April 20, 2024

2 sneaky good players Bengals must take in 2024 NFL Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals have done extremely well in the NFL Draft in recent years. Drafting players like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase is obviously advantageous, but players such as Tee Higgins, Jessie Bates, Germaine Pratt, and Logan Wilson, among others, have been significant hits outside of the first round. They have the opportunity to unearth similar gems in the 2024 NFL Draft as well.
This draft appears to be deep, which bodes well for the Bengals to discover some immediate players later in the draft who can help them make another Super Bowl push. Oregon’s Bucky Irving and Ohio State’s Cade Stover appear to be players that could help the Bengals right now and be picked on Day 2 or later.
Bucky Irving appears to be an ideal fit with the Bengals for a number of reasons. For starters, Irving is simply a superb and versatile player. He may only be 5-foot-10 and weighs 195 pounds, but he is a terror to tackle. In 2023, he forced 51 missed tackles, ranking among the top marks in the country.

3 Running Back Free Agents That Cincinnati Bengals Could Target
Irving is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield. In two seasons at Eugene, he caught 87 passes for 712 yards, five of which resulted in touchdowns. Irving was rarely used deep down the field, but his dynamism after the catch, combined with his sure hands, made him a valuable asset in the passing offense.
The Bengals could definitely use a player like this to relieve pressure on Joe Burrow. Joe Mixon has been a good running back throughout his career, and while his 1.4 yards per route run rated 16th among running backs last season, according to playerprofiler.com, he’s starting to run out of steam. Mixon averaged 3.9 real yards per carry (excluding runs of 10 yards or more). He also had a breakout run rate of only 3.1% and averaged 3.2 yards per touch. Mixon scored 35th or lower among running backs in each of these measures, which aim to remove the surroundings and focus on a running back’s actual performance.
The Bengals did select Chase Brown in last year’s draft, and he had his moments. However, he only averaged 3.8 real yards per run and was nothing near Irving’s level of performance in college. Running back is a position where the Bengals could improve significantly in 2024. Bucky Irving appears to be an ideal fit for their team and offense.
The Bengals could potentially need an upgrade at tight end. Tanner Hudson provided solid output toward the end of the 2023 season, but he has been around the NFL for a long and is 29 years old. That is not to suggest he can’t be the Bengals’ tight end in the future, but finding a long-term solution at that position would benefit the Bengals.
They may not have to look far to locate it. Cade Stover of Ohio State was somewhat overlooked in Columbus due to the number of outstanding receivers who have come and gone from that program, but he is a baller in his own way. Stover had his opportunity in the 2022 season after Jeremy Ruckert was picked by the New York Jets. Since then, Stover has caught 77 catches for 982 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was one of the top tight ends in college football last season.

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