Here Are 3 Players The Bengals Must Avoid In The 1st Round Of The 2016 NFL Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals hold the No. 24 overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft after making the playoffs. The Bengals lost in the first round, but are still within their Super Bowl window. Adding a player who can contribute is a must in the draft. However, drafting a bust early could cause them to take a step back next year. With that in mind, here are three players the Bengals need to avoid in the first round:

3. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville Cardinals

The Bengals need a defensive tackle to replace Domata Peko and Rankins is worthy of a first round pick. However, Rankins shouldn't be the Bengals' choice. The team needs a bigger defensive tackle to pair with Geno Atkins and Rankins' isn't big enough to fill that role. The Bengals are better off targeting someone like Alabama's Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson or Baylor's Andrew Billings. For more Bengals coverage, download the Chat Sports Android and iPhone app

2. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor Bears

The Bengals could be in the market for a wide receiver this offseason, especially if both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones leave. The Bengals are likely to lose at least one player, so taking a WR in round one is an option. The team might be better off adding a DT to replace Peko as mentioned above, but taking WR isn't a terrible idea. But that pick should not be Corey Coleman. The Baylor WR has generated plenty of buzz, but he needs a lot of work on his route-running. If the Bengals are going to take a WR early, they're better off looking at Ohio State's Michael Thomas or Notre Dame's Will Fuller. 

1. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Before the NFL Combine, the Bengals and their fans should have gone crazy if Smith was still on the board. He has top five talent and would have been a perfect fit in Cincinnati. But then came the report that the knee injury he suffered at the end of last season resulted in nerve damage. That's the kind of injury that will result in teams taking Smith off the board entirely. While Smith has Patrick Willis-type potential, his injury means the Bengals simply can't risk making him a first round pick.  

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Related Topics: Corey Coleman, Sheldon Rankins, Bengals Rumors, Jaylon Smith, Bengals News, NFL Draft, 2016 NFL Draft