It has been a while since the Bengals picked in the top 10 of the NFL draft. Following a disappointing season the Bengals find themselves with the 9th overall selection and almost $45 million dollars in salary cap space (good for 12th most in the league.)
Primary Needs: OL, LB, WR
Secondary Needs: RB, DT, CB
Free Agency Strategy: The Bengals have had more success during free agency under Marvin Lewis than their previous regimes. That doesn’t mean that they are a top destination for NFL players though. Resigning their own free agents like Domata Peko, Andrew Whitworth, and Kevin Zeitler should be their primary focus, although it seems as if the team wishes to move on from Whitworth. Should Peko prove to be too expensive the team could look to players like Dominique Easley or Abry Jones as potentially cheaper alternatives.
Draft Strategy: It sounds dumb to say it but the Bengals could consider taking yet another cornerback in the first round, the depth is certainly there. They could take an offensive tackle like Ryan Ramczyk or Cam Robinson but neither of those players is worth the 9th overall selection. Reuben Foster would be a great option for them as would a receiver like Mike Williams or even a running back like Leonard Fournette. The second round offers options at each of those positions as well. Garett Bolles might be available at offensive tackle in the second round. The Bengals don’t need a ton of help from the draft if they play free agency right, but they could set themselves up for the future with a deep class of contributors.