5. Cincinnati Bengals
It might seem weird to have an AFC Championship participant here, but the Cincinnati Bengals are fascinating ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. Cincinnati’s aggressiveness to attack the offensive line need has been impressive so far after the Super Bowl loss to Los Angeles. Their latest addition, Orlando Brown, solves left tackle. But, La’El Collins positional questions put a potential need at right tackle in the spotlight. If Darnell Wright or Anton Harrison fall, either would be great selections. But maybe they go real big at the bookends and grab Dawand Jones.
Otherwise, could an aggressive move at a skill position happen in round one? Absolutely! Michael Mayer would be a great addition to be the reliable guy over the middle of the field for a long time. Darnell Washington would really ignite an improving run game. Speaking of the run game, losing Samaje Perine and the Joe Mixon issues make running back important. Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs in round one shouldn’t surprise.
Corner is the other need here as well. Emmanuel Forbes might end up a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, as could Michigan’s D.J. Turner.
So why are the Bengals so interesting? It’s the idea of finding the missing piece on offense, whatever they consider it to be, and getting it and others with their first three selections. It could be all offense to compete with Kansas City. Throw some punches to reach the peak.