The 2020 NFL Draft is just over a month away, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The Cincinnati Bengals will be the first team evaluated.
To say the 2019 season was a disaster for the Bengals might actually be an understatement. Cincinnati went 2-14 avoiding their worst record of all time in the last game of the season against the Browns. That said, they were very clearly the worst team in the NFL and because of that, they will now have the first pick in the upcoming draft.
Offensively this team struggled for a multitude of reasons. They were without AJ Green all season and have now gone a season and a half without their star wide receiver. Also because of their weak offensive line, Joe Mixon was held back again but, still found a way to have a 1,000 yard season. Tyler Boyd continued to improve having a 1,000 receiving season as well. Other than that, this team was well below average in almost every category. With Andy Dalton on the trade block, it seems the dynamic duo between him and AJ Green will likely be broken up for the first time in their respective careers.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bengals were better than 2018, but they were still pretty bad in most areas in their first year under Lou Anarumo. The second half was much better than the first but outside of the defensive line, the rest of the defense couldn’t stop anyone. Their coverage was bad in a number of areas but there are still some pieces that the Bengals can work with. William Jackson did well once he figured out the defense and Jessie Bates was a tackling machine. Germaine Pratt also flashed much of the tacking prowess that the Bengals had hoped to see when they drafted him in the third round last year. Other than that there are a lot of areas this team needs to address on the defensive side of the ball.
2020 NFL Draft Picks
Cincinnati will have seven picks to use in the 2020 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 1
Second Round (one pick): No. 33
Third Round (one pick): No. 65
Fourth Round (one pick): No. 107
Fifth Round (one pick): No. 147
Sixth Round (one pick): No. 180
Seventh Round (one pick): No. 215
Offensive Tackle- Even after picking Jonah Williams with their first pick, the Bengals will either need a backup in case he isn’t healthy or potentially a starter to go over Bobby Hart.
Offensive Guard/Center- It seems like the Bengals might be okay in the interior with Michael Jordan, Trey Hopkins and newly signed Xavier Sua-Filo. That said, picking up someone to challenge either of the guards in camp wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Outside Linebacker- This has to be the biggest hole on the team right now. Jordan Evans can’t get the job done and Nick Vigil is likely on his way out. The Bengals need to pick someone for this position as early as possible.
Inside Linebacker- Germiane Pratt, once given the chance, showed he could potentially be a long-term solution in the middle of the defense. While he won’t likely be a superstar, he will definitely get the job done and quietly rack up kills. Still, the Bengals should use a late pick here to find a suitable backup.
Secondary- The team has already attacked this position in free agency by adding Trae Wayne and Mackensie Alexander from Minnesota’s stout defense. With William Jackson and Darius Phillips they are set at Cornerback. Safety might be an area of need though as Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates are not bad but could use a challenge and if nothing else some backup.
Quarterback- Andy Dalton is likely on his way out and Ryan Finley is not the answer. Everyone knows who should be going here.
Tight End- It would be a bit of a surprise if Tyler Eifert finds his way back to Cincinnati again. He was finally healthy for a full season and had some moments that reminded fans of what he could be. While CJ Uzomah is solid, Drew Sample may not be the answer behind him. Grabbing a late-round Tight-End wouldn’t be the worst thing.
2020 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 1: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Was there really anyone else to put here? The Bengals would be foolish not to pick him and at this time, all signs point to him making his way back home to Ohio.
Pick No. 33: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
There is a reason LSU won the National Championship this year, the team was stacked with outstanding players. Patrick Queen may not be one that is talked about as often as those that will go before him but he has the ability to be a quality NFL linebacker. The Bengals have a massive need at the position, especially for a more modern linebacker with speed and Patrick Queen fits that perfectly. If he is available, this would be a fantastic way for the Bengals to start off day two.
Pick No. 65: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
While Niang could go as high as early second round, he could very easily slip down into the early third. If so the Bengals should jump for joy as they have likely found their Right Tackle of the future. Niang, when healthy, is strong and can be a solid outside blocker. While he is a little slow that will be punished a lot less due to him likely starting on the right side. Should Cincinnati have the chance to draft him, they should jump all over it.