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Cincinnati Bengals April Scouting Report
Mark Huber

The NFL Draft is coming soon and the Cincinnati Bengals have put themselves in a position to take the best player available.

Let's review.

Cincinnati has signed three starting offensive linemen in free agency. They still have 2 from last year's team that were starters at least part time so the 5 guys up front could well be intact.

They added a TE in Hayden Hurst as well to the offensive side of the ball. Punter Drue Chrisman was added.

On defense, it was bring back their own, retaining Jessie Bates, Eli Apple along with special team long snapper Clark Harris.

In all, the team lost 12 players to free agency at this time. Most notable are OT Riley Reiff, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and long time punter Kevin Huber.

As it stands now, the Bengals have their starting 22 in place with special teams still to be set.

Where does that leave the team heading in to the draft?

Just where they want to be.

One thing over the years the Bengals loathe doing is being forced in to draft a specific position. So this year sets up quite well for the AFC Champions.

The team could still use an offensive lineman (any position really), a defensive tackle, a cornerback and an edge rusher. Now, this could the needs list for ANY team in the NFL.

So the lay of the land is a bit shaky if you think this is exactly how Cincinnati will make its choices.

Here are my thoughts.

The most mocked players to Cincy in the first round seem to interior offensive line or cornerback. Tyler Lindebaum from Iowa or Kaiir Elam from Florida would be good picks for sure. OG Kenyon Green, OG Bernhard Raimann and S Daxton Hill also would be good choices. Seems like all could play immediately in some capacity.

I wouldn't discount TE Trey McBride, though.

Let's say it's Elam at 31 to help the rest of the process.

On Day 2, Hill if he's there would give the secondary a good start on the future. Having to get through so many stud QBs in the AFC, this wouldn't be a bad 1-2 start. Nick Bonitto, the edge rusher out of Oklahoma, is possible in the second if they like him. Haskell Garrett out of Ohio State should be available to help the interior DL.

Abraham Lucas, tackle/Washington State, would be a youngster to groom for the O-Line as would Jamaree Salyer out of Georgia, Thayer Munford from OSU and Ed Ingram out of LSU.From there, Day 3, is a crap shoot. Depth could be addressed along the O-Line or D-Line with linebacker always a possibility. It just depends on who their scouts/coaches like. One thing to note, none of these guys needs to be deemed a starter right now. They all can be developmental type players with high upside but no ability to play right now other than special teams.


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