2024 NFL Draft Betting: What Position Will the Bengals Select With Their First Pick?

Riley Thomas
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2024 NFL Draft Betting: What Position Will the Bengals Select With Their First Pick?

Following back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship game, the Cincinnati Bengals experienced a disappointing 2023 season by missing the postseason. Injuries played a big factor, which included Joe Burrow missing the final seven games of the regular season.

Cincinnati's offseason has focused on making upgrades with one thing in mind: getting back to the big game. The Bengals opted to not re-sign a couple of notable pieces, including Chidobe Awuzie, D.J. Reader, and Jonah Williams. Cincy also moved on from Joe Mixon, replacing him with Zack Moss.

The Bengals have not been afraid to make changes with their ultimate goal of a Super Bowl ring in mind. Cincinnati could make one step closer with an exceptional performance in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Cincy's first selection is the 18th pick. The first-round selection will likely make a big impact on the upcoming season. FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL Draft odds has lines available for which position the Bengals will pick first. What could be the best bet? Let's look at the odds.

NFL Draft Odds

2024 NFL Draft - Position of Cincinnati Bengals First Drafted Player
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Offensive Lineman-160
Defensive Lineman/Edge+430
Wide Receiver+900
Tight End+1000
View Full Table

Offensive Lineman (-160)

As previously mentioned, one of Cincinnati's notable departures was Jonah Williams signing a two-year, $30 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Williams was a solid starter, but the $30 million contract seemed questionable with the four-year veteran posting a 58.5 Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade last season.

The right tackle spot was open and the Bengals opted to sign Trent Brown, who posted an exceptional 80.2 PFF grade in 2023. Brown was a bargain with a one-year, $4.7 million contract.

Brown has been a starter every season since 2016 and has played well over the last handful of seasons. Cincinnati has a pair of solid starters at the tackle spots with Orlando Brown Jr. and the former Patriot.

With that said, I'm not sure why lines are suggesting that offensive line is the clear choice. I believe this could be more of a "best available" approach, which opens up several positions for this pick.

When it comes to offensive line, replacing left guard Cordell Volson could be the only spot worth addressing. This means an interior offensive line prospect, and there aren't too many prospects that fit this mold at the 18th pick. Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State could be one of the prospects that would make sense at 18.

Defensive Lineman/Edge (+430)

So if offensive line isn't a done deal, what else could the Bengals target? Defensive line makes sense following the departure of D.J. Reader.

However, Cincy found a quality replacement with the acquisition of Sheldon Rankins. The void of Reader is still there as Rankins is a three-technique. Of course, Reader was typically a nose tackle that looked to stuff the run.

Similar to the offensive line situation, there aren't too many prospects that fit this mold for the 18th pick. Byron Murphy of Texas and Jer'Zhan Newton of Illinois are viewed as the two defensive tackle prospects to likely go in the first round. However, both players likely lack the size to be a consistent nose tackle. Each prospect is expected to fill three-technique roles with their pass-rushing abilities.

Adding edge depth behind Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard with the first-round selection also seems unlikely. What are some other positions that the Bengals could target?

Cornerback (+470)

Drafting a cornerback could be more likely than the +470 odds suggest. Chidobe Awuzie signed with the Tennessee Titans, opening up a starting perimeter cornerback spot.

With the current room, Cincinnati would be leaning on young players with Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner II in line to start. Taylor-Britt started in 12 games last season while posting a solid 64.5 PFF grade, and Turner provided up and down play during his rookie campaign in 2023.

The Bengals could look to add more talent at CB, especially with various prospects providing good value at 18. This includes Quinyon Mitchell or Toledo or Terrion Arnold of Alabama. There's a good chance both players could be off of the board at 18 -- once again putting Cincy in a tough spot.

Cincinnati's selection with the 18th pick could be too unpredictable to place a bet on it. It will likely be a best available strategy, which leaves the door wide open. Tight end (+1000) is a line offering big potential as Brock Bowers of Georgia has been another rumored target for the Bengals.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.