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Thursday, March 25, 2010
Source: Safety Earl Thomas visiting Cincy

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Thomas
Thomas
The Cincinnati Bengals will meet with Texas safety Earl Thomas on April 1-2, a source told the AFC North blog Thursday.

Thomas is a first-round prospect and widely regarded as the second-best safety in this year's draft behind Tennessee star Eric Berry.

The Bengals have the No. 21 overall pick and safety is one area they may look to get younger and add more depth. Their defense was rated fourth, but covering tight ends and slot receivers was one of the unit's few weaknesses last season. Cincinnati also was hit hard by injuries to veteran safeties Roy Williams (arm) and Chris Crocker (ankle).

Thomas' draft stock has been rising as of late. He is a big playmaker who is not graded far behind Berry, a projected top-10 pick. If more than one team high in the draft is looking to fill a void at safety, Thomas may be off the board before the Bengals select later in the first round.

But it doesn't hurt for Cincinnati to do its due diligence. Right now the Bengals could also use help early in the draft on offense, particularly at tight end, wide receiver and maybe offensive guard, depending on what happens with free-agent offensive lineman Bobbie Williams.