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2014 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals Should Address Aging Defensive Backs in Round One
With the NFL Scouting Combine taking place this past weekend, it is a perfect time to start really getting into what the Cincinnati Bengals will do with the 24th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The first place to begin looking at where they might go is to look at the current roster. They are set at pretty much every offensive skill position, so it would be hard to see them drafting a QB, RB, WR or TE with their first-round pick. The defense was strong last season, especially on the defensive line, but the secondary is aging and doing so quickly.
The starting cornerbacks in 2013 are both 30 or over with, Adam Jones being 30-years old and Terence Newman being 35. In 2012, the Bengals selected Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama with the 17th pick of the draft. However, in the two years that Kirkpatrick has been in the NFL he has only started three games.
With all of this in mind, tt is safe to assume that the Bengals will look to add youth to their defensive backfield. Let’s take a look at some possible options for the Bengals in the first round.
After seeing what Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State did to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game and Stanford in the Rose Bowl, it will be hard to see a better cornerback in the 2014 draft. He was able shut down the wide receivers of both Ohio State and Stanford. He also has good size at 5’11″, very good on field speed and can be physical if asked to be.
The next best corner in the draft in my opinion is Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State. At 6’0″ and 199 pounds, Gilbert has the measurables to be a really good NFL Corner. His highlight reel is full of spectacular plays in both the defensive backfield and on special teams. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in 40-yard dash during the combine, as his hands look good and he has some big play abilities.
Another cornerback for the the Bengals to look at is Jason Verrett out of TCU. Verrett is 5′ 9″and 174 pounds, and what he lacks in size he makes up for with his speed. In today’s NFL with wide receivers being bigger and stronger than ever before, it would be tough to see any team taking a small cornerback in the first round.
An outside name that the Bengals could explore is LaMarcus Joyner from Florida State. Joyner is 5’8″ and 190 pounds, again another smaller guy, but he played both cornerback and and safety while at FSU. This is something that could entice the Bengals, as they have a need in both positions so they could take Joyner and see where he fits best.
An even further outside name for the Bengals is Bradley Roby from the Ohio State. Roby is 5’11″ and 193 pounds, and although he did not have his best season this year, the potential is there. He has the ability to make huge plays against almost any route, but the big play ability also hurts from time to time. He can get burned on double moves but he also has the speed to make up on most mistakes he makes.
There are obviously a number of defensive backs the Bengals could take a look at in this deep and talented draft. But if they come away with one of the ones in this article, the Cincinnati faithful should have some positive feelings about what is to come for their team’s defensive backfield.
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