The free agency period is essentially over, there may be a couple minor signings still but there are no "good" players left on the board for the Bengals. Edge rusher and IOL are the only spots that seem to still be in consideration but there is no serious pursuit as of now.
- Offensive outlook post free agency-Riley Reiff was added to takeover at RT and is a massive improvement. The IOL is still in terrible shape with Quinton Spain, Michael Jordan, and an injued Trey Hopkins slated to start. AJ Green wasnt replaced and an outside receiver is a major need. Good news is the Bengals have Burrow, Mixon, Jonah Williams, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins all locked up for multiple years. The offense is close to being very good
- Defensive outlook post free agency-The defense will be more reliant on better health than any new additions. Trae Waynes is the replacement for William Jackson and Hilton/Awuze should be fine. The DL was decimated last year and a fully healthy group should be solid. The linebackers were terrible but that can be expected from rookies playing behind a practice squad level DL. Experience at LB, health in the DL, and Trae Waynes/Jessie Bates are why this defense could be good.
Draft Rumors-Eagles leaked that they thought the Bengals will take Jamarr Chase which is why they traded down. I think this is believable when added to the Burrow+Chase rumors and the fact the Bengals didnt really try to fix the WR position in free agency. Add in how deep the OT class is and it makes so much sense to get a good OT in the second after taking Chase and be better off than taking Sewell.
#1-Jamarr Chase-I am #teamChase. Jamarr Chase is a true #1, he has basically no flaws in his game and the culture of Burrow+Chase wanting to get another championship would be incredible. Two Chase comparisons are a faster Anqon Boldin and a bigger Antonio Brown. He is big, fast, physical, great at yac, good route runner, a deep threat, he is everything you could want. The talent of this offense would be ridiculous. You have to be elite at something to win a superbowl, Joe Burrow with the best receiving core in the NFL is something nobody could match.
#2-Liam Eichenberg OT Notre Dame-This is why you get to take Chase in the first, Eichenberg, Jalen Mayfield, Alex Leatherwood, Brady Christensen, and Dillon Radunz are all available. Take your pick but they are all very good OT prospects. The plan will be to take one of these OTs and play them at RG this year while Reiff plays RT. In year 2 they move out to RT and you have two good OTs. I would be happy with any one of these dudes. Jonah Williams-Spain-Hopkins-Eichenberg-Reiff. Awesome.
#3-Carlos Basham EDGE Wake Forest-Without signing anybody else the Bengals are able to pickup a solid backup at DE. He is a really good all around DE who may struggle due to not being the biggest guy. He is 6'3" and may never be capable of being an every down DE but as a rotational edge rusher would be very effective. He could be the third edge player who sees a lot of playing time.
#4-Deonte Brown IOL Bama-6'4" 360 and is an absolute monster. He is not athletic enough to be effective in a zone blocking scheme but for what he is the Bengals could use him. With his massive size and strength he does not get pushed back by pass rushers and would be able to keep the pocket clean for Burrow. He is very good at pushing DL out of the way on runs, just never ask him to reach to a linebacker. I am taking him and sticking him at LG so Burrow never has to worry about the pocket collapsing in his face.
#5-Chubba Hubbard RB OkState-Gio is entering his last year and Mixon needs to be held accountable on his big contract. Hubbard had a down year after being arguably the best RB in football in '20. At 6'0 210 he can do it all. The real benefit is having a speed back who will face light boxes with the Bengals receivers.
#6-Ihmir Smith Marcett WR Iowa-There is no other speed threat outside of Jamarr Chase and Ihmir can be that guy. In 4 receiver sets he can be the second slot while also being the other backup from Auden Tate. Developmental receiver with athletic tools nobody else has on the roster.
#6.2-Naquon Jones DT MSU-6'4" 330 developmental DT. Work behind DJ Reader primarily and also as a pure runstopper at 3T. Has athletic tools to become good but never put it together in 4 years at MSU.