When it comes to drafting, the Cincinnati Bengals are a very special franchise. They typically draft very well, but sometimes their picks are unexpected. This season, their needs are very clear. The offensive line is weak and the defense is old. However, will the Bengals fill these needs in the draft? In this article, I will go through each of the Bengals’ 11 draft picks and give my opinion on who I would draft if I were the Bengals GM.

Round 1 – Pick 9

In my unpopular opinion, I don’t think that the Bengals need to draft a pass-rusher at this position. Pass-rushers are plentiful in this year’s draft class, so the Bengals can wait until later rounds to still get a solid defender. That is why the Bengals should, and will, draft the Best Player Available. Who that’ll be, I have no idea. If Leonard Fournette or O.J. Howard falls to #9, then the Bengals should snatch them up. With that said, I feel like the BPA will fit the Bengal’s need. My pick: Derek Barnett, Defensive End, Tennessee

Round 2, Pick 41

One of the key problems in 2016 was the struggling secondary. The Bengals lost Reggie Nelson and Leon Hall in free agency and were without first-rounder William Jackson III. The Bengals need to look at improving the position in this year’s draft. While it’s possible that the team will look to the secondary in later rounds, they could pull the trigger here. My pick: Marcus Maye, Safety, Florida

Round 3, Pick 73

After a nightmare free agency, losing both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler, the Bengals O-line is in a bad state. The Bengals, however, have faith in Cedric Ogbuehi and Eric Winston, despite their troubles. As a precaution, the Bengals should look to stock up on linemen in the draft and their first move should be here. My pick: Isaac Asiata, Guard, Utah

Round 4, Pick 116

Asiata would serve as a backup for Christian Westerman or Clint Boling, but now a need arises at Tackle. The plan now is to rotate Cedric Ogbuehi, Andre Smith, and Eric Winston at the position, but the Bengals have to know that there is a chance that Ogbuehi and Winston won’t work out. That’s why they take a Tackle in the 4th Round. My pick: Julie’n Davenport, Offensive Tackle, Bucknell

Round 4, Pick 138

The Bengals are still recovering from the loss of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd stepped up when A.J. Green went down last season, but the Bengals will likely want some more insurance at the position. This compensatory draft pick will go to someone that they feel can fill the Tyler Boyd/Cody Core spot. With multiple WRs likely available by this time, I feel like they’ll continue the tradition of drafting SEC players. My pick – Isaiah Ford, Wide Receiver, Mississippi State

Round 5, Pick 153

In the fifth round, the O-line could still use some improvement. Russell Bodine was fine at the position last year but really struggled in previous years. The team should use this pick to find a suitable back-up and a potential replacement. Being from Kentucky, I’ve seen this guy play a lot and he could very easily become the starter. At #153, he’d be a steal as well. My pick – Jon Toth, Center, Kentucky

Round 5, Pick 176

The arrival of Kevin Minter was a high point for the Bengal’s offseason. Minter is alone at inside linebacker, however, with the loss of Karlos Dansby and Rey Maualuga. With Vincent Rey and Vontaze Burfict, the linebacker unit has potential to improve. All they need now is a solid back-up for Minter inside. My pick – Josh Harvey-Clemons, Linebacker, Louisville

Round 6, Pick 193

The Bengals are having an off-season competition for Kicker. Right now, all they have is Randy Bullock. If the Bengals want a competition, they’ll need to pick up another Kicker. Sure, they may hire a free agent, but they’re more likely to draft one. My pick – Zane Gonzalez, Kicker, Arizona State

Round 6, Pick 217

Even with Asiata, the Bengals will still need to reinforce the Guard position after losing Kevin Zeitler. The late picks are the perfect place to do it, as well. My pick: Kareem Are, Guard, Florida State

Round 7, Pick 227

Including the previous picks, the Bengals D-line would consist of Derek Barnett, Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and Andrew Billings. The uncertainty surrounding Billings with his injury may prompt the team to draft another DT. My pick: Isaac Rochell, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Round 7, Pick 251

The Bengals’ backfield is a mess right now. Jeremy Hill has been struggling, Giovani Bernard is injury prone, and Rex Burkhead is now a Patriot. They should use this pick to improve that struggling backfield. This pick may just be my UK bias showing, but I think he will be a solid NFL RB. My pick – Stanley “Boom” Williams, Running Back, Kentucky 

I would imagine that most Bengal fans would happy with this draft, particularly with Barnett. We will have to wait to see what the draft looks like over the next few days. Stay tuned to Armchair All-American for news on the 2017 NFL Draft.

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