The Bengals took Tee Higgins with the 33rd overall pick in the NFL draft and everyone from Joe Burrow to Chad Johnson are excited. But the Bengals might have gone a different direction if the Seahawks hadn’t “oiled them with the 27th pick to take [Jordyn] Brooks.”
According to Geoff Hobson, the Bengals had there eye on Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks with the first pick of the second round. The Seahawks drafted Brooks in the late first round, so the Bengals drafted Higgins at 33. They did go back to linebacker, grabbing Logan Wilson in the third round.
“[Senior defensive assistant Mark] Duffner, coaching NFL linebackers for the last 24 seasons, conferred with scouting director Mike Potts to tell him how much he loved two guys. Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks and Wilson...”
The Bengals thought they would be able to get Brooks in the second round, but the Seahawks nabbed before the first round was over. Hobson credits the Bengals for not freaking out and reaching for Wilson at 33.
“Wilson was probably talked about in the second round since they believe he’ll provide an immediate impact on defense. But Higgins’ dripping first-round talent of 27 touchdowns in 37 games couldn’t be ignored.”
So the Bengals were patient and fortunately enough, Wilson was still there at 65th overall.
Wilson was the first of three linebacker the Bengals drafted in 2020, but if Brooks was still available who knows what they would have done later. The Bengals really liked Wilson, so they probably could have gone linebacker back-to-back in the second and third rounds instead of the third and fourth.
But the Bengals are happy with the way things turned out. In hindsight, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect draft.