• Rondell Southerland

Thoughts on the Bengals and NFL Draft

Leading up to Thursday night there were multiple reports of Joe Burrow being a shoo-in as The Cincinnati Bengals number one pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Being a Bengals fan, this was both exciting and worrisome. Burrow being the next guy in line to lead this team is a welcoming process. As much of a fan that am of Andy Dalton and thankful for his 10-year career with the Bengals, it’s time for some fresh eyes to lead the team into the next decade. But what makes this worrisome is that Cincinnati is a team with a lot of flaws and having your new next quarterback is far from fixing that. So, leading into the rest of the draft, all I could think is how Mike Brown and Zac Taylor address those issues.

The rest of the draft was an interesting affair. Leading up to Thursday there were multiple reports of teams wanting to move up and down the draft board to select the players they wanted. But the way some of the reports I heard or read said most of the trades were going to happen in the first round. The first round was in my eyes dull and drawn out especially after hearing those reports and it went mostly how everyone expected it to go months before Thursday night. The first trade did not happen till the 13th pick with altogether there being 29 trades in the draft but most of it happening in the 3rd round when most casual watchers are not tuned in.

They first started with drafting Tee Higgins at receiver, which is a nice bonus, but still did not address the main problems of this team which starts at the offensive line and linebacker positions. Round three and four is when the problem solving started when the Bengals added much needed depth to the weakened core of their linebackers, first with Logan Wilson out of Wyoming then Akeem Davis- Gaither out of Appalachian State. Moving into the three final rounds, the Bengals drafted a defensive end, an offensive tackle and another linebacker to end the draft. Khalid Kareem, the defensive end drafted from Notre Dame was a surprise because it’s not a problem area for the team but you can never argue with young talent added to an already sturdy defensive line. Hakeem Adeniji, the offensive tackle drafted from Kansas, was a welcoming sight because it shows that the team is aware and willing to fix its problem areas. Ending the draft with Markus Bailey, the linebacker drafted from Purdue was not ideal to me but once again young talent added to this weakened core at linebacker helps.

Altogether this was an entertaining and great draft. Seeing how Roger Goodell and the teams of the NFL were handling the sudden change in life with the coronavirus was enjoyable. Watching most of the franchises address problem areas or stock up on talents was both predictable and surprising. Seeing teams like Cincinnati and Miami choose their next franchise QB along with fixing problem areas for them was expected. But seeing teams like Dallas and Baltimore make some of the best steals of the draft brought the excitement I was expecting. Altogether in the end of this year’s draft was a welcoming sight in a world that is devoid of entertainment and I cannot wait till the beginning of what is possibly going to be a chaotic but enjoyable and interesting football season.

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