Bengals Radio Network color analyst Dave Lapham recently was on Lance McAlister’s talk show. Among other things, he mentioned in passing how the Bengals may not draft a running back, receiver or even quarterback.
First, he shutdown the hopes of the Bengals drafting a quarterback with the 21st pick.
“I don’t think it will be necessarily early, unless somebody they had rated really high on their board slides to 21,” Lapham told McAlister. “I’d be stunned if that happened... Probably five, maybe even six, quarterbacks could go before their 21st pick.”
It seems like people get caught up in mock drafts. The idea that some of these quarterbacks or other players will fall. The trouble is people forget how insane draft night gets with teams hoping all over the place.
The best example was early in the offseason, and people suggested that the Browns should wait to draft a quarterback with their fourth overall pick. That was all well in good then because the only teams between their picks were the Giants and Colts, who weren’t viewed as major threats to take a quarterback. This idea was squashed when the Jets traded for the third overall pick, and people were reminded of how much of a commodity quarterbacks are in this league.
The idea that someone like Lamar Jackson could fall to 21 seems silly when you think about all the quarterback hungry teams he’d have to get past to reach 21, not to mention the possibility of a team trading back into the first to take him. Unless the Bengals traded up they aren’t getting a first-round quarterback.
Laphham didn’t stop there though. He actually doesn’t think the Bengals will pass on running backs and receivers in this draft. He also isn’t sure about quarterback at all.
“There is a possibility they wouldn’t draft a running back or wide receiver in this draft, in my opinion, maybe not even a quarterback,” Lapham said. “I think they will draft a quarterback at some point potentially, but I do think that there’s some talent at the skill positions that they will continue to develop.”
One of the major reasons for this prediction is the teams new offense that Bill Lazor is bringing to the table.
“I think the players are extremely excited about what [Lazor’s new offense] looks like, and how much they can learn as quickly as the possibly can... It is almost like going to a new organization,” Lapham said.
It is true that change can reinvigorate an entire offense. These players have been doing the same things for years. It also gives a fresh start to some struggling players like John Ross. When players are excited they give more effort, and we should expect to see a lot of that based off of hat Lapham is saying.
Another reason he thinks the Bengals could pass on skill positions is the way he thinks the Bengals will approach the draft.
“I think the Bengals during the course of this draft could draft a couple of offensive linemen, a couple of safeties, a couple of cornerbacks and a couple of linebackers... My primary needs are offensive line, center, tackle, safety, linebacker, nose tackle and maybe you could upgrade your nickel sub packages a little bit,” Lapham said.
He mentions how the team has done a good job of alredy addressing these needs by bringing in Cordy Glenn and Preston Brown, but he is right on the money about needing offensive linemen. Plus the Bengals depth at these positions could be a concern in 2018, so doubling up on some positions wouldn’t be a terrible idea.
The Bengals could very well bring in some undrafted free agents to compete for spots at the skill positions, but I would be fairly surprised if they didn’t draft a quarterback at some point.