T.J. Houshmandzadeh recently appeared on the Bengals Beat Podcast to discuss this offseason for the Bengals.
Houshmandzadeh told Cincinnati Enquirer Tyler Dragon what he thinks the Bengals should do to rebuild the offense.
“The Bengals need to focus on keeping (Joe Burrow) protected,” Houshmandzadeh said. “They shouldn’t sign or draft any skill players. It should be offensive linemen in the draft (and) offensive linemen in free agency, because you can find a receiver in the third, fourth or fifth round. If the protection is there, Joe is gonna get you the ball.”
Houshmandzadeh is speaking personally when he says the Bengals can find a receiver late in the draft. He was a seventh round pick (204th overall) in 2001 out of Oregon State. He went on to make the Pro Bowl in 2007 after tying the league lead for receptions. He is currently sixth all-time in franchise history in receiving yards per game among receivers with 100 or more games played.
Houshmandzadeh knows you can find talent on Day 3 of the draft.
He also knows firsthand the importance of protecting the quarterback. He was on the field when Carson Palmer suffered his catastrophic knee injury in the 2005 postseason.
The Bengals have the fifth overall pick, so they can probably draft any offensive lineman they want. If they want to go that way, they should have their pick between Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, or whoever else they look at.
They will also be able to pick Ja’Marr Chase, Kyle Pitts, Devonta Smith, or Jalen Waddle. It will be interesting to see if the Bengals’ front office shares Houshmandzadeh’s philosophy.