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 Cincinnati Bengals Draft Review

Team Needs: LB, WR, DT


Rd 1. 24 William Jackson III CB Houston

Rd 2. 55 Tyler Boyd WR Pitt

Rd 3. 87 Nick Vigil LB Utah St.

Rd 4. 122 Andrew Billings DT Baylor

Rd 5. 161 Christian Westerman OG Arizona St.

Rd 6. 199 Cody Core WR Mississippi

Rd 7. 245 Clayton Fejedelman S Illinois


The Bengals are typically one of the quieter teams on draft day, as far as trading, and this year was no exception. The team stuck to its guns, knowing that the value of this draft would align with their needs eventually. The result was a draft class with good but not great value throughout all three days. William Jackson III was this year’s luxury pick for the Bengals. Despite having recently drafted two other cornerbacks in the first round the team took a flyer on the position again when faced with a talented, tall, and playmaking cornerback. It’s tough to argue with the value of Jackson at this spot but the Bengals did have other, more pressing needs that they could have filled. Tyler Boyd is a productive, if unremarkable, prospect at receiver. At 55 he represented good value and is the type of player that can start early and succeed playing across the field from AJ Green. He should push for a starting position early. Nick Vigil is a fierce tackling machine that plays the run well and still needs some development in pass coverage. He does have the skills to learn eventually and it wouldn’t be shocking for him to get on the field early on in obvious rushing situations. Andrew Billings fell due to concerns about his ability to rush the passer but he is an excellent run defender that plays with great leverage. He adds some youth to an already talented defensive tackle rotation and was great value in the 4th round. Like Billings Christian Westerman was predicted by many to be drafted much higher. Unlike Billings Westerman still has some developing to do on the field but he offered good value for the team in the 5th round. Cody Core has size and little else. He could make the team as a specialty 4th or 5th receiver and play in packages where he able to use his size to his advantage. Clayton Fejedelman is another tackling machine that has obvious deficiencies in pass coverage. He could be a special teams standout, or be placed on the practice squad while the coaches work upon improving his coverage recognition and reaction time.


  1. The Bengals love cornerbacks. They have loaded up on the position in recent years but still haven’t found a true shut down guy. Perhaps Jackson could be that guy.

  2. Taking the BPA early and then focusing on filling needs after the drop off in top level talent seems like a logical draft strategy. Time will tell how well the Bengals evaluated this year’s talent but they did a nice job of sticking to a plan.

  3. Vigil could be the first player to start for the Bengals out of this class, but the team drafted no fewer than 5 players that have starting potential. That’s an impressive feat, considering they did not trade once.

Grade: B+

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