Cincinnati Bengals May Scouting Report
The off-season player acquisition flurry has come to an end for the Bengals.
There could be a signing or two trickling in before training camp but any impact players are already in the fold.
In the draft, the Bengals opted to go with QB Joe Burrow's former LSU teammate WR Ja'Marr Chase with the first pick.
Hard to argue. Several players were options at No. 5 but in today's NFL it's hard to say you have too many pass catchers.
Chase becomes an immediate fantasy asset even though WR Tee Higgins and WR Tyler Boyd are already in the wideout room.
PK Evan McPherson is a kicker taken in the 5th round and for those who play with kickers in their fantasy leagues he could be a good one to latch on to. If Burrow stays healthy this could be a high-powered group.
RB Chris Evans, out of Michigan, was taken in the 6th round but is nothing more than a backup to the backups. RB Pooka Williams, a free agent signee, is likely to have more value if he is given the RB Gio Bernard role. Pooka is a quick twitch kinda player. RB Trayveon Williams, a personal favorite, is still on the team but may have to go some to stay on the team.
The other draft picks of note were OL Jackson Carman a tackle/guard from Clemson, C Trey Hill, and OT D'Ante Smith, who should provide line depth to keep Burrow upright.
The defense already underwent a major facelift in free agency with DE Trey Hendrickson, CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Mike Hilton, CB Eli Apple, S Ricardo Allen and DT Larry Ogunjobi signing deals.
But the draft added edge rushers Joseph Ossai and Cameron Sample to help chase down opposing quarterbacks. DL Tyler Shelvin and DL Wyatt Hubert also were drafted.
TE Pro Wells and QB Collin Hill were UDFAs added to the roster.
The Bengals had a decent but small core of players to build around this off-season. The team could have gone several directions in free agency as well as the draft.
Was this the best way?
Hard to say right now. Time will tell.
If Burrow gets hurt again believe me the downed Burrow photo caption cries of "A Penei for your thoughts, Joe" will ring loud in the Queen City.
But, on paper, this looks like a good football team. Can the coaches make this a great team? We'll see. Some have said this is HC Zach Taylor's last chance to show improvement. Owner Mike Brown is usually more forgiving than the fans. A better defense and a healthy Burrow will give the coaches the chance they need to get better.Still, in the tough AFC North, with Cleveland and Baltimore in great shape, Cincinnati may have to settle for finishing ahead of the Steelers in the standings for now. That'll be something if they can pull it off.
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