The Cincinnati Bengals are officially on the clock and have been since the end of their overtime loss against the Miami Dolphins.
The Bengals finished with a 2-14 record and have numerous issues with the team. This offensive line would struggle against the defensive lines of the two colleges who contended for a National Championship. The Bengals secondary would be toasted by these teams. The only bright spot for the team is an aging defensive line.
Unfortunately, one draft pick isn’t going to make this team a contender in the coming years. The best option is a trade.Trading the first pick is uncommon, but has been done. Most recently, the Los Angeles Rams traded six draft picks for the Tennessee Titans #1 overall pick. There are numerous trading partners the Bengals could match with as the Miami Dolphins, LA Chargers, and the Carolina Panthers all are in worse shape than the Bengals at the QB position.
With three teams in dire need of a QB, a bidding war could see more than six draft picks come their way. The best option to trade with is the Miami Dolphins, since they have acquired numerous picks from the trades of Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Trading back to the fifth spot is still a good pick for the Bengals. There are still plenty of great players to draft to improve the areas that need it most.
At 5, Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah would give the Bengals a lockdown corner. The Team has not had that luxury since Jonathan Joseph. The secondary has so many issues that Okudah alone wouldn’t be the end all be all. Safeties like LSU’s Grant Delpit or Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons would be a major upgrade for the Bengals Secondary.
If they want to prioritize the offensive line, Andrew Thomas from Georgia should be available. The options for improvement from multiple draft players will help this team succeed in the future more than putting Joe Burrow out as the only first-round pick this year.
Bad news Bengals fans. The Bengals will not be coming close to the playoffs next year with Joe Burrow, and that’s okay.
If the Bengals make a trade and load up on picks for the next two drafts, with enough luck and losing, they will still have the first overall pick next year and be able to build a real contender when Trevor Lawrence from Clemson is available.
This is the QB the Bengals should have their eye on as he is the next sure-fire generational talent. He has all the physical tools and intangibles to be a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady like QB. The objective should be to build around Lawrence for the future.
The ownership has never been keen on trades. Brown refused to trade Andy Dalton because “Why would I make another team better.” As if he thinks he gets nothing in return. So, this scenario is extremely unlikely. But, if the Bengals are smart and make the right picks, this team could be a legit title contender in a few years; something the cursed sports town of Cincinnati hasn’t seen since the Reds of 1990.