Pick #24 — Cincinnati Bengals
There is a decent consensus in recent years that the Bengals have the most talented overall roster in the league. It makes sense; they do well in the draft, are allergic to allowing their homegrown talents to leave (for the right price) and rarely waste money in free agency. And the success shows, with the team reaching the playoffs in each of the past five seasons despite having to share a division with perennially well-coached teams in Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Still, they obviously can continue to improve, and will need to if they want to ever actually finally win their first playoff game of my lifetime (they beat the Houston Oilers on January 6, 1991; I was born a month later).
This offseason, the team finds itself not only reeling off the worst of their recent playoff losses, but losing a larger portion of their own talent through free agency than usual.
They lost their #2 and #3 receivers, haven’t resigned long-time corner Leon Hall, and let Reggie Nelson go to the Raiders. For the latter two, they are actually pretty well set; they have spent multiple high picks on guys like Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard specifically for the future at corner, and they have a couple guys they could look to for a sizable chunk of Nelson’s production at a fraction of the cost.
The receiver issue definitely needs to be alleviated though; as of now, they would be lining up former Patriot Brandons LaFell and Tate if the season began now. Not only is that unenticing, but that would be negligent and set them to take an even bigger step back than they already might be set to experience with the departure of Hue Jackson.
Lucky for them, there is someone here well worth their consideration in Doctson.
Remember how I compared Doctson to someone like Marvin Jones or Golden Tate (i.e.: definitely talented, but best suited as a #2)? Well, he looks like an excellent choice to step right into Jones’ previous role as A.J. Green’s running mate, and his ceiling may actually be higher than Jones’ as well.
There’s nothing else to consider here; other spots could use upgrades, but no spot has the hole that this one does, and Doctson has a strong case as the best guy remaining regardless.