Should the Cincinnati Bengals Draft a Wide Receiver in the First Round?

By Simon Greene
Tavon Austin
Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

It’s widely known at this point that the Cincinnati Bengals need to upgrade their receiving corps, something that they were expected to do at the beginning of free agency.

They haven’t dealt with the issue yet. The team’s current No.1 receiver AJ Green has an abundance of talent and will not slowing down for years to come, but as for the No. 2 spot, it begins to get a bit cloudy.

On the Bengals’ No.2 receiver list, they have Mohammad Sanu, who ended his season on the November 30 with an injury after only a 154 yards and four touchdowns, and Andrew Hawkins, who ended the season on 533 yards and four touchdowns. Although these are good numbers for a receiver, ideally, the Bengals should have a second receiver who can put up higher yards, closer to the 1,000 yards mark.

Yesterday afternoon, the Bengals announced their first private work out of the off-season for one of the top receivers in the NFL Draft this season; Tavon Austin out of West Virginia.

Austin is an extremely quick and talented wide receiver and return specialist, two positions the Bengals are looking to upgrade this off-season. His 3,413 yards and 29 touchdowns in 52 games, as well as his 2,840 total return yards and five touchdowns are exactly what could propel the Bengals offense from a team that is contending for a playoff spot to a hopeful.

Austin had an excellent showing at the NFL Combine, posting a 4.34 40-yard dash time as well as a 32-inch vertical leap, solidifying his first round status and gaining the interest in teams that otherwise would not have taken a first-round wide receiver such as the Bengals.

Overall, it’s not a great idea for the Bengals to draft a wide receiver in the first round, as the Bengals have a few other holes they will need to plug first. A good round for the Bengals to draft at this position would either be with their second pick in the second round or the third round, after they have worked on their bigger issues.


Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals writer

Follow Simon Greene on Twitter @simongreene88

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