Did Duke Tobin just hint at the Bengals’ draft plans?

On Monday, Bengals’ director of player personnel Duke Tobin made some interesting remarks about the teams offseason thus far. He didn’t stop there, however, and went on to say that the team will not be “passing up super talented players to make, maybe, a reach for a position of need.”

First Impressions

At this point, we all know it’s Ja’Marr Chase or Penei Sewell for the Bengals. Sure, Kyle Pitts should be in the same category and maybe he is, but it doesn’t feel that way. The “super talented” players Tobin is mentioning would fill some of the biggest needs on the entire roster while simultaneously allowing the Bengals to draft the best player available. But Tobin may have made the Bengals’ 1st round pick a foregone conclusion:

There will be guys available in the second round, third round that we have starter grades on.”

This quote was in direct reference to this year’s offensive line class. He also mentioned that the team is comfortable with the addition of newly acquired OT Riley Reiff. It begs the question – are the Bengals already set on pairing Joe Burrow with his number 1 target at LSU in Ja’Marr Chase? It sure sounds like the team is comfortable addressing its needs in the trenches in the second round and so on. And if that’s where the team sees the best value when adding guys that will protect Joe Burrow, then they should absolutely follow through with that plan.

Then again, Tobin could be doing his best to throw a smokescreen. For those who aren’t sure what that means, it’s basically purposely misleading other teams in order for them to overreact. Sometimes, it results in a team offering a massive haul of draft capitol. Which seems relevant, considering Tobin said the team will still listen to trade offers and consider everything.

Three weeks out, it seems unlikely that the Bengals’ will trade down in the first round of the draft. The QB-needy Panthers just traded for Sam Darnold, so they’re out of the question. Moving back any further than 8th would put the team in jeopardy of missing out on the guys Tobin mentioned.

Logan Vaughn

I write about Cincinnati sports in my free time.

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