Bengals took ‘heightened risk’ with 2024 draft class, per NFL exec

During the 2024 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals took some high-upside gambles that were a little out of character for the team, as we noted in draft grades.

That was apparent right in the first round when the team took Amarius Mims, gambling on his massive upside despite his getting just eight starts at Georgia.

Later, it became a full-blown trend with electric Alabama wideout Jermaine Burton in the third round despite the well-documented character concerns. And again later in the fourth round with the alluring upside of tight end Erick All despite the medical red flags.

It’s a theme starting to make the rounds elsewhere, with an anonymous NFL executive telling The Athletic’s Mike Sando the following about Cincinnati’s draft class: “I do think there is a heightened risk aspect to their picks. Jenkins offsets the risk some. He is going to be really solid. Amarius Mims is talented, and when he plays, he’s good, but eight career starts?”

Another executive pointed out that Mims could technically “redshirt” this year if Trent Brown can stay healthy at right tackle, which could act as a sort of counterbalance against the risk.

More interesting was yet another executive talking about Burton.

“Burton is going to be a sneaky good player,” an exec told Sando. “He’s fast, he’s strong after the catch, he has a little dog to him. They do a good job getting those types of players established.”

The Bengals are banking on all aspects of their program under Zac Taylor to make sure the gambles pay off. If it does, these are the sorts of moves that help contention windows stay as a wide as possible.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire