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Next up: No. 41


The Bengals got a regular in the second round last season in slot receiver Tyler Boyd.

Here's one take on Friday's second and third rounds that begin at 7 p.m. on NFL Network and ESPN.

The Bengals are going to make their money in rounds two to four, which is where people think the strength of this draft is. Whether it's an edge rusher, a linebacker, a running back, a defensive tackle, an offensive lineman, they're going to be there. Just take your pick what round.

All of which makes the first round a bonus pick. If you can get what you need (and the Bengals believe they've got virtually every position covered) in the second, third, and fourth rounds, then take a flyer in the first round on a guy that has one rare trait, like Washington wide receiver John Ross' speed.

 If it clicks, it's the kind of pick that helps you go over the top. If not, well, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr., questions it but you're still lining up OK.

What should help the Bengals is that on big boards like the one Kiper displayed after the first round, there are a slew of cornerbacks, safeties, and wide receivers available before the Bengals pick ninth in the round at 41. Positions you figure the Bengals don't draft. The bad news is there are no pass rushers, just one running back (Florida State's Dalvin Cook) and one linebacker (Houston's Tyus Bowser) among his first 14 players.

This gallery features the Bengals 9th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft John Ross - Washington

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