The virtual NFL Draft has officially concluded and the Cincinnati Bengals should be very happy with their incoming talent.
Outside of the very obvious Joe Burrow pick up, the Bengals were able to add depth at key positions and were able to address team needs all the way through Day 3.
The first two days of the draft are widely publicized and most players taken are recognizable names to most football fans. However, we’re going to be focusing mostly on the third and final day of the draft.
To quickly recap rounds one through three, the Bengals picked their hopeful franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall, grabbed Clemson wideout and Cincinnati Bengals fan Tee Higgins with the 33rd pick, and landed Wyoming linebacker Logan Wilson, who has exceptional pass coverage skills at the start of Round 3.
To begin Day 3 of the NFL Draft, the Bengals selected outside linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither from Appalachian State. Davis-Gaither is an extremely athletic, very active ballplayer. Along with adding Logan Wilson the day before, Cincinnati made it clear that they wanted to address the linebacker position in a big way.
Adding a player like Davis-Gaither who loves to run the field, and is not a liability in the passing game was a huge first step for teams day three outlook.
With the first pick of Round 5, Cincinnati selected defensive end, Khalid Kareem, from Notre Dame. This offseason, the Bengals added D.J. Reader to plug up the middle of the line. However, they also want to apply more pressure on the outside, which is where Kareem’s skill set comes into play. The Bengals pass rush last season was almost non-existent and ranked in the bottom five for total sacks.
Kareem is a brute with great hands that will be able to set the edge for this team.
Another large need was addressed for the team with their sixth-round pick: offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji from Kansas. The Bengals’ offensive line was pedestrian for most of the 2019 season, and although they improved toward the end of the year, the offensive line needed an upgrade. Adeniji has explosive hands but has problems with getting off the ball at times. He can play both the guard and tackle positions so hopefully, with a bit more practice, he will be able to make it as a starter in the Cincinnati offense.
And with their last pick of the 2020 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals decided to add another linebacker with Markus Bailey from Purdue in the seventh round. If you are not a Bengals fan and you are reading this, please trust me, they definitely needed a full overhaul at the position. Bailey is a bit of a stockier build at six feet, 235 pounds, and makes up for his lack of height with big power. Bailey has shown signs that he can cover over the middle quite well but has quite a list of injuries that come along with him.
Overall, the Bengals made a big splash in this year’s draft. They secured their future quarterback, added some monster playmakers, and hammered on rebuilding the linebacker group. Cincinnati should be quite pleased with how everything turned out in the hopes of turning this franchise in the right direction.