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For the second season in a row the Cincinnati Bengals made it to the AFC Championship game. As one of the prime candidates for a Super Bowl berth in 2023-24, the Bengals will need a strong draft to bolster their roster.
Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
Matthew Bergeron, Tackle, Syracuse
The Bengals can score with the best of them but need to add some pieces. The defensive front for the Bengals is solid but could use that beast that the top contenders all have.
Jalen Carter is arguably the best defensive player in the entire draft. Due to some off the field issues he may tumble down the board and fall into the laps of the Bengals at #28. Carter has the potential to be the most dominant defender out this draft. His strength, instincts and athleticism would elevate this Bengals’ defense to new heights and make the other players on the defense better. Carter would also be in a good locker room with a good coaching staff that can keep him on the straight and narrow.
The trenches for the Bengals has been a work in progress over the past couple of years. With Jonah Williams all but out of Cincy they will need to solidify that right tackle position.
Matthew Bergeron could be a late round option to fill the void if Williams is traded or released. Bergeron has experience at both left and right tackle, and exhibits traits that translate to the next level. His explosive hands allow him to ride defenders and keep the pocket clean. He would be an instant boost to the Bengals’ offensive line and a bookend tackle for the next decade.
The Bengals signed Irv Smith Jr. to man their tight end position, but they could use another tight end. Tucker Kraft is a small school product out of South Dakota State who is one of the most complete tight ends in this class. He has a long athletic frame that allows him to make tough catches away from his body. He is also a very capable pass blocker and run blocker. This will allow for the Bengals to be just as effective in 11-personnel as they are in their three receiver sets.
The Bengals have arrived and in a draft as deep as this year’s they could set themselves apart from other contenders.