The Bengals had a terrible 2018 season. They have finally moved on from Marvin Lewis and look to be at the beginning of a rebuild. With decent offensive options still, where should they go in the 2019 draft?
The Bengals finished 2018 with a disappointing 6-10 record and missed the playoffs finally leading to the departure if Marvin Lewis. Zac Taylor is now in charge and is coming up to his first draft. There are a couple of questions involving Andy Dalton and if he is a franchise quarterback but this is not the draft to address that issue. What they need to do is add some more receiving weapons for Andy Dalton outside of A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. The main thing they need to address is the defense which was utterly terrible last season outside of edge rushers and safeties. Can Taylor make a quick turn around or will this turn into a full-fledged rebuild?
Round 1, Pick #11 Devin White, Linebacker- LSU
The starting linebackers were a crap shoot for the Bengals last season. There seemed to be a different starting lineup each week. They made a good start to the free agency period by resigning Preston Brown who should have a better season fully healthy. Then on March 18th they cut Vontaze Burfict and opened up a spot for a new starter.
Devin White is the top linebacker in the draft and the Bengals need a new person to run the center of that defense. This is a great first pick for the new coach as White is a no brain starter at the next level and a huge area of need for the Bengals. The fit is too good to pass up.
Round 2, Pick #42 Garrett Bradbury, Offensive Guard- N.C. State
The Bengals line was better respectively last year than they have been in recent years but still were in the bottom third of the league. They were as a group ranked 22nd in run blocking and 19th in pass protection. Offensive line can always get better and Garrett Bradbury is one of the better interior lineman in the draft.
Bradbury has excellent footwork and uses leverage with perfection during run blocking. The timing of his punch and work with his hands is tremendous in pass blocking. He can play both center and guard and is a bully on the line. Joe Mixon will love running behind Bradbury.
Round 3, Pick #73 Terry McLaurin, Wide Receiver, Ohio St.
Terry Mclaurin is a burner of a wide receiver as he ran a 4.35 second 40 yard dash at the draft combine. He has solid size at 6’0 and 208 Lbs. and would be an excellent addition to a passing game that includes A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Boyd is best to man the slot and A.J. Green needs to get some of the pressure taken off of him on the outside. John Ross was a fail but Mclaurin has a shot to be what Ross could not do, with a lot less hype behind him as well.
Round 4, Pick #111 Brett Rypien, Quarterback- Boise St.
Brett Rypien has fantastic mechanics with a beautiful release. His throws have some zip on them and has above average accuracy at every level of the field including his deep ball. He has a career 64% completion percentage and 13,578 passing yards to his career with a 90 touchdown to only 29 interception ratio. He stands at 6’2 and 202 Lbs. which is about your average size for an NFL quarterback.
Andy Dalton has had an up and down career in the NFL and has had a couple of issues staying on the field. He has played well during the regular season but has yet to win a playoff game. With the Bengals possibly in rebuild mode and with a new coach in town, they may want to look at a new quarterback. Rypien is a your prototypical pocket passer and if the season goes south he could be thrown into action. Oh by the way his uncle is a former Super Bowl MVP.
Round 5, Pick #150 Stanley Morgan Jr., Wide Receiver- Nebraska
If the Bengals want Andy Dalton to succeed they need to give him weapons, or the quarterback who replaces him. They added Terry McLaurin in the third round and adding Morgan Jr. here is another beautiful addition. In the past two seasons with the Huskers Morgan Jr. has totaled 1,990 receiving yards on 131 receptions and 17 touchdowns. He comes in at 6’1 and 200 and ran a 4.53 second 40 yard dash which is respectable. Morgan Jr. might be the best route runner in the draft and adding him with other great route runners such as Green and Boyd, this pass offense suddenly gets scary.
Round 6, Pick #184 Ulysees Gilbert III, Linebacker- Akron
The Bengals retained Preston Brown in free agency and then drafted Devin White in the first round so have two solid linebacker options but they cannot stop there. Gilbert III was an absolute tackle machine in college. During his last three years as a starter he totaled 346 tackles, 28.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, eight passes defended, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and four Touchdowns.
Gilbert III is your normal linebacker size these days at 6’1 and 230 Lbs. and should test out very well at his pro day. He has a good chance with his excellent instincts to win one of the starting jobs on the Bengals linebacker group.
Round 6, Pick #200 DaMarkus Lodge, Wide Receiver- Ole Miss
There seems to be a pattern here I think. Lodge may be the forgotten wide receiver of the amazing receiving corps that was a part of the Ole Miss football squad. Both D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown are considered first round talents and Lodge would probably be a day two selection if he was on a different team. Lodge averaged just under 16 yards per reception on the season.
Lodge makes a living winning jump balls and high points targets with the best of them and has an opportunity to challenge the other two earlier receiver picks for starting reps.
Round 6, Pick #212 Corbin Kaufusi, Defensive Line/Offensive Line- BYU
Corbin Kaufusi is a mammoth of a man standing at 6’9 and 275Lbs. He is very versatile as well having played both on the offensive line and on the defensive line. The Bengals will most likely use him on the defensive side of the ball adding some athleticism to the interior of the line. During his last two years at BYU while he was a full-time starter on defense he totaled 122 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and 13.5 sacks. At this point of the draft you are looking for any bit of talent and Kaufusi can compete.
Round 6, Pick #213 Tommy Sweeney, Tight End- Boston College
Sweeney is not the most athletic tight end in the draft but the Bengals lack a true blocking tight end. Sweeney is a tank at 6’5 and 260 Lbs. and is very good with his hand in the dirt. He almost plays as an extra lineman in many situations but do not let his lack of athleticism fool you. He has a great catch radius and can be a very nice weapon around the end zone for blocking and play action.
Round 6, Pick #215 Ty Johnson, Running Back- Maryland
Joe Mixon has not yet played in a full 16 games though he did compete in 14 games in each of his first two seasons. Giovanni Bernard is a great receiving back and fills in well when needed but the Bengals could use another runner for between the tackles. Ty Johnson is a more under the radar running back in this draft but that is probably because he was on Maryland.
Ty Johnson is built to run between the tackles with a 5’10 and 212 Lbs. build. He runs just under a 4.50 second 40 yard dash and has averaged 7.6 yards per attempt on 348 carries. Johnson is very capable and could be solid depth at the position.
Round 7, Pick #225 Youhanna Ghaifan, Defensive Tackle- Wyoming
Ghaifan had a huge 2017 season for Wyoming but missed a few games in 2018 and could not quite follow it up. During 2017 he totaled 69 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles. He is great as an interior pass rusher but plays out of control too much at times. He has great bend and athleticism but is a little bit of a liability in the run game. As a situational pass rusher Ghaifan would be a nice add as the last selection in the draft for the Bengals.
The Bengals use their first round pick to grab one of the most sure picks in the draft linebacker Devin White. Then they beef up the offensive line grabbing a great run blocker on the interior in Garrett Bradbury. Knowing they need to give Dalton more receiving options they use picks in the third, fifth and sixth to grab wide receivers Terry McLaurin, Stanley Morgan Jr., and DaMarkus Lodge. With Dalton aging and showing inconsistencies in his health and ability they grab one of the top five quarterbacks in the draft, to me at least, in Brett Rypien, a great pocket passer. Ty Johnson is added in the sixth round to add depth at running back with his 7.6 yards per carry. They then attack for defensive line and blocking tight end in the late rounds to add depth and competition. Dalton does not have any excuses now.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @JoeyTheToothIDP and @IDPGuys. Tune in to the weekly podcast for the most up to date info to help you win your leagues. Also check our sister company Dyansty Football Digest for all things fantasy football. Remember…the Tooth has the taste for IDP.