The Bengals have had a surprisingly productive offseason, and it’s led to some of the biggest needs being addressed before the NFL Draft kicks off.
Coming into the offseason, the team’s biggest needs were at offensive tackle, linebacker and center. The first two have already been addressed, so ideally, center could be tackled early in the draft.
The Ringer has the Bengals doing just that, taking Iowa center James Daniels with the 21st pick:
21. Cincinnati Bengals (From Bills): G/C James Daniels, Iowa
The Bengals failed to address their interior line in free agency, but could rectify that by picking Daniels here. The former Iowa standout is the best center in this class and has the versatility to play either guard spot. He’d be a big part of stabilizing a position group that was a liability for Cincy last year.
Daniels was Iowa’s starting center for the last two years, but he also spent time as a guard during his freshman season. Most college centers are able to transition to playing guard in the pros, and that could make Daniels a more attractive lineman if the Bengals think he can be productive at either spot.
After all, the Bengals still have TJ Johnson at center, and he’ll undoubtedly get the first crack at winning that spot. If he does, Daniels could still play early if he’s able to beat out Trey Hopkins for the right guard spot.
As bad as the Bengals were at center this past season, right guard wasn’t much better.