The Bengals are coming off a season in which they were projected to be the worst team in the NFL in the 2011-2012 season. With the tag team duo of quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J Green, the Bengals made the season very interesting to watch. They finished the season with a 10-6 record and made it to the playoffs in their first year as a unit.
Coming into this season the bar has been set and expectations are higher for this team. They are playing in arguably the toughest division in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens always being among the league’s elite teams. It is time for this team to put themselves in that same category with another solid season this year.
Tonight was just a small step towards what the Bengals were trying to accomplish. In this years NFL Draft the Bengals needed and still need to address some key areas in which they have needs. These areas of need have been caused by losses in free agency and exploitations realized in the team’s loss in the playoffs.
The team was plagued with injuries in the secondary last season, and when key players needed to step up they simply didn’t. It was the secondary that was a main contributor to the loss against the Houston Texans in the first round of the playoffs this past year. The Bengals were handed their second loss to the Texans, and both times the Texans’ starting quarterback had been injured.
The Bengals were hoping to get Dre Kirkpatrick with the 17th pick, and luckily for them he was still available. The corner out of Alabama is known to have great tackling skills and ability to make hard hits on ball handlers. He is not the best cover corner, but in a division that will have to deal with Ray Rice and now Trent Richardson as opposing running backs this is a very solid pick. The Bengals need someone who will be a sure tackler, and is not afraid to lay a hit on someone.
The second need the Bengals were expected to address was the offensive guard position on the o-line. Bobbie Williams is a free agent now, and the team needs a solid lineman in order to keep their running game effective and protect Andy Dalton. The Bengals had never drafted an offensive guard in the first round, but after trading back in the first round they picked up Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin. This is yet another very solid pick for the team because Zeitler comes from a team that is a run oriented team. The Bengals coaches liked his character and he made a good enough impression to pass on Cordy Glenn in order to draft him.
As I said earlier the Bengals did trade back a few spots in the first round, and gave the 21st pick to the New England Patriots. In doing so they gained the Patriots third round pick. The Bengals knew that their guy would still be there at the 27th spot, and they gained a pick with the Patriots wanting to jump up and address their defense.
This has just been the first round of the draft, and there are still two more days left. I look for the Bengals to pick up a wide receiver in day two and perhaps enhance the defense. A local guy who I’d like to see them get in day three if he’s still available is J.K Schaffer from the Cincinnati Bearcats at the linebacker position. So much excitement and it’s only the beginning. If you’re a Bengals fan than you should be very proud of your team with getting this draft off on the right foot.