Cincinnati Bengals Draft Preview; 2016 Schedule Released
With the NFL Draft set to begin on April 28th, let’s take a look at this year’s Cincinnati Bengals Draft Preview and schedule.
Cincinnati Bengals Draft Preview
Top Needs: Wide Receiver, Nose Tackle, Linebacker, Center
Draft Picks: Round 1 (24), Round 2 (55), Round 3 (87), Round 4 (122), Round 5 (161), Round 6 (199), Round 7 (245)
The Cincinnati Bengals looked to finally be a team to be reckoned with heading into the playoffs, but that was all lost when quarterback Andy Dalton suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season and their lone playoff game against the Steelers. Another playoff berth, and yet another first round exit for Marvin Lewis and his Bengals. With no glaring needs anywhere, this draft can be used to add some quality depth at a few positions.
A.J Green is a top-five receiver in the NFL, but after him there is not much to get excited about in Cincinnati. Losing Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones in free agency leaves a big hole in the receiving corps. Look for the Bengals to grab a receiver with the 24th overall pick. The 22nd, 23rd and 24th picks all look to be receivers, so it all depends who picks who and where.
Corey Coleman, Will Fuller and Josh Docston can all be options here all depending on who is left at 24. A legit outside receiver will take away all the attention Green gets and open things up for this offense. With a pass attack already featuring Green and Tyler Eifert, if a rookie can come in and make some plays, this offense can be lethal.
The second round can bring some beef up front to the offense. Current center, Russell Bodine, has done nothing but hurt this offensive line, so the Bengals can look to draft his replacement in the second round. If Ryan Kelly is there, they will jump on him immediately. However, I think he will be gone before pick number 55 so a more realistic option is Nick Martin from Notre Dame. He is the second ranked center on most boards and will still be a quality player in the NFL. He can add some grit and leadership to a Bengals’ offensive line in need of it.
After losing Reggie Nelson to the Oakland Raiders, there is a need at safety on the defense. Giving Geno Atkins some help along the defensive front would also be ideal. These two positions can be looked at in the middle rounds. A couple guys to keep an eye on are Sheldon Day, a defensive tackle from Notre Dame and Tyvis Powell, a safety from Ohio State.
The Bengals can close out their draft by possibly picking up another receiver as well some inside linebacker help. If they take an outside threat receiver in the first round, look for more of a slot type guy to be taken later as that is also a need.
Jared Norris, an inside linebacker from Utah, is a late round guy to watch for. He lacks ideal athleticism for the new age linebacker, but is highly instinctive and is a good football player. With the league becoming more pass-happy by the snap, linebackers like Norris fall in the draft due to their lack of elite speed. However, Norris can be a solid player in the NFL if plugged in the right system.
Cincinnati Bengals’ Schedule
Week 1: Sept. 11, at New York Jets, 1
Week 2: Sept. 18, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1
Week 3: Sept. 25, Denver Broncos, 1
Week 4: Sept. 29, Miami Dolphins (Thu), 8:25
Week 5: Oct. 9, at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25
Week 6: Oct. 16, at New England Patriots, 1
Week 7: Oct. 23, Cleveland Browns, 1
Week 8: Oct. 30, Washington Redskins (London), 9:30 AM
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Nov. 14, at New York Giants (Mon), 8:30
Week 11: Nov. 20, Buffalo Bills, 1
Week 12: Nov. 27, at Baltimore Ravens, 1
Week 13: Dec. 4, Philadelphia Eagles, 1
Week 14: Dec. 11, at Cleveland Browns, 1
Week 15: Dec. 18, Pittsburgh Steelers*, 8:30
Week 16: Dec. 24, at Houston Texans (Sat), 8:25
Week 17: Jan. 1, Baltimore Ravens, 1
(Cincinnati Bengals Draft Preview)