Cincinnati Bengals 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    The Cincinnati Bengals came up a game short of a return trip to the Super Bowl, and the Chiefs reminded them who owns the AFC. Here's how they can get on top.

    The 2023 NFL Draft has officially kicked off, and we saw an incredibly surprising Round 1. The Cincinnati Bengals made their first selection last night and will now look to continue to build for the future. With Joe Burrow due for a record-breaking contract, getting talent on rookie deals around him is more important now than ever.

    A year after making the Super Bowl, the Chiefs reminded them who the king still was in the AFC Championship Game on the way to sealing the deal with a ring. For the Bengals to reach that level, they need to keep up with the Joneses.

    Cincinnati Bengals Team Needs After Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • TE
    • G
    • S
    • OT

    The Bengals’ offensive line continues to be less than good enough. After adding pieces last offseason, at times, it somehow looked worse than 2021. They have the star quarterback, perhaps the best three-WR sets in all of football, and a pretty good defense. If they can get the offensive line on track, that would be ideal. They added Orlando Brown Jr., who will help with interior pressure to the B gap.

    MORE: Cincinnati Bengals 2023 NFL Draft Picks

    But the problem remains with the A gap and the right side B gap. They need to add a guard or two to the interior. Additionally, Joe Mixon may not be there when camp opens. The Bengals will need to add talent to the backfield to complement Samaje Perine in the event Mixon does not take a pay cut.

    On defense, they need to add help to the secondary. Specifically, they need to add help to the defensive backfield. They lost star safety Jessie Bates III in free agency and need to find a suitable replacement.

    In the first round, instead of focusing on the secondary, the Bengals decided to instead stop the slide of Clemson’s Myles Murphy.

    Results for Every Bengals Draft Pick

    1.28 | Myles Murphy, EDGE

    While offensive line and the secondary were considered significant areas of need, adding a pass rusher with the potential of the former Clemson standout makes a ton of sense when you have to stop Lamar Jackson twice a year and need to find a way to slow down Patrick Mahomes if you want to be the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl.

    Additionally, Trey Hendrickson is set to hit free agency in 2024. At 6’5” and 275 pounds, Murphy puts the “big” into big defensive end, with the ability to be a versatile chess piece who can make an impact from anywhere on the line.

    Predictions for Every Remaining Bengals Draft Pick

    The trade between the Bears and the Panthers shook up the NFL Draft order. With some impressive talent falling into the second round, the Bengals can make improvements to some of the areas they desperately need to focus on. Using the PFN Mock Draft Simulator, here is how I would fill those needs for Cincinnati.

    2.29 | Steve Avila, G

    Steve Avila will answer the question the Bengals continue to have on the interior. He brings power and raw strength to the position and nastiness while doing it. He has tremendous hand strength that eliminates a defender’s ability to get away once he latches on.

    3.29 | Jammie Robinson, S

    This is a pure need pick who happens to be the best player available. Jammie Robinson presents some upside and play-making ability and should earn some reps to help determine if he can be the long-term answer.

    4.29 | Jordan McFadden, OT

    Jordan McFadden provides some size and power at the tackle position. He is a bit raw technique-wise, but those are things that can be taught.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Team Needs

    It’s hard to find an impact starter at tackle this late in the draft because there simply isn’t a supply of them. McFadden has the upside to be the exception to the rule.

    5.28 | Will Mallory, TE

    Mallory is more of a pure pass-catching tight end who could give Burrow another weapon as they look to rebuild the position. He isn’t a deep threat, but he can eat up space in the intermediate game.

    6.29 | Brandon Kipper, G

    Brandon Kipper capitalizes on the opportunity to provide developmental depth at a position of need.

    7.29 | Evan Hull, RB

    In no way is Evan Hull a Mixon replacement pick, but he has the size and elite athletic traits to be worth developing as a late-round pick. This position hits more than most in the later rounds, and Hull has the upside.

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