be the end all be all for the Bengals at tight end. They still need to draft a tight end in either the first or second round because if Smith goes down -- and there appears to be a strong chance that he will -- they need to have a better backup plan than Devin Asiasi.

Bengals aren't in the clear at tight end yet

Fortunately for Cincinnati, there are plenty of tight ends worth drafting on Day 1 or 2. Michael Mayer is a popular name amongst Bengals fans since he went to high school in Kentucky but there's a solid chance that Mayer won't still be on the board when the stripes are on the clock.

Dalton Kincaid is someone who has been linked to the defending AFC North champs frequently. He'd be a great addition and it's always nice to have a veteran starter at the tight end spot since it's a tough position for rookies to thrive in.

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Maybe the Bengals made this move and plan to roll with Smith as their main plan at tight end but that would be a mistake. Now they don't necessarily need to add someone at the position in the first round but it's still one they should try to fill early on. If Smith goes down, the team wouldn't be in a good spot at the position at all.