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Bengals' draft choices show team believe a championship is coming

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The Bengals, for the third year in a row, made level-headed picks that did not excite. Fans can rejoice in the fact that Cincinnati's decision makers have great confidence, project a winning culture and are making a steady move towards being a championship team for years to come.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Some may have been wondering why the Bengals didn't move up to grab a receiver in the first round, or why they didn't make any high-risk/high-reward picks, like UCLA's Myles Jack. Or, why they avoided some big name players that dropped, like Mike Thomas of Southern Miss.

It's very simple. They know what they're doing.

For highlights, analysis and grades for each player, watch the following video:



Duke Tobin and Marvin Lewis are glittering an already-stellar roster with luxury picks, players who may not be asked to do much in the near future, but will ensure greatness over the long haul. And that's because they know the roster they have is talented enough to win a championship. But instead of being satisfied with that, they want the Bengals to sustain this level of competition in the coming years as well.

Any notion that Lewis was desperate to prove he can win in the playoffs and would push for some panic moves was quickly dispelled. This team isn't the Los Angeles Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles or the Jacksonville Jaguars, teams that forked over picks and/or selected players in a desperate attempt to change their culture. Rather, Cincinnati features the most competent, confident and savvy front office in the league. The Bengals' patience landed them defensive tackle Andrew Billings in the fourth round and guard Christian Westerman in the fifth. Their demand for only the best players influenced their decision to select cornerback William Jackson III in the first round, despite the fact that the team allowed a franchise best in points (for a 16 game season) last year, intercepted 21 passes and has two first rounders who may still develop into top notch players. Their confidence in their scouting department meant they couldn't take the chance that linebacker Nick Vigil would be available on day three. And their awareness of the team's playing style translated to staying put in the first and taking receiver Tyler Boyd in the second after flashier receivers had already been selected.

The Cleveland Browns showed their desperation for acquiring talent, but also their lack of confidence in the ability to do so, as they secured enough draft picks to allow for some busts here and there. Other teams sacrificed quality depth for the off chance they might find a franchise quarterback. The Bengals, meanwhile, stayed the course, kept their own picks and remained true to their draft board. In terms of talent, the team is not only at the top of the league, but it should stay there for a while.