As Bengals fans we know that the team rarely makes a splash in free agency even if sometimes there seems to be a fit. In recent history the Bengals have preferred to work in the draft to rebuild the team and not bank on players who may or may not come in and make the team better as a free agent.
It should come as no surprise that over the last 4 years the Bengals have done an excellent job in stockpiling extra picks in each draft. In fact, since the 2010 draft the Bengals have had the third most picks than any team in the NFL.
If a team gets the standard 7 each season, then the Bengals have had a 9 pick advantage over the rest.
We all know that each pick does not necessarily turn into a starter, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that the more picks a team has, the more chances they have of finding a good player.
In looking in the past 4 drafts the Bengals have been able to find many players that have become major contributors to the team. In 2010 Jermaine Gresham, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap stand out. In 2011 the Bengals got the offensive foundation of A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and Clint Boling. 2012 brought Dre Kirkpatrick, Kevin Zeitler, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Devon Still, Brandon Thompson and George Iloka. Last year we added Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard, Margus Hunt, Shawn Williams and Tanner Hawkinson.
There have been some misses, and some would argue a couple of the players above may be a miss. No one can argue that the Bengals have been able to add the necessary talent in the draft that was needed to keep the team competitive. Having the extra picks every year allowed the Bengals to grab an extra player or two to take a chance on.
The problem the Bengals face recently is that when it is time to trim the roster, they need to cut some pretty good football players. Many of these guys are instantly grabbed by other teams.
So while we all may want the Bengals to make some noise in the free agency market, chances are really good that they continue the course of building through the draft. And why not? They have been pretty good at it so far.