Cincinnati Bengals: 2014 NFL Round 2 Rapid Reaction
May, 9, 2014
By Coley Harvey | ESPN.com
CINCINNATI -- The pick: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU.
My take: The Bengals were sitting comfortably when the 55th overall pick went on the clock Friday night. There were a slew of highly talented players whom they could have taken with their various needs. Good running backs were available, offensive linemen were available, defensive ends were available, safeties were available and linebackers were, too. So they could have gone virtually anywhere. With the Bengals moving to a more physical offense under newly promoted offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, the Bengals were smart to take a running back in the second round. In Hill, they get a big, bruising ball-carrier who can push the pile as well as make defenders miss. He is also a solid receiving threat out of the backfield, too.
Hill's addition could soon spell the end for BenJarvus Green-Ellis' time in Cincinnati. Green-Ellis split carries with Giovani Bernard last season but didn't perform as well as the Bengals had hoped. If Green-Ellis does reach chopping-block status -- and Jackson made it clear that "right now" Green-Ellis is still an option in the backfield -- he would provide the Bengals a cap savings of $2.5 million this season.
No Hyde: The Bengals had a chance to take Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde with the 55th pick, but they went with a player whom many fans weren't expecting. The Bengals liked Hyde according to Jackson and running backs coach Kyle Caskey in a post-pick news conference, but Hill's selection was in part the product of his playing in a pro-style offense and a conference as competitive as the SEC.
What's next? Now that the Bengals have addressed one offensive need, they ought to turn their focus in the third round to either defensive line or quarterback. They still need a defensive end to help fill former end Michael Johnson's shoes. Johnson signed with Tampa Bay in free agency back in March. The Bengals are also in need of offensive line help and could take a player at center, guard or tackle.