NFL Draft Begins Thursday Night at 8:00 PM on ESPN, ABC, NFL Network
April 18, 2020 – BRENDON D. MILLER
The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock, and by the end of this weekend, we will have a good idea what Zac Taylor’s Second Edition of the Bengals will look like. Those in Bengaldom are anxious, and due to the complete sports shutdown by COVID -19, all sports fans are eager for a current sports event and the Draft will fit that bill this week!
As a preface, growing up on Eastern Kentucky, I am a life-long Bengals fan, after all, the Lexington and Eastern Kentucky area is a good portion of the Bengals home TV market. Sure I have followed other teams over the years, but the Bengals have always been home. The Bengals of the 80’s were a thing of beauty with Ken and then Boomer, leading the charge for head men Forrest Gregg and Sam Wyche, and Munoz and Montoya blocking for Pete Johnson and James Brooks. Two AFC Championships and two Super Bowls. Then the Dark Years before Marvin arrived. 16 years, during the Lewis Regime, four AFC Central Titles, and seven playoff appearances, but alas, no playoff wins. I began as a Bengals season ticket holder while in Law School in Northern Kentucky for the 1994 season and maintain them to this day, and have now been a media member covering the Bengals for the last four seasons.
The Bengals hold the top pick for the first time since 2003, when Carson Palmer was chosen, and the highest since taking A.J. Green with the 4th pick in 2011. Cincy is here due to the 2-14 effort last year in Taylor’s maiden season, and this draft gives the Bengals a chance for renewal and to continue the remake of the roster that began in Fee Agency.
WHAT THE BENGALS WILL DO
It is the consensus the Bengals will take Joe Burrow with the 1st pick, and no doubt they will. Burrow is dynamic on the field coming off a storybook senior season at LSU winning the SEC and National Championships along with the Heisman, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and Manning Award. Burrow is also a home run for the franchise off the field as he is confident and a home state guy from Athens County, Ohio.
It is my prediction that the Bengals will take Burrow, and avoid a riots in Southwest Ohio. I am so hopeful that Burrow he will be all he promises to be and leads the Bengals back to prominence. It will be fun covering the Bengals with Burrow and the buzz he will create in the fan base.
WHAT COULD THIS DRAFT DO FOR THE BENGALS?
What could the Bengals do if they decided to trade the pick? What if the Bengals wanted to change the entire franchise and saw this opportunity to stockpile talent? Never, have the Bengals had so much draft capital as they do today. Let’s pursue the possibilities!!
First, the Bengals have to trade the pick, and give up Burrow to the Dolphins for the King’s ransom that has been discussed: The Phins’ three First Round Picks, two Second Round Picks, and a Third Round Pick, along with their 2021 First Round Pick. Given this, the Bengals would need to be ready to either play Andy Dalton in the final year of his contract, or they could pursue and sign Cam Newton for the same money Dalton receives on a one year deal and cut Dalton.
From there, the Bengals should further trade down the #5 pick with Jacksonville for two more First Round Picks, a Second and a Third. Giving them #9, #18, #20, and #26. No way the Bengals would sign and pay four #1’s and also 33, so they should then trade down again with the Colts sending them #20 for two Second Rounders, and a Fourth. This leaves the Bengals 16 in the first 122 picks to totally remake the roster, especially the offensive line and linebacking corps, and set up all positions for the future but Quarterback.
#1 – To Dolphins for #5, #18, #26, #39, #56, #70
#5 – to Jaguars for #9 and #20, #42, #73
#20 – to Colts for #34, #44, #122
SEVEN ROUND MOCK
#9 JEDRICK WILLS – OT – Alabama
With Jonah Williams, gives Bengals a set of bookends for the next decade.
#18 PATRICK QUEEN – LB – LSU
Takes care of the MIKE LB position and give the D play-maker.
#26 TEE HIGGINS – WR – Clemson
The #2 WR, and potential #1 needed when Green moves on.
#33 LLOYD CUSHENBERRY – C – LSU
Able to immediately take over at Center or Right Guard.
#34 ZACK BAUN – LB – Wisconsin
SAM backer spot filled as Bengals remake position.
#39 TREVON DIGGS – CB – Alabama
One of the best Corners in Draft for depth and potential #1.
#42 ISAIAH WILSON – OL – Georgia
Can play Right Tackle or Guard. Big talent to develop.
#56 TERRELL LEWIS – EDGE – Alabama
Edge rusher to compete in rotation.
#65 ALBERT OKWUEGBUNAM – TE – Missouri
Takes #2 TE position.
#70 PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO – OL – Auburn
Can play Tackle or Guard. More Big talent to develop.
#73 WILLIE GAY, JR. – Mississippi State – LB
WILL LB. Talent to play right away.
#107 LYNN BOWDEN, JR. – Kentucky – WR
Slot behind Boyd and special kick returner.
#122 DARRELL TAYLOR – Tennessee – DE
Developmental End with size.
#147 J.R. REED – S – Georgia
Safety and Special Teams help.
#180 RASHARD LAWRENCE – DT – LSU
Developmental run stuffer for Tackle rotation.
#216 RODRIGO BLANKENSHIP – K – Georgia
Best kicker in draft, sures up that position.
EARLY 53 (55) MAN ROSTER
With this Draft – Potential 53 Main Roster, Plus 2 for Game Day for 55
QB: Dalton or Newton, Finley, Dolegala
RB: Mixon, Bernard, Williams, Patrick
WR: Green, Boyd, Tate, Ross, Higgins, Bowden, Thomas
TE: Uzomah, Sample, Okwuegbunam
OT: Williams, Wills, Hart, Johnson
OG: Jordan, Wilson, Wanogho, Su’a-Filo
C: Hopkins, Cushenberry
DT: Atkins, Reader, Glasgow, Wren
DE: Dunlap, Hubbard, Lewis, Lawson, Taylor
LB: Bynes, Pratt, Queen, Baun, Gay, Evans
CB: Waynes, Jackson, Alexander, Phillips, Diggs
S: Bates, Bell, Williams, Wilson, Reed