The Cincinnati Bengals wanted to draft linebacker Logan Wilson.
But when Tee Higgins was on the board with the 33rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, there was one clear option.
In a wide receiver-heavy first-round that featured Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson, the Bengals were likely shocked when Higgins, who was a standout at Clemson, fell out of the first round.
Higgins was 33 yards shy of 1,200 his junior season at Clemson. With A.J. Green’s time coming to an end in Cincinnati, Higgins was the perfect player to draft and groom as a potential No. 1.
The problem remained that adding Higgins could’ve meant the team would miss out on Wilson, their third-round pick. That was a risk they were willing to take.
Apparently, per The Athletic’s Jay Morrison, the Bengals were considering taking Wilson off the board with that 33rd-overall pick.
Talking about Logan Wilson, Zac Taylor says he was in the conversation at pick 33 in 2021 and they took Tee Higgins instead and crossed their fingers.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) March 1, 2022
Wilson has proven to be well worth a second-round pick, ascending to be one of the team’s main defensive leaders in his second season. However, getting him in the third round, looking back, was an absolute steal.
Wilson ended his second season with 4 passes defended, 4 interceptions, and 100 tackles in just 13 games, all starts. He’s transcended his play and has earned himself a larger role in the defense.
The sky is the ceiling for both Wilson and Higgins, both of which were instrumental in the team’s Super Bowl run.
With Higgins hitting his first 1,000 season and Wilson topping 100 tackles for the first time, the Bengals are going to have decisions to make in the 2024 offseason as both are under contract for two more seasons.