3 best moves by the Bengals in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Cincinati Bengals news

The NFL draft is the perfect time for teams looking to find new players to address their needs. Great teams are consistently able to find gems in the draft to either make instant contributions or to develop as future stars. For the Cincinnati Bengals, the Draft is incredibly important for a number of reasons.

3 best moves by the Bengals in the 2024 NFL Draft
3 best moves by the Bengals in the 2024 NFL Draft

Joe Burrow has signed a massive new contract. Ja’Marr Chase is due for a new extension as well, and they’re  still in discussions for a Tee Higgins deal. On defense, Trey Hendrickson is looking for a trade unless he gets a new contract. The Bengals are in dire need of instant contributors that they can pay for a relatively cheap price. The Draft is the best place to look for players like this.

So, how did the Bengals do in the 2024 NFL Draft? Well, it went pretty well for them. The first two days were  focused on getting talent that will immediately make an impact, while Day 3 was for potential depth pieces down the line. Let’s look at the three best moves Cincinnati made in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Drafting OL Amarius Mims

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Needs for 2023


For the last three years or so, the Bengals’ offseason had one underlying theme: protect Joe Burrow. Their offensive line was at one point one of the worst units in the entire league. They gave up a ton of sacks and did not give Burrow time in the pocket. While their OL is better now than it was during their 2021 playoff run, it’s still not ideal.

So when Georgia football tackle Amarius Mims fell to the Bengals at pick 18 in the 2024 NFL Draft, they gladly took the star Bulldog. Mims follows the mold of other Cincinnati offensive linemen acquired throughout the years: a 6-8 behemoth just like fellow tackles Orlando Brown Jr. and Trent Brown. He was phenomenal when he played for Georgia, being a key contributor to their run last season.

There are questions about his health: injuries made his stock fall during the draft process, and his lack of starts makes this a bit of a risky pick. Still, it’s never a bad idea to build from the trenches. The Bengals rookie will have an elite mentor in Orlando Brown Jr. If he performs well in training camp, he could be the Day 1 starter at right tackle.

Drafting DL Kris Jenkins

The Bengals’ defense might be a tad bit underrated, but they’ve lost some of their luster last season. They struggled in multiple facets, including stopping the run. To make matters worse, star interior defensive lineman DJ Reader left the team in the offseason. His injury last year clearly affected the team’s defense, so they are hard-pressed to find a new guy to occupy the interior.

Kris Jenkins has the potential to be their next big man in the interior for the Bengals. Jenkins’ greatest asset is his ability to stop the run. With so many elite runners and run-heavy in the AFC North, having someone that can stifle the ground attack is crucial. They got burned on the ground more times than what a playoff-caliber team should be important.

If Jenkins develops properly, he’ll make the Bengals’ defense pretty damn good. He might arguably the best pick for the team in this draft class.

Drafting WR Jermaine Burton

Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton (WO02) during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about Tee Higgins. The star wide receiver has requested a trade after failing to agree to terms to a new deal with the team. There’s still a chance, of course, that the Bengals and Higgins meet in the middle and get a deal done. However, if things remain the same… this might as well be Higgins’ last season with Cincinnati.

This early on, the Bengals are already drafting a potential replacement for him. Jermaine Burton was one of the better wide receivers in his class. His speed and route-running gives the Bengals’ offense another deep threat. Thankfully for the team, he fell down the draft boards pretty significantly.

There are concerns about Burton’s attitude (that was the main reason why he fell all the way to the third round of the Draft). It’s important to note that these character concerns have diminished in his senior year. If the Bengals rookie can keep those issues in check and perform to his abilities… the team might just be fine regardless of how the Tee Higgins situation pans out.

The Bengals did pretty well in this draft filling out key holes. Most of their picks are a bit on the riskier side (Mims’ health and lack of experience, Burton’s character concerns). If they do pan out, though… this could be the best draft class for Cincinnati since that fateful 2020 haul.

Read more about the Bengals

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