The 2018 NFL draft is just a day away. The Cincinnati Bengals (the only team that matters) originally had the 12th pick. Mike Brown and company, shockingly, made a great trade in moving back from pick 12 to 21 and gaining a franchise LT in Cordy Glenn. This trade would not have been necessary if Mike Brown would have committed to Andrew Whitworth but the team does get younger and will likely have a few more years out of Glenn. They did not really lose much moving back 9 spots. This draft is deep with talent and is not as top heavy as prior years. For what the Bengals need the 21st pick is likely to provide better value. Most of the players they would consider at 12 and help the team win would be reaches at 12 and great value picks at 21.
By moving back, the Bengals have mostly moved out of a chance to select Mike McGlinchey, Derwin James, Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edwards. The only guy I’ll be sad about missing out on is McGlinchey as I think he will be a 12+ year starting OT.
I truly believe the Bengals pick is in this group. The list is really 3 guys for me and I believe the pick is Frank Ragnow, James Daniels or Lamar Jackson. Personally, I would like the team to select Lamar Jackson. He is a very talented QB with a high ceiling. He needs a year to sit and the Bengals are in a perfect position to groom him behind Dalton for a year and then trade Dalton. There were rumors that the Bengals had split interest in Deshaun Watson last year and he had a strong rookie year prior to his injury. Now there are rumors of a split interest in Lamar Jackson and I wonder if they will approach differently this year after missing out on Watson. Lamar Jackson should not even be an option at 21 as he should go beforehand but things never seem to make sense on draft day. The likely pick is Frank Ragnow or James Daniels at 21 and both are fine picks. I believe both are 10+ year centers and will be significant upgrades over the stiff named Russell Bodine.
A couple months ago, I thought CB was a real possibility in the first round but now I am starting to think a bad scenario would have to happen for a CB to be in play. I think trading back or a CB sliding to 46 is the only possibility of a CB now. There is a chance if enough targets fall that the team will look to trade back if someone wants to move up. The Bengals would love to gain another day 2 pick and would still be able to grab a worthy player to help immediately (assuming Marvin actually plays him). Below are a list of targets that could be targeted in a trade back or in the 2nd round at pick 46.
There are multiple ways this can be a successful draft for the Bengals but addressing the center position before heading into round 3 is a must. If you land Ragnow or Daniels in the first or Price in the 2nd then it was a very successful start. There will be very talented OL available at pick 46 and if they go Ragnow or Daniels at 21 they very well could go OL again at 46. This would turn the biggest weakness from last year into one of their biggest strengths. Safety, LB and potentially a TE falling are likely to be in play here. I would love the team to go early on another DL but it does not seem like the value will make sense at this point.
We have had a major hole at the center position ever since Rich Braham retired. This draft will be an immediate success if we just land our next long term center.