Darnell Washington, TE (Georgia)
The one-handed catch from the Combine. Normally it is good to not get too excited about the combine, but, that was a drop-the-mic moment. Darnell Washington can be an absolute weapon for the Cincinnati Bengals. His untapped receiving potential, the ability to run over people, and his freak speed and size. All of this screams difference-maker.
"Washington can block like an offensive tackle. His team will always have the advantage in the run game when he is on the field. Meanwhile, the former Georgia tight end ran a 4.64 40-yard dash at 264 pounds. Furthermore, he measured 6-foot-7 at his pro day. Now that NFL coaches are becoming more involved in the draft process, Washington’s raw physical talents will catch their eye. Don’t be surprised if the Georgia star is the first tight end drafted in April."- Mike Fanelli
The original article can be linked here.
Add the ability to block like a tackle and run over people and you have a multi-dimensional weapon that gives the Bengals offense immense versatility. He is a freaking tackle that can go deep with 4.6 speed.
It breaks the mind the kind of formational tricks you could play on opposing teams. The running game would also get better immediately without losing the ability to surprise the defense by using true run formations. Darnell Washington deserves to be on the list at 28 for the Bengals as a true game changer.
Calijah Kancey, DT (Pittsburgh)
Calijah Kancey is my biggest draft crush. After having read and looked through tons of evaluations of him, seen an endless stream of draft experts call him out, and just looked at the highlights myself I can only picture him wreaking a ton of havoc on the Bengals opponents.
He is undersized and has short arms, but, he has an amazing short-area quickness that would complement the Bengals in massive ways. One can only imagine if you put a Geno Atkins-like talent on the 2023 Bengals what it would mean for the win total. No QB would be comfortable with Hendrickson, Hubbard, and Ossai swarming around the edge while the pocket is collapsed like a cheap house of cards.
"Calijah Kancey established himself as one of the most interior effective pass-rushers during his final two seasons at Pittsburgh, especially in 2022, earning the highest pass-rush grade at his position (92.4). Kancey’s biggest knock from evaluators at this point relates to his size, and rightfully so, as he ranks inside the bottom-fifth percentile for height, weight,and arm length relative to his position. However, as these stable metric will show, and what another former Pittsburgh alum — Aaron Donald — has shown, is that elite pass-rush tools can still translate to the NFL, especially for IDP, where pass-rush is difficult to find from the interior defensive line."- Jonathon Macri, PFF
Please see the original article here.
For pure impact alone, just imagine what someone as good as Atkins could do, not to mention the potential of an Aaron Donald. Those are generational talents and looking back you will wonder how any one of the 31 other teams had passed on them. For this alone, Calijah Kancey stands as the number one option for the Bengals at 28.
The Bengals have been going for it this offseason. Picking one of these five players will have them continue to go for it to the Super Bowl!