The Bengals have struck a trade to move down in the 2017 NFL Draft. They did so by getting a deal done with the Vikings to move down to the No. 48 selection. Minnesota also sent a fourth-round selection (pick No. 128) to Cincinnati.
Most NFL teams that strike draft day trades have some prior connection within their organizations, and Mike Zimmer is the one in this case. Zimmer spent six seasons with the Bengals as their defensive coordinator before he left to become the Vikings’ head coach in 2014.
For this deal, Minnesota wanted to move up to secure the services of Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook. The Bengals were interested in Cook, but they opted to trade down and get another pick instead of taking him.
It’s been a rarity for the Bengals to ever strike a trade in the draft, but it’s not much of a surprise to see Cincinnati get a deal done this year. They were a team rumored to be interested in moving down in the first round if a team offered up a nice package.
Most of the trades Cincinnati has done early in drafts under Marvin Lewis have been to move back and acquire more picks. The last time this occurred was in the 2012 draft, when Cincinnati moved back from the No. 21 pick to No. 27 in a swap with the Patriots, that also sent a third-rounder to the Bengals. The Patriots used their pick to get Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones, while Cincinnati got Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler in Round 1 and then Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson in Round 3.
Ironically, neither first-round player is with their original team, but more so because they turned out to be great selections and got big-money deals with other teams. Jones is now being handsomely paid with the Cardinals, while Zeitler is the highest-paid NFL guard with the Browns. Meanwhile, Thompson has become a quality backup defensive lineman and remains on the Bengals’ roster.
Let’s hope this trade has similar results in both teams landing an impact player. There’s also the trade in 2014 that saw Cincinnati move up in Round 4 to select North Carolina center Russell Bodine. He’s been Cincinnati’s starting center ever since.
The Bengals now hold the No. 48 pick and could be targetting running back Joe Mixon for the selection.