2019 NFL Draft: Jonah Williams, OT (Alabama)
The first pick of the Zac Taylor era was Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams. Things didn't get off to a good start at all for Williams when he was injured before the 2019 season even began and missed his entire rookie season.
In year two, Williams missed six games and that meant that his third season was going to be a big one for him. He stayed healthy for the whole year and played decently. That led to the Bengals picking up his fifth-year option, which was something they likely ended up regretting.
Williams allowed the most sacks in the league in 2022 and once the Bengals signed Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency, it became crystal clear that Williams wasn't in their future plans.
2020 NFL Draft: Joe Burrow, QB (LSU)
After a lousy 2019 season that saw Cincinnati win just two games, they landed the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the rights to draft LSU's Joe Burrow. The LSU signal-caller was coming off a season for the ages for a college quarterback, winning a national title, a Heisman Trophy, and throwing for 60 touchdowns.
Burrow was injured midway through his rookie year but in his second season in the league, he led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance since the late 1980s. In year three, the Bengals were in the AFC title game again but came up short of reaching the big game in back-to-back years.
Burrow could end up going down as the best draft pick in Bengals history.