Cincinnati Bengals changing face of franchise with 1st pick


By The Associated Press undefined



1. CINCINNATI (2-14)

LAST SEASON: Bengals matched franchise mark for worst record in coach Zac Taylor’s first season. Winless at midseason, they started quest for next QB by benching Andy Dalton for three games in failed move to rookie Ryan Finley. Offensive line was again huge problem, and defense was shredded during 0-11 start that was worst in franchise history. Bengals have gone 29 years without playoff win, fifth-longest drought in NFL history.

FREE AGENCY: Lost CB Darqueze Dennard, TE Tyler Eifert, DL Andrew Billings. Released CBs Dre Kirkpatrick and B.W. Webb, LT Cordy Glenn and RG John Miller. Signed CBs Trae Waynes, Mackenzie Alexander and LeShaun Sims, S Vonn Bell, DT D.J. Reader, LB Josh Byrnes, G Xavier Su’a-Filo, WR Mike Thomas.

THEY NEED: QB, OL, LB, DL.

THEY DON’T NEED: RB, K, P.

POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: It’ll be a shock if they take anyone other than QB Joe Burrow, Heisman Trophy winner and national champion who would be good fit for Taylor’s offensive system.

OUTLOOK: Bengals have so many holes that one draft alone won’t fix things, but picking at top of rounds gives them chance to make up ground if they choose wisely. Burrow would step into franchise that has managed seven winning records in last 29 years. Cincinnati has gone through 18 starting QBs during that span, including Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Carson Palmer, who requested trade and threatened to retire rather than continue playing for Cincinnati after 2010 season.

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By The Associated Press undefined