DRAFT PREVIEW: Pick 9 – Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals aren’t used to picking this high, but 2016 was a rare off season for them. What will they do with the opportunity?

Pick: 9

2016 Record: 6-9-1

What went right in 2016? For the most part, the Bengals were competitive in 2016, but they just couldn’t put enough points on the board to win games. No tight end had more receptions or yards than Travis Kelce, but no other Bengal ranked in the top 15 at their position by the end of the season.

And what went wrong? As suggested above, too little production from too many players. The team struggled to adapt after losing offensive guru Hue Jackson, who became head coach in Cleveland. They came to rely too heavily upon Kelce and their three running backs, whilst the lack of a truly dynamic second receiver left AJ Green ploughing a lone and heavily marked furrow downfield.

What do they need? Offensive Line, Linebacker, Defensive End

Who will they pick? Having lost Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth the Bengals would probably have liked to try and find a replacement in this round. However, as we’ve noted before, this isn’t a good Draft for finding offensive linemen, so they would be better looking at one of those other needs. If Reuben Foster, the Alabama linebacker, is still on the board then he would be their best pick, although there will be concerns as to how he will fit with an already combustible corps of defensive backs. An alternative would be Taco Charlton, the Michigan defensive end and probably the next best defensive player of any type still available at this point.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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