After being so close to a Super Bowl victory in February, the Bengals’ quest for another Super Bowl run will start in this year’s NFL draft.
The Bengals finished last season 10–7 to win the AFC North and went on a miraculous postseason stretch led by masterful performances from second-year quarterback Joe Burrow. The former Heisman-winner missed a large portion of his rookie season after he tore both his ACL and MCL—leading to discourse over the team’s offensive line.
The team’s lack of talent up front became a major storyline going into the 2021 NFL draft and a debate ensued on whether the Bengals should pick Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell or Burrow’s former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase. Either pick would’ve been for Burrow’s betterment: one for protection or the other giving him a familiar weapon. Cincinnati chose the latter and lightning struck.
Chase had one of the best rookie receiving seasons in NFL history, but ultimately Burrow’s lack of protection was the team’s kryptonite. The signal-caller was sacked seven times in the Super Bowl and led the NFL in sacks taken at 51 for the season.
The Bengals have a lot to build off of going into this year’s draft, but the offensive line should be one area where the team looks to add. With a clean pocket, Burrow could be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Of course, some defensive playmakers wouldn’t be a bad choice either.
Here is how the Bengals’ draft has turned out thus far (to be updated during NFL draft):
- Round 1, Pick 31: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
- Round 2, Pick 60 (from Buccaneers via Bills): Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
- Round 3, Pick 95: Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
- Round 4, Pick 136: Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State
- Round 5, Pick 166 (from Cardinals via Eagles, Texans, Bears): Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo
- Round 7, Pick 252: Jeffrey Gunter, DE, Coastal Carolina
The 2022 NFL draft begins with the first round on Thursday 8 p.m. ET. The second and third rounds take place on Friday, beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Rounds four through seven take place on Saturday at noon.
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