Don’t Call It A Comeback – Cincinnati Bengals 2024 Draft Profile

The Cincinnati Bengals had a very bizarre season in 2023, resulting in a fourth place finish in the AFC North. Injuries depleted the roster, and yet they still managed to finish as a nine win squad. They now enter the draft season with questions surrounding the offensive line and receiving corps, and whether they can improve the defensive front. With three picks in the top 100, they can sure up their need based positions to attempt to ascend back the summit of the division.


Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

Graham Barton, Tackle, Duke

Jamari Thrash, WR, Louisville


Cincinnati doesn’t have many holes on this roster on paper. Depth and the threat of key contributors leaving in free agency are the only issues that plague this roster. Heading into the draft they can choose to go best player available or draft for need and still have a fruitful outcome.

The interior defensive line has plenty of beef in the middle with D.J. Reader, but B.J. Hill has an out in his contract and could be a cap casualty. Replacing him with a run stopper with pass rush ability would improve the defensive line drastically for the Bengals.

Jer’Zhan Newton fits that bill perfectly. Newton is able to create interior pressure, while also keeping gap integrity in the run game. He has elite strength coupled with violent hands that allow him to stack and shed blockers with ease. Plugging him in next to Reader would give Cincy a potent attack that will be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines.

The Bengals could lose another piece in the trenches on the offensive side of ball, as Jonah Williams is set to become a free agent. He primarily played the right tackle spot and replacing him won’t be easy, but there are options in the mid to late 2nd round.

Graham Barton would fit in as a plug-and-play tackle in this Bengals’ offense. He is an aggressive run blocker that plays with elite leverage and burst off the line of scrimmage. He has enough bend to stay with speed rushers as well as a solid base to anchor against the bull rush. Barton has a plus grade for me in the mid rounds as he has the tools to be a long-term starter at either tackle spot for years at the pro level.

Staying on the offensive side of the ball, the Bengals have a lot of questions swirling around their wide receiver room. Tee Higgins can test free agency, but its a strong possibility that he is franchise tagged. That leaves veteran receiver Tyler Boyd as the odd man out, as he is set to hit the open market.

Grabbing his replacement in the mid to late rounds should be easy in such a deep class for the position.

Jamari Thrash is almost a one-to-one replacement for Boyd. Thrash has the burst, route running, and hands to work as a slot or outside receiver at the next level. He has good top end speed to threaten the deep third of the field, and can work the intermediate routes with precision. He would present as an early favorite target for Joe Burrow in this scheme.

Cincy is on a quest to reclaim their spot as the elite team in the AFC North. To do that they will need to ace this draft and come out with young impact players. That is easier said than done, but the front office has done it before.

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