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Where Bengals rank on value chart in NFL drafts since 2012

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It’s no secret to fans that the Cincinnati Bengals went from annual playoff contender to struggling to compete each year as soon as the quality of the drafts dropped off in recent years.

That’s a point again illustrated by ESPN, which just did a deep dive on the value each team has amassed in each draft since 2012.

Using advanced metrics, the Bengals slot 27th in the league in finding good draft value since 2012. Ben Baby wrote why the 2020 class was the best of the bunch:

“The Bengals took full advantage of having the top pick in every round of the 2020 draft, starting with QB Joe Burrow as the top overall selection. WR Tee Higgins (second round) had a 1,000-yard receiving season and LB Logan Wilson (third round) had an outstanding showing in Super Bowl LVI. All seven draft picks played key roles in Cincinnati’s first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years.”

It’s important to note that this breakdown of data isn’t just window-dressing, as seven of the top eight teams in the rankings had some of the best outright records over the last decade.

Looking at the Bengals specifically, some of their best hits on this sort of value chart were Marvin Jones, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon. Some of the worst were the usual suspects like Cedric Ogbuehi, John Ross and even William Jackson.

If the Bengals are lucky, 2020 was where this really started to swing back in the other direction. And 2021, of course, produced Ja’Marr Chase, Evan McPherson and others. If the budding trend continues, the Bengals could certainly approach the top 10 over the next decade.

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