The new Cincinnati Bengals head coach just finished up his first draft, and one thing is for certain, Zac Taylor is an offensive mind that is focused on controlling the line of scrimmage and establishing the run game. The Bengals went the safe, not sexy route in choosing Jonah Williams, the offensive tackle from Alabama, who can play multiple positions from guard to tackle across the offensive line. The NFL and offensive line coaches like Jim Turner value interchangeable linemen that can play multiple positions adding value to the team. Out of 10 picks, the Bengals dedicated five of them towards the running game, whether it was drafting Drew Sample at tight end, which the Bengals may have reached for in round two. Expect Sample to be used as an inline blocker alongside the tackle to create gashing holes for Joe Mixon to gallop through.
Michael Jordan was drafted in the fourth round of the draft, and he is another offensive lineman that can play multiple positions for Jim Turner’s offensive line. The Ohio State product is a lifelong Bengals fan, so it made it extra sweet to be drafted by his beloved NFL team. Which is interesting being Jordan is from Michigan and one would think he would be a Detroit Lions fan.
Running backs Trayveon Williams from Texas A&M and Rodney Anderson from Oklahoma were added in the running back pool after Mark Walton had been cut for incidents with the law on multiple occasions. Williams could be the replacement to Giovani Bernard if he decides to leave in free agency in 2020.
Linebacker was a major need for the Bengals after cutting fan favorite Vontaze Burfict, this is where in round two the Bengals should’ve taken Mack Wilson, the linebacker from Alabama, instead of tight end Drew Sample. To add salt in the wound the Bengals will have to face Wilson twice a year as AFC North rival Cleveland snatched Wilson late in round five. Linebacker Germaine Pratt from NC State was selected in the third round by the Bengals, which is a great start in beefing up the unit, but Wilson would have solidified the position for the Bengals.
All in all, it was a “safe” draft for the Bengals and Zac Taylor. Most Bengals fans like I myself included are still in shock that Taylor didn’t go and get Andy Dalton’s successor in Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State at pick No. 11. Instead Taylor and Duke Tobin went in favor of drafting Jonah Williams. This draft screams of a power running philosophy by Zac Taylor, Brain Callahan and Jim Turner. Expect this offense to feature a heavy downhill running style coupled with play-action passing that will mirror Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams offense, Taylor’s teacher.