The Bengals have historically taken a somewhat conservative approach to the draft. They generally hold most of their picks and take the players that come to them. This has hurt them at times when players they want go just before their pick, but they preferred to make all of their selections rather than use those picks to move up.
Trading back, is nothing new. Just last season they traded back in first round to add Cordy Glenn and traded back in the second round, knowing they could improve their third round pick while still acquiring Jessie Bates III.
However, prior to this year, the Bengals had only traded up four times. In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bengals traded up twice. The first time came at the beginning of Day 3. As most Bengals fans casually turned on the draft, thinking their team would not be selecting for another hour, Zac Taylor has his eyes his coveted quarterback.
The Bengals moved up to the second pick in the fourth round to acquire Ryan Finley from North Carolina State. Regardless of what you think of the pick, you have to admire the Bengals’ willingness to aggressively pursue the guy they wanted.
The Bengals had a second pick in the round that they had acquired by trading back in Round 2, but after that pick, they traded back into the round to selected Ohio State center/guard Michael Jordan.
People will say “yeah, but these are fourth-round picks, big deal.”
Yes, trading up in the second round to acquire the slipping Jawaan Taylor would have been much more exciting, but that is not the point. The point is that a franchise that had only traded up in the draft four times in its history, did it twice in one draft.
This means that making a coaching change was not just a gesture. Things are actually going to be different in Cincinnati. And that is encouraging.