AFC Notes: Denico Autry, Justin Fields, Bengals, Browns, Steelers


  • When examining how the Bengals may proceed at the tight end position this offseason, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic could see them re-sign Drew Sample and Tanner Hudson while bringing in a prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. 
  • Dehner doesn’t consider Cincinnati to overly invest in a top-end tight end because they have “premium” needs at defensive tackle and right tackle. However, Dehner recalls the Bengals being interested in Bills TE Dalton Kincaid and Lions TE Sam LaPorta in the 2023 NFL Draft. With that, Dehner writes to not rule out a tight end selection in the first three rounds of the draft. 
  • For the offensive line, Dehner points out Cincinnati has “aggressively addressed” their line the last two offseasons and expects them to pair a first-round pick at right tackle with a mid-tier free-agent option. 
  • Dehner also thinks the Bengals will sign a free agent at defensive tackle and select a prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He names third-round options like Michigan DT Kris Jenkins and Florida State DT Braden Fiske as two players who stand out. 
  • At running back, Dehner believes Cincinnati is best letting go of Joe Mixon and taking a Day 3 prospect to pair with a third-down back like Chiefs’ impending free-agent Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  • Dehner thinks how the Bengals proceed at defensive back depends on whether they line up Dax Hill at cornerback or safety. Should Cincinnati move Hill to cornerback, Dehner could see them signing an “intelligent veteran at safety.”



The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac said the Steelers would’ve selected Bears QB Justin Fields if he was available during the 2021 draft. Chicago ended up trading ahead of them to take him and the Steelers drafted RB Najee Harris with the No. 24 pick. 

If he were on the board and the Steelers had the opportunity, they would take Justin Fields — I was told this by a coach — over any other player,” Dulac said, via Steelers Wire.

However, Dulac reiterated an earlier report of his that Pittsburgh seems committed to giving former first-round QB Kenny Pickett another chance. 

“If all of a sudden they brought in Justin Fields, I wouldn’t be shocked. I’d be a little mildly surprised, and I say that because they are committed to one more year with Kenny Pickett,” he added.

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