2014 NFL Draft Handicapping Tips: Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are coming off a AFC North Division championship and are far from starting from scratch. Even though their defense is highly rated – they were 5th in yards allowed – there is a whole to fill up front with the departure of Michael Johnson at defensive end.

2013 Record: 11-5 (1st place AFC North)

Draft picks (by round)

Round 1 – 24
Round 2 – 23
Round 3 – 24
Round 4 – 23
Round 5 – 24
Round 6 – 23, 36
Round 7 – 24, 37

Team Overview and Needs

They were a little soften than expected against the run than you would have expected too so I expect that they would go for an end that can not only collapse the pocket but is stout against the run.

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Beyond shoring up the defensive line they can go in a variety of directions thanks to a roster that is fairly deep and balanced. In a lot of cases they can take the best player on the board but one area I expect they will definitely draft is the offensive line.

Top Pick Target

Unfortunately for Cincinnati there is only one elite defensive line prospect available in the draft – Jadeveon Clowney – and he will be long gone by the time they make their first selection at 24. Looking at their roster and history the Bengals look for big athletes with long wingspans at end instead of just pure speed edge rushers.
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They recognize that being able to alter throws is as important as getting to the action quarterback.

A couple of players fit that bill DE Stephon Tuitt from Notre Dame and DT Rashede Hageman from Minnesota. Hageman played primarily inside with the Gophers and could be a beast next to Geno Atkins allowing him to rush the passer more. Even though he is a tackle he fits their style and could be worth a shot.

Bengals 2014 NFL draft predictions

I would love to see the Bengals upgrade in a few other areas and these are some prospects I think might be available on the second day that are worth considering.

QB – Logan Thomas – A bust as a senior at VT he is still a good enough athlete to be an NFL player. I like the idea of Cincinnati taking a chance on whether he can be a hybrid contributor somewhere…and they won’t have to invest a high pick to get him.

OT – Seantrel Henderson – Though highly rated as a recruit he never quite was the elite player that was expected. If they could grab him in the second round or maybe even in the first they could be getting a stalwart player for the next 10 years. The Bengals know how to manage characters too.

CB – Unless they go early here they will miss on the top guys. One player I think is worth taking a shot on is Keith McGill out of Utah. The league is moving towards big corners and he is 6’3”. Coming out of the PAC 12 he should know how to cover too.

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By The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at