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PFF quantifies Bengals’ 2019 draft class as the least valuable in the NFL

The eye test would’ve told you the same thing.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The long-term impact Joe Burrow can provide for the Cincinnati Bengals is the ultimate goal. Before that, just having him produce in a meaningful way this year would bring something this franchise hasn’t seen in a while: a first-round pick being effective in his rookie season.

This was something that, once again, the Bengals didn’t have last year, and it was a sizable reason why Pro Football Focus’ Wins Above Replacement metric scored the Bengals’ 2019 draft class as the least valuable in the NFL last year.

32. Cincinnati Bengals

Why they’re ranked here: Things were ugly for Cincinnati’s 2019 draft class. All five players who played at least 150 offensive or defensive snaps earned wins above replacement values below zero, but none of the selections were a bigger disaster than Ryan Finley in his stint at starter. The fourth-round pick’s 29.3 overall grade rivaled only Grier’s for the lowest of any quarterback in 2019.

How their top pick fared: Offensive tackle Jonah Williams (No. 11 overall) missed the season because of a shoulder injury, but he’ll probably step in as an immediate upgrade in 2020 given the state of the Bengals’ offensive line in 2019.

Best value pick: N/A

When your best value pick is not even worth mentioning, it pretty much sums it all up.

In fairness, injuries played a big role in the Bengals landing at the bottom here, with the Jonah Williams injury being the headliner. Williams was the projected starter at left tackle, and had he stayed healthy and played fairly well, his WAR score would’ve boosted the overall total. Rodney Anderson also missed the entire season and Drew Sample missed seven games as well, only adding insult to literal injury.

It can be argued that Germaine Pratt, Renell Wren, and Michael Jordan’s late-season performances were positives, but not only do they play relatively low-value positions, they weren’t exactly rookie of the year candidates either.

Considering Cincinnati’s free agency class of 2019 was also a dumpster fire, this only makes the perception of this draft class worse. The lack of meaningful impact it provided very much attributed to the 2-14 record the team finished the year with.

But, much like that record, the Bengals can only go upwards in getting value out of their draft class this year.