Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  By Chris Nerone  |  Last updated 5/18/17

We are roughly three weeks removed from the 2017 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals have made their picks, already signing some of them. One key question left is where do they go from here.

This concern particularly stands regarding the Bengals top two draft picks. With John Ross and Joe Mixon getting the most buzz in this draft class. Both with potentially big roles to take on with the Bengals up front. Along with big expectations for both of them and the Bengals overall. After a lackluster 2016 season, which followed several decent regular seasons.

The first place to start is with the Bengals first round pick John Ross. It will be important to look beyond Ross’s speed. To see at what else he can bring to the table as a wide receiver. That will be equally as important moving forward. Especially if Ross can avoid injury and get many receptions next season.

As for Joe Mixon, the Bengals already cleared one hurdle by dealing with the backlash from drafting him. Some teams were worried about their image, plus their fan base reaction regarding Mixon. A reasonable concern, after all NFL teams are businesses at their core. Some would criticize that they weren’t as concerned about Mixon’s behavior. Rather they were more concerned about the prospect of negative headlines.

The Bengals so far don’t seem phased by headlines generated by drafting Mixon. If anything the Bengals saw the potential negative press coming a mile away. Now the big challenge for the Bengals is whether Mixon will be successful; while staying out of trouble off the field. Drafting Mixon fueled one negative perception of the Bengals as a team of troublemakers. The Bengals hope he can help end another perception, as a team constantly stumbling in January.

Mixon and Ross are the two most prominent 2017 Bengals draft picks. However, along with the other members of this draft class they’re peices of a bigger puzzle. Will Jeremy Hill and Joe Mixon be an effective running back duo? Will John Ross be the wide receiving alternative to A.J. Green that Andy Dalton is hoping for? These are big questions that will be answered during the regular season.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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