The Cincinnati Bengals took a big step back in 2016 after a 6-9-1 season. The offseason didn’t go much better as their offensive line was poached in free agency. Let’s face it; as long as Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis lead this franchise, the Bengals are the most irrelevant franchise in the NFL. Otherwise, the Bengals do have a strong roster but could use a facelift in the draft. What can we expect from the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft?
With the 9th pick, look for the Bengals to get more physical. In the tough AFC North division, Cincy needs a downhill linebacker. Reuben Foster could be a perfect fit. The Bengals finally moved on from Rey Maualuga and have never had a true middle linebacker in the middle of the defense. The Alabama product Foster fits the mold of Crimson Tide linebackers of the past with the potential to be the best one in recent memory.
The Bengals also hold the 41st pick in the 2nd round. Antonio Garcia of Troy could be a logical target. Garcia plays with a real nasty streak that should play well in the NFL. He really struggled at the Senior Bowl, likely because he has short arms for a tackle. The good news is he could play either tackle or guard for the Bengals. With Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler heading elsewhere this offseason, look for Cincy to target offensive lineman at some point.
With the 3rd round selection, 73rd overall, I could see the Bengals going with Trey Hendrickson as a possible choice. Hendrickson would fit right in as a 4-3 defensive end in Cincinnati’s system. Hendrickson is a guy who really shined at the East-West Game. He also had a really nice showing at the combine. The thing that stands out with Hendrickson is how quick he gets off the ball as his 10-yard split show his initial get off. Carlos Dunlap needs some help on the edge so let’s give him some. You could make that same argument for Geno Atkins at defensive tackle so maybe a Carlos Watkins is also a possibility.