Breakdown of Some Ugly Draft Numbers for the Bengals Over the Past Five Seasons

The Bengals' draft woes have led to five straight losing seasons
Author:
Updated:
Original:

CINCINNATI — The Bengals have eight picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and desperately need to make each one count. 

They have a lot of work to do this offseason in hopes of plugging their holes in the trenches—both on offense and defense. They need a true downfield threat for Joe Burrow to throw to and could have another needs depending on what happens to pending free agents Carl Lawson and William Jackson III. 

The Bengals' lack of success in the draft is a big reason why they've had five-straight losing seasons.

They've had 46 draft picks over the past five years. Only 11 of those guys were regular starters in 2020. That includes Jackson, Lawson and the 2020 rookie class (Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins). 

Nineteen of their 46 picks over the past five seasons are either out of the league (6) or on other teams (13). Sixteen of them are backups.

Bengals' Draft Results 2016-20

20162017201820192020

TOTAL PICKS

7

11

11

10

7

STARTERS

2

2

2

3

2

BACKUPS

0

4

3

4

5

OTHER TEAMS

4

4

4

1

0

PRACTICE SQUAD

0

0

0

0

0

OUT OF LEAGUE

1

1

2

2

0

There's potential for a few players to move into starting roles. Logan Wilson may be a starter next season, but it could come at Germaine Pratt's expense. 

Adding two or three quality starters in each draft class is reasonable, but their misses have been huge. From John Ross to Billy Price, the Bengals invested first-round picks in players that haven't contributed much on their rookie deals. 

The Cedric Ogbuehi/Jake Fisher disaster of 2015 was one of the worst drafts in team history. That started a bad trend for the team and they haven't been able to right the ship. Only C.J. Uzomah remains from the '15 class. He's a quality player, but the rest of the 2015 group was awful. 

The Bengals need to change moving forward. There's a chance they got it right in the  2020 draft. Their rookie class looks promising. 

Mid-round picks like Akeem Davis-Gaither, Hakeem Adeniji and Khalid Kareem showed flashes during their rookie seasons.

The only way the Bengals are going to fully complete this rebuild anytime soon is by spending money and addressing their weaknesses in free agency. 

Even a guy like Jonah Williams, who was a great pick at No. 11 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, has had his injury issues. 

They can't bank on the unknown this offseason. They need to bring in proven players. 

Burrow is on a rookie deal. The time to strike is now. Of course the Bengals have to get it right in the draft, but they have to do much more than that if they're going to turn things around in 2021. 

-----

You May Also Like:

Dave Lapham Names Bengals' Biggest Offseason Needs

PFF Names One Free Agent the Bengals Should Pursue

Trent Williams Expected to Text Free Agency

It Doesn't Have to be Either/Or... The Bengals Can Do Both This Offseason

Two Bengals' Potential Offseason Targets to be Paid More Than Expected

-----

Be sure to keep it locked on AllBengals all the time!

Subscribe to the AllBengals YouTube channel
Follow James on Twitter: @JamesRapien
Follow AllBengals on Twitter: @AllBengals
Like and follow AllBengals on Facebook