The first three selections in the first round Thursday will be quarterbacks. A quarterback also could go at No. 4.
The Bengals, who draft fifth overall, are in a prime spot to draft the best non-quarterback or one of the best non-quarterbacks.
“Anybody we take with that fifth pick, the expectation is he’s going to come in and help us win immediately and play a big role. That’s the expectation,” Duke Tobin, the director of player personnel, said, via Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’ll have a vision for that guy. It won’t be a long development process for the guy we take there. His expectation will be to come in, be a starter and be a producer for us.”
LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts are potential picks for the Bengals. All three would step in as a Day 1 starter.
“We feel like we’re gonna get a premier player that can come in and really help us win immediately,” coach Zac Taylor said.
Frankly, that is the expectation with any top-five choice. Teams generally don’t use high picks for developmental players.
The Bengals, who signed 17 internal and external free agents, need help now, and they should get help now with eight selections in this weekend’s draft.