Friday, May 4, 2012
Bengals: One big question
By Jamison Hensley
Did the Cincinnati Bengals address the right spot in the secondary?
The Bengals' major focus this offseason was cornerback. Cincinnati used the 17th overall pick on Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick after signing Adam Jones, Terence Newman and Jason Allen in free agency.
There's no arguing that cornerback was an area of need for the Bengals. No one knows if Leon Hall will be ready to start the season after last year's Achilles injury, and Nate Clements will be 33 by the time the season ends. But Cincinnati went overboard at this position. The Bengals now have six cornerbacks who were originally drafted in the first round. Not everyone is going to make the final cut.
The position in the secondary that the Bengals failed to address early in the draft was safety. After cutting starter Chris Crocker in early April, the team is putting a lot of faith in Taylor Mays, a 2010 draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers who has very little on-field experience in Mike Zimmer's defense.
Last season, Mays played 57 out of a possible 648 defensive snaps while missing seven games because of injuries. The biggest knock on Mays has been his coverage skills. But judging by their moves this offseason, the Bengals were more concerned about their depth at cornerback than Mays' ability to step up as a starter.