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Cincinnati Bengals 2017 NFL Offseason Needs and Preview

Cincinnati Bengals 2017 NFL Offseason Needs and Preview

2017 Cincinnati Bengals Offseason Preview

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2016 Season Recap

A mix of injuries, suspensions, kicker inefficiencies and really bad luck resulted to Cincinnati missing the playoffs for the first time in six years and the first-ever in the Andy Dalton era. The Bengals got off to a slow start, losing four of their first seven games. Things, then, began clicking until the injury to A.J. Green. They finished the season with a 6-9-1 record. Hopefully, Cincy can turn it around quickly with some key additions/improvements in the offseason.

Top Free Agency Need(s)

The Bengals’ pass rushing attack took a step forward thanks to Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. The team ranked 15th in adjusted sack rate and 19th in sacks, but much of that improvement mainly came from the aforementioned names. The lack of quality edge rushers is a huge concern. Cincinnati has enough cash to spend on someone like Jabaal Sheard of the Patriots to strengthen the interior defense.

Top Draft Need(s)

Defensive End. Again, the Bengals need more pass-rushing help. They’re likely to find some in free agency, but if not, it won’t hurt to use their first-round pick on potentially drafting Tennessee’s Derek Barnett, who has the size and mobility to easily get to the passer. He had 13 sacks, 19 TFLs, five passes defended and a pair of forced fumbles in his final year with the Vols.

Safety. Reggie Nelson left for Oakland in the previous offseason, which really weakened Cincy’s defense in the back field.

Wide Receiver. A.J. Green can’t be Dalton’s only trustable option. The Bengals need a second go-to target for their quarterback, unless Tyler Boyd can finally step it up. He’s shown flashes of potential, but is still too inconsistent to fully endorse.

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Written by Bief

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