The Cincinnati Bengals held the sixth overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft. With the sixth selection, the Bengals selected OT Andre Smith from Alabama, the 2008 Outland Trophy winner.

In the 2008 season, the Bengals finished 4-11-1 in the regular season, finishing in third place in the AFC North.

Prior to 2009, the Bengals had used their last five first-round selections on defensive players. Prior to selecting Smith, the last time they had selected an offensive player was 2004, when they chose Michigan running back Chris Perry 26th overall.