In addition to holding the first-overall pick of the NFL Draft, the Bengals have the first pick of the second round (33rd overall). This means that they will have the first crack at any player who inexplicably doesn’t hear his name called on Thursday night.
In that way, the pick holds a little extra value. Teams who covet a player that remains on the board after the first round has ended have a little extra time to consider making a trade and the Bengals hold the most valuable position of the day. The Bengals could get a great player with that pick, but maybe they could do even better by trading it.
Let’s take a look at trades from a similar draft position in 2019 starting with the Bengals themselves.
Last year the Bengals had the 42nd overall pick, or 10th pick of the second round. Not quite the position they are in this year, but still a valuable commodity.
They traded the pick to the Denver Broncos, falling 10 places to the 52nd overall pick and picking up the 125th and 182nd picks in the process (fourth and sixth-rounders).
They turned what was one pick into Drew Sample, Renell Wren, and Trayveon Williams. None of these players played a major role as rookies, but there is some promise in that group, so time will tell how the Bengals made out on the deal.
Similarly, the Seattle Seahawks traded back from the 37th overall pick to the to 47th overall pick. Instead of picking up multiple day three picks like the Bengals did, they picked up a third-round pick from the Carolina Panthers (77th overall).
These examples give you a baseline for what type of compensation the Bengals could receive for going from 33 to 43 in the 2020 draft, but because it is the first pick of the day, and a more valuable pick overall, they may be able to do a little better. Maybe they could get a third and a fifth instead of the fourth and sixth combo they got last year.
But the Bengals may not want to drop that far if they have a player in mind at the top of the round.
The (then) Oakland Raiders had the 35th pick in 2019; a bit closer to where the Bengals are picking in 2020. They traded it along with a fifth and a seventh to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the 38th overall and a fourth-round pick (109th overall).
Essentially, they moved up 31 slots (from 140 to 109) in exchange for dropping three slots (35 to 38) and a seventh-round pick.
Not a bad move, if there are a couple of players you value equally at the top of round two and you think that there will be a lot of talent available in round four. Trading down and picking up more draft capital is a smart move for a team with few needs.
Of course, there is another way to look at this. What if the Bengals are sitting there with the 33rd pick, having already drafted Joe Burrow first overall and they see one of their top ranked players slip down in the draft. Maybe it is even a wide receiver to pair with their quarterback. It could definitely happen.
Last year, the Washington Redskins gave up their second-round pick (46th overall) and this year’s second-round pick to get to the 26th overall pick and selected Montez Sweat. This ended up being a great move for their trade partner, the Indianapolis Colts, because the 2020 pick is 34th overall and was probably not worth it in the long run for the Redskins, who are in position to get Chase Young this year.
The Redskins gave up two second-rounders to move up 20 slots and pick Sweat. On paper, this is a bad deal, but at the end of the day, it is Sweat who will determine if they won or lost on the trade. If he is a standout player for the Redskins, then it was worth it.
The Bengals ultimately wouldn’t be moving up quite as far from 33, but in order to move up into the low-20s they would likely have to give up a third-round pick next year.
Of course, the other option is involving a player in the trade and there are a handful of players who could be on the trade block for the Bengals.
In 2018 the Bengals swapped first-round picks with the Buffalo Bills dropping from 12 to 21 while exchanging their sixth-round pick for the Bills’ fifth-round pick and picking up Cordy Glenn in the process. On paper, this was a great move, which allowed the Bengals to use their first pick to get two offensive linemen instead of just one. Unfortunately, Glenn’s future in Cincinnati is in question and Billy Price, who they selected with the 21st pick, has yet to establish himself as a starter.
The New England Patriots have multiple needs and no draft pick in the second round. Let’s say the Bengals want to move into the first to ensure they get Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray. The Patriots want help on the offensive line and to get a wide receiver. If they traded back to 33 and picked up Cordy Glenn in the process, they could kill two birds with one stone.
Glenn could step in at guard and with the depth at receiver in this year’s draft they could still get the guy they want at 33.
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak recently posted a mock draft that had the Bengals trading with the Tennessee Titans to take Patrick Queen with the 29th selection. This got them in front of the Green Bay Packers, who may be looking to add a linebacker and cost them only a fifth-round selection.
As you can see, the Bengals have a lot of options with the 33rd pick. They could add another potential starter, they could trade back in order to add draft capital, or they could trade up to get their guy.
Whatever they chose to do, it’ll greatly affect how Friday goes down on draft weekend.