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Cincinnati Bengals Three Biggest NFL Draft Needs
The Cincinnati Bengals have defied the haters and doubters by pulling off quite the 2021 season and becoming AFC North champs one week before the end of the regular season. They are currently the third-best team in the AFC and won the AFC North for the first time since 2009.
As the Bengals prepare for the playoffs, it is never too early to look at next year and who the Bengals will be targeting to improve on their strong young core. Last year, they added wideout phenom Ja’Marr Chase who has proved to be an incredible pickup and leading the Rookie of the Year race.
Let’s look at the draft ahead in 2022 and who the Bengals may target for their 2022 season.
Three Biggest Bengals Draft Needs
Joe Burrow has been sacked more than any other quarterback in the NFL this year after coming off a gruesome ACL injury in his first season. He is the reason that this team has ten wins and is in the playoffs. If the Bengals want him to be their quarterback for the long haul, they need to invest in his protection.
This will also help the production of Joe Mixon who ended up having an exceptional year, finishing second in most yards by a running back. Tyler Linderbaum is one potential target for the Bengals with their first-round pick if they want to go this route. He has played phenomenally for Iowa and would help the Bengals' offensive line immensely.
The Bengals have been tight on corners and need a player to help them out on the defensive side of the ball. The Bengals have been better than expected on defense, but the corner position has been hit or miss which would help the Bengals become a more complete team.
If they go with choosing a cornerback in the first round, they may target Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam, Trent McDuffie from Washington, or the hometown hero, Ahmad Gardner, who didn’t give up one touchdown in his time playing for the University of Cincinnati.
Along with the need for an improved center, the Bengals could use any help they can get along the whole offensive line. With some improvement on the offensive line, the Bengals' potent offense can continue to get better and make up for lapses on the defensive end.
If the Bengals are able to balance their run and pass and give Burrow more time, they will be the most dangerous offense in the NFL. Jaxson Kirkland comes to mind if the Bengals want to take an offensive tackle at the 22nd pick of the draft. Kirkland has great feet and has been able to defend against the best in the Pac-12 with Washington.
This seems like it should be a different conversation with how young the Bengals are, but they have been exceptionally mature for their age which bodes well as they build on a team that is here to stay. No one thought the Bengals would be a playoff team this year, and now, they have a chance to build on that next year with the 2022 NFL Draft.
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