With the No. 1 overall pick and three top-65 picks at their disposal, the Bengals are in position to make a big splash and upgrade their roster from being a bottom-feeder to being a playoff contender, especially now that the NFL postseason will include seven teams from each conference.
Of course, it starts out with LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow being the No. 1 overall pick. No surprise there.
Up next is Wisconsin Badgers center Tyler Biadasz in Round 2.
Biadasz can help solidify the interior of the offensive for the Bengals. A consistent prospect at center, Biadasz brings his run-blocking ability to a team that will be looking to establish Joe Mixon as the centerpiece to the offense. He is a smart player that always is under control and is well-versed in most blocking schemes.
Don’t look at the ‘center’ tag as much as the fact that Biadasz is an interior lineman joining an offensive line in desperate need of help on the interior. The presumed starters at guard next season are Michael Jordan, who struggled mightily for much of his rookie season, and Xavier Su’a Filo, who wasn’t much better as a backup pressed into starting duties for the Cowboys last year due to injuries.
It certainly helps that Biadasz was the 2019 Rimington Award winner in 2019, given annually to the nation’s top center. The Bengals don’t exactly have a proven backup at center behind Trey Hopkins, even though the team spent a first-round pick on Billy Price just two years ago. He’s been very underwhelming at guard and center, so don’t be surprised if the Bengals look for another guy who can compete for second-string center duties.
For what it’s worth, Biadsz’s NFL.com draft profile compares him to long-time offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, who has bounced between left guard and center throughout his career while making a positive impact at both spots.
Finally, the Bengals address their gaping hole at linebacker with Ohio State’s Malik Harrison in Round 3.
Harrison has all the desired traits that teams look for in a prospect at the position. The combination of size, physicality, and range will make him an excellent defender against the run at the next level. He plays downhill and constantly disrupts blocking schemes. He is always looking for the impact tackle, which can be a detriment against play-action passing attacks.
Getting a guy like Harrison in Round 3 would be a really solid pickup for a Bengals defense in desperate need impact backers. He can play on the inside or outside and would probably be one of Cincinnati’s top three backers as a rookie. Harrison’s NFL.com draft profile actually compares him to Seahawks star K.J. Wright.
If the Bengals could get someone the caliber of Wright in a defense that’s got a world of talent on the defensive line and secondary, this defense could get really scary for the opposition in 2020 (or whenever next season starts).