Cincinnati Bengals’ team needs entering 2023 NFL draft

The Cincinnati Bengals have a host of needs entering the 2023 NFL draft.

Just look at the wide range of mock draft results for the team. Some experts want to see the Bengals add a safety, despite drafting Dax Hill in the first round and signing Nick Scott in free agency.

That’s an outlier, but it still speaks to just how well the team attacked needs in free agency. With each need at least seemingly addressed adequately, the board is wide open for the Bengals to take best player available, especially early.

Right before the draft though, these are the checklist items the team needs to hit.

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Irv Smith Jr. and the return of Drew Sample means the Bengals don’t have to hit this in Round 1. But it couldn’t hurt, either. The team needs more depth in this area even if Smith is viewed as the every-down player for a full season.


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Chidobe Awuzie’s rehab progress sounds encouraging and Cam Taylor-Britt is the starter on the other boundary. But adding Sidney Jones isn’t enough to say the team has good depth. What’s interesting is the team could add this in Round 1, possibly securing a long-term starter opposite CTB, or only address it late, then combine that late signing with re-signing Eli Apple and/or Tre Flowers.


Syndication: The Enquirer

Better interior depth would be nice. La’el Collins wants to be ready by Week 1, but if he’s not, Jonah Williams or even Cody Ford could start at right tackle. What’s interesting is that if the team adds a right tackle very early, it could mean a Williams trade or even a Collins cut.


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The team needs more pressure creators. The rotation just isn’t deep enough inside or out and names like Trey Hendrickson have piled up too many snaps over the last few years. Veterans like him and DJ Reader are getting up there in age and are free agents again soon, so this is a low-key favorite to be a Round 1 pick.


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Endless arguments about positional value aside, the team lost Samaje Perine and needs — at the very least — a second back to pair with Joe Mixon. That could happen as early as Round 1. And if it does, cutting Mixon could be on the table too. Either way, the team needs more dynamic play from the position and less predictability.


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Drue Chrisman had some issues last year despite being better than Kevin Huber. Those showed up in dramatic fashion in the playoffs and AFC title game. Drafting competition or landing a top UDFA is a must.


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The Bengals only have Jake Browning behind Joe Burrow. They’ve openly met with draft prospects and veterans they could sign in free agency. This could be something they do late in the draft.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire