It seems as though everybody has an idea as to who the Cincinnati Bengals should take in the upcoming NFL Draft. Most have a general agreement on the positions that are needed most, with the lone point of contention being wide receiver. There are two camps in this debate: those who think the team needs a number two WR and those who think the team already has a number two WR on the roster in one of the young players drafted last year. With Cincinnati closing in on being a yearly contender for the playoffs and trying to become a legitimate Super Bowl team, making the right decision is paramount.
The 2013 draft is loaded at the WR position and the depth could certainly allow a very good player to be available later than usual. With the Bengals having an extra second-round pick, they might decide to address a position that isn’t a glaring need to make it stronger, such as receiver. This year’s WR class has several guys who could be excellent fits across from AJ Green. If the Bengals continue to mimic the teams that contend every year by selecting the best player available instead of drafting for need, it’s increasingly possible that a WR will be that guy at some point early in the draft.
There is a segment of Bengals fans who believe drafting a WR is a waste of a pick with last year’s selections Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones on the roster. Both players were considered high value picks when they were taken and both showed flashes during the season of being very good players. Sanu doesn’t have breakaway speed and has struggled to create separation but his tremendous hands allows him to make tough catches. He made good use of the time he was given before his injury, becoming a bigger part of the offense, including a three-game stretch where he had four touchdowns. Jones also showed potential, particularly late in the season, recording 10 receptions for 110 yards and a TD in the last two games. He’s got more speed than Sanu and is more athletic but Sanu is the better route runner. Both were used at the number two receiver spot and could start there in 2013 if the Bengals don’t draft a WR.
This year’s draft looks to be one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. The WR position is just as unstable as any other and the top guys could go anywhere from the middle of the first round to the middle of the second round. The Bengals have needs at linebacker, safety, and running back, but the way the draft winds up falling could leave them with a situation where a WR is the best player on the board. If that happens, they might have to go ahead and take him, even if it means waiting on one of their more pressing needs. A lot of fans will be happy if they do.