It's close, and it's always around this time that the draft stimulation takes its toll on the mind. This is especially the case this year, at least to me, given that the Bengals are picking at 31 and so many things can happen before that to change the game plan on a dime. Will Elam, Linderbaum, or (insert player name) be available? And who knows if they Bengals view player X better than player Y to begin with.
But, one thing is for certain. The Bengals actually have one of, if not, the best picks in the first round to trade back from. I would argue that Green Bay's pick 28 or KC's pick 30 are better, simply because they are the 2nd of each team's first round selections.
However with Detroit (who may be in the market for a QB themselves) are on the clock at 32. If a team wants to move up for one of the falling quarterback to pick up a fifth year option, this would be the range to do it. So let's take a look at possible candidates to trade back with to possibly pick up some value.
Atlanta is in a tough spot as their team has been stripped down to bare bones. And, whether or not you believe in Mariota, it stands to reason they could use a QB to come in and compete. Pick 8 is not ideal to select one in this draft, given they have so many needs, but if they want to come up and select one at pick 31, I suspect they would have to give up pick 43 and 74 (3rd) to do so. That may be enough to get the Bengals to fall back, as rounds two through four seem to be filled with players who are ranked pretty similarly.
Asking price: CIN 31 and (late pick this year or next) for ATL 43 and 73.
Similar to Atlanta, the Seahawks suddenly find themselves in a little bit of a pickle. And they, also, have too many holes to fill to select a QB at pick 9.
The Seahawks have reportedly taken a liking to Ridder and he should still be available at the back of the 1st. And with picks 40 and 41, they have the fire power to move up and get him if they want. 40 and 41 are strong when combined in a deal as the players between 29ish and 41 are all up in the air, so this deal seems a tad harder to get done than others on this list, but it cannot be understated how valuable that fifth year option could be for a team to get their possible franchise quarterback, especially if other teams are on the phone.
Asking price: CIN 31 and 136 for ATL 40, 41 and 2023 6th.
New York Jets:
The Jets are the only team on this list who are more in a position of luxury than the others. They already possess picks 4 and 7 and have their franchise QB for the foreseeable future. They have made moves during the offseason to given Wilson weapons to succeed but this draft is unpredictable and who knows who may be floating around the back of the first that they want to pounce on to compete. And with picks 35 and 38, they certainly may explore a package to jump up a few spots to get their guy. While the Bengals would ideally like pick 35 for obvious reason, we eye pick 38 for more value.
Asking price: CIN 31, 174 and 2023 6th for NYJ 38, 69 and 2023 7th.
Dark Horse: New Orlean Saints
The Saints recently pulled the trigger on a head scratching trade with Philadelphia that lead some to believe they will trade up for their future QB or maybe WR. The latter seems silly to me given that there will be plenty of options at both 16 and 19 and, they could very well be in position to grab the first QB off the board anyway. Their defense is relatively complete but their offense has question marks.
But the Saints are generally a smarter organization that has done a good job making smart moves and not panicking. Granted, they have no way of knowing how many QBs go off the board before or after them, but there is great value to be had in 16 and 19 this year given that NFL draft boards are probably going to vary wildly.
So, if they take BPA at both picks, including a highly rated WR, they could wait for the board to unfold and send a blockbuster to get back in and get a QB they have their eye on.
Asking price: CIN 31 and 2023 4th for NO 49, 98 and 120.
One thing is for sure, this draft is set up to be one of, if not, the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory. There is not a clear cut number 1 at ANY position and the offseason has shaken up a ton of teams.
And, as Bengals fans, all we can do is sit and wait as the board unfolds ahead of us.