Cincinnati Bengals: 5 offseason needs in 2020


MIAMI, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 22: Head Coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on during the game against the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The team with the worst record in the league in 2019 is making moves. So how much work is truly needed when it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals?

It’s been a rough four-year stretch for a club that was accustomed to going to the playoffs. And this past season, the Cincinnati Bengals got off to a franchise-worst 0-11 start and wound up winning only two games. It was the team’s worst finish since an identical 2-14 mark in 2002. Now second-year head coach Zac Taylor and company are a little over a month away for making the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

So far this offseason, it is certainly worth noting that the Bengals have been more active in free agency so far in 2020 than they have in previous years. The club has added a pair of cornerbacks in former Minnesota Vikings’ Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. The team also signed underrated defensive tackle D.J. Reader from the Houston Texans (more on him shortly).

In any case, the team is a sorry 21-42-1 the past four seasons combined. So what does the team need to do to get back on track?

5.  Bolster the defensive front

As previously mentioned, the Bengals added former Texans’ defensive tackle D.J. Reader. The former fifth-round pick from Clemson University signed a four-year, $53 million to join the team in the Queen City (courtesy of Spotrac). Via Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he’s the seventh-ranked interior defender in the league and only four other players at his position earned higher grades against the run.

Of course, it’s not a defensive front without some talent as Reader joins the likes of eight-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins and pass-rushing standout Carlos Dunlap. But this is a defense that allowed the most rushing yards in the league this past season and could certainly use more help.

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