Friday, May 9, 2014
Who could Bengals target in Rounds 2-3?
By Coley Harvey
Now that the Cincinnati Bengals got their cornerback on Day 1 of the 2014 NFL draft, where might they go with their picks on Day 2?
There are a number of good options still available in Rounds 2 and 3, and trades always could occur, too. Below are some names and position groups worth keeping an eye on before the draft resumes Friday night:
Offensive line OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada
OT Cameron Fleming, Stanford
OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
OG Trai Turner, LSU
OG John Urschel, Penn State
OG Cyril Richardson, Baylor
C Marcus Martin, USC
C Weston Richburg, Colorado State
Analysis: Moses, Kouandjio and Su'a-Filo could be the first three linemen taken in the second round. The Bengals are well positioned at No. 55 to perhaps grab whichever of the two tackles falls the furthest, if they want to make this pick an offensive lineman. Even though Su'a-Filo is a guard, he is a truly versatile lineman, having played on both the interior and edges of the line in college. He could be a good fit for the Bengals' front. If those three are gone by No. 55, Martin could be a good choice at center. Urschel and Fleming could be good third-round options if the Bengals wait until then to take linemen.
Defensive line DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
DE Scott Crichton, Oregon State
DE Kareem Martin, North Carolina
DE Taylor Hart, Oregon
DE William Clarke, West Virginia
DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
Analysis: The Bengals truly have their pick of the litter at defensive end in the second and third rounds. Ealy, Tuitt and Crichton were players who had drawn first-round projections by a lot of early mock drafts, so don't be surprised if they are all taken by the end of the second round. Tuitt doesn't fit the Bengals' scheme as well as Ealy and Crichton would, but he's an option in case the other two are gone before 55. Martin, Hart and Clarke all have the height the Bengals could be considering at end, as they try replacing 6-foot-7 Michael Johnson, who batted eight passes at the line of scrimmage last season. Jernigan is a nose tackle reared in a 4-3 base system who could fit if the Bengals wanted another interior lineman.
Linebackers OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU
OLB Trent Murphy, Stanford
OLB Telvin Smith, Florida State
Analysis: The linebacker pool weakens significantly after the second and third round, so the Bengals might consider making a move there Friday night. Attaochu is a rangy, hard-hitting "Will" linebacker who played in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes in college. Van Noy might have the best coverage skills of those listed. Murphy is more of a "Sam" linebacker who could be best used in run support. Smith is a combination linebacker who played inside and outside in college. He reportedly failed the combine drug test, potentially dropping him into the fourth round or later. The Bengals primarily need cover linebackers such as Van Noy, but they will be looking to replace "Sam" backer James Harrison somehow this season, too.
Safeties S Terrence Brooks, Florida State
S Brock Vereen, Minnesota
S Craig Loston, LSU
Analysis: Now Danieal Manning's late-free agency signing seems to be coming into focus. It would appear the Bengals were potentially anticipating an early run on safeties and cornerbacks, and they thought it best to add a solid veteran in case they weren't able to land a safety in the draft who could compete right away. If they add another defensive back in this draft, that player might come in the later rounds as an addition strictly for depth. Among this list, Brooks is the most enticing option, but he'll likely be gone before No. 55. A hard-hitter who has ball-hawking tendencies, he has high potential. Vereen is similar, and Loston hails from the SEC, the conference the Bengals have drafted from the most under coach Marvin Lewis.
Quarterbacks QB AJ McCarron, Alabama
QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU
QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
QB Aaron Murray, Georgia
QB Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
Analysis: Don't expect the Bengals to act on a quarterback until the third round, and even then that could be a reach. The player on this list who seems to make the most sense is Murray. He's a possible third-round talent who played one year with Bengals receiver A.J. Green and spent high school and most of college passing to then-tight end Orson Charles. Don't be surprised if Murray actually slips, much like the other quarterbacks, to the fourth round. After the first half of the second round, few teams have major quarterback needs.