Here is a round by round breakdown of some guys I think the Bengals might target. I will be adding my thoughts and breakdowns as time passes. If you think there is a guy I should add just leave a comment. If you like what you see follow me on twitter @codiki for daily updates and play breakdowns.
Kyle Fuller (CB) (VT)
6’0″ 190lb 4.49 dash 38.5 vert
For my money if he is there at 24 don’t pick up the phone, don’t listen to offers, run to the podium with his name on the card. He has NFL pedigree with both his brothers in the league, so he will have guidance from them. Has better game speed, with good recovery, then what his combine numbers would lead you to believe. Guys don’t blow by him in man coverage. He is a very willing tackler for run support. His character is top notch and was the captain of the Hokies. Instant impact guy; he is a “ball player,” throw out the numbers and put on some game tape on. You will drool over him, he can play football. Has some of the best turn and locate skills in this draft; always gets his hand on or near the ball. Put on the tape of Bama and GT and you will gas up your car to pick him up at his house if you are a Bengals fan. In GT first possession he takes on a Guard on a blitz, splits him, gets held, yet still dives and strips the QB. ( http://youtu.be/x_nAC4gisuA ) Fits the physical at their line system that the Bengals use and the AFC North demands. Fluid hips but his backpeddle can use some work. This guy WILL hit you in the mouth. He can get caught on a double move from time to time, but who doesn’t in college games.
CJ Mosley (ILB) (Bama)
6’2″ 234lb 35.5 vert
He is the guy that could shake up the Bengals plans. Will they pull the trigger and get a guy to replace Rey Rey? A lot of people in Bengaldom might celebrate this pick. He is a sure tackler but can get caught upright in the wash and get eaten up by guards getting to the second level. His narrow build also contributes to this issue. Most of the time he does a really good job of avoiding guys in traffic though, and weaves through the chaos well. Good speed, great in one on one coverage and decent pass rushing ability. Not a huge hitter but that is why he is a sure tackler, he keeps his knees bent and breaks down to tackle instead of loading up for the monster shots. He may not make Sportscenter highlights, but if you MLB doesn’t make ESPN that’s usually a good thing. That means he is making tackles and no missing them. It is not a glorified position. I mean name the top 5 MLB in each division. I bet you just went Luke Kuechly….Bueller…Bueller. See early blitz in video he makes the sure play instead of looking for big hit. It causes incomplete pass from the QB. ( http://youtu.be/WvodZ06OXk8 ) He is a lunch pail kind of player, he just shows up and does his job. Has great instincts, ability to read the flat, and cover guys over the middle. Takes great angles and rarely misses a tackle. Has some red flags with previous shoulder, hip, and elbow injuries which have caused him to miss some games. He shows up big in big games when the lights are the brightest he is at his finest. He is a 2 time Butkus award winner. He never loafs on plays, or gives up on a play, and plays sideline to sideline. One thing that will likely cause him to slide on draft day, if he does slide, is that Bama players from defense haven’t faired well in the NFL. Most attribute that to being surrounded by talent in college and the devalued perspective on the MLB position I spoke of earlier.
Darqueze Dennard (CB) (Mich St)
5’11″ 199lb 4.51 dash
He is another guy I think the Bengals would be happy to take at 24 if he is there. It seems because of his play style the ratings team have on him varies a lot. He is a bit grabby and has some injury concerns so he could slide. I honestly think the Steelers could take him at 15. He is good in man press and is very physical. He has great balls skills and goes from defense to offense very quickly. He can be a return threat when he makes an int. Reminds me a lot of Ed Reed when it comes to his return skills, he is patient and picks his way through traffic looking for openings. He has strong hands and competes for 50/50 balls. He comes in polished with his body control and his footwork including his backpedal. His feet never seem to get tangled up (as we have all seen with Dre a few times). Great in man off the ball and man press so that really fits what the Bengals prefer to do. They almost never play zone so it’s not a big deal that he hasn’t played much a zone coverage. He stays in the WR’s back pocket and keeps them within his range and doesn’t try to bait the QB into throwing his way. This costs him opportunities at INTs but also make him more consistent, which is really what is important. He can get a bit grabby when he gets behind because he doesn’t have elite speed. He got away with it in college but I think in the NFL he will get pinged for pass interference a fair amount which can be crippling by extending drives. However his grabby, call the penalty on me if you dare mentality has worked for Seattle. See Nebraska game in video ( http://youtu.be/1_qv3NFwZkE ) He could slide to the Bengals or even further if his medical history doesn’t check out. He has had sports hernias twice that required surgery.
Jason Varrett (CB) (TCU)
5’9″ 189lb 4.38 dash 39 vert
Has quick feet and is fluid with his hips as he turns out of his backpeddle. Good initial burst out of his break. Has great instincts, reaction time, and recovery to mistakes. Don’t let his size fool you he is a junkyard dog when he does get beat will fight and scrap to get back and break up the play. He plays with tenacity and hunger to succeed. He plays the run well despite his size and is willing to come up and help make tackles in the run game. Does a good job of disguising when he is blitzing making him a good pass rushing option. see the 2:45 mark of video ( http://draftbreakdown.com/video/jason-verrett-vs-lsu-2013/ ) He held his own against top competition this year. One example is the LSU game against Odell Beckham Jr. who will be a top 15 pick. Fights for the ball in the air and does a great job of at least getting his hand in on plays to break them up. Great instincts to read run vs pass and also breaks quickly to help when the play isn’t at him. His size does cause him to not square guys up and tackle at the waste at times he dives at their feet and this causes some missed tackles. This usually only happens against bigger players so there is no telling if he is just being smart and thinks the bigger guys He can get caught up and struggle to get off of blocks by bigger guys if they get their hands on him. Does have some injury concerns with his shoulder and the miles he has on him from 4 years at TCU. I have him right on the heals of Dennard and would have him ahead of Dennard except he shares the same role as Leon in the slot. Thus drafting him would mean that you would let Leon go if he pans out so you really don’t gain depth.
Bradley Roby (CB) (OSU)
5’11″ 195lb 4.39 dash 38.5 vert
If you watch tape only from 2012 this guy doesn’t make it out of the top 10. If you watch the Wisconsin game and most of 2013 he doesn’t go in the first 2 rounds. This is why the opinions on him are so all over the board. This is why he is the true risk reward pick. He is trending up right now along with Fuller. His stock is trending up because of his high ceiling. His physical tools are unmatched in this CB class it is just a risk because on tape in 2013 he didn’t shine. He still excels in coverage and had 25 passes defended. Look at the game vs Allen Robinson and Penn St. He gets worked all game long, a simple screen play he get blocked then shoved back and it goes for 10 yards. Not as physical as I think the AFC north demands, he seems to dive for the feet on every tackle. Maybe he was playing not to get hurt in 2013, who knows? His tackling is not great in nearly every game of this years film. See 22 second mark in video ( http://draftbreakdown.com/video/bradley-roby-vs-penn-state-2013/ ) His hips and backpeddle are good and he can cover the trendy quicker slot WR’s with no problem. Struggles with larger stronger WR’s especially on 50/50 balls. Gets held up on blocks at times so not great in run support. Additionally misses tackles because he dives at the feet instead of squaring up and driving through the hips. Seems selfish when it comes to his tackling. He goes for the highlight shot at times instead of making the play that gets the defense off the field. See 10 seconds into clip, he has the QB dead red on the blind side blitz. He could easily go for a sack fumble but instead he takes a shot at his melon and misses out on the turnover opportunity. ( http://draftbreakdown.com/video/bradley-roby-vs-cal-2012/ ) Has character red flags with his suspension for ol’ Mary Jane and was thrown out of one game for targeting. I place him near Dennard/Verrett but behind them and they all trail Fuller. This guy is all about risk reward could be top 5 CB in league or continue his downward trend.
Stephon Tuitt (DT/DE) (ND)
Jimmy Ward (SS) (NIU)
5’11″ 192lb 4.48dash 38vert
He is A sure and willing tackler I don’t think he will be there for the Bengals pick in R2 and he would be a bit of a reach at 24 so he could be a target if the trade down or out of the first into the early second. He is the best at run support in the safety class and does a pretty good job of weaving/fighting through the wash on plays. Reads the play well and breaks on the ball instinctively. Has good recovery and is a smart player that uses his shoulder pad instead of the crown of his helmet. Looks for the ball and keeps his pad level low to avoid penalties, which will be important with the new trends of flags and suspensions in the NFL. He has a small frame but doesn’t play like he controls the middle and protects his turf he will lay the wood on you for sure. Did play a lower level of competition but was also not surrounded by as much talent. One red flag is also he coming off a foot injury so that will have to be watched in the days leading up to the draft. See source for video and pics 1st pass breakup picture breakdown 1:35 second 2:50 big tackle 7:15 and int with picture breakdown 7:50 http://draftbreakdown.com/video/jimmie-ward-vs-utah-state-2013/ )
Philip Gaines (CB) (Rice)
Stanley Jean-Baptist (CB) (Neb)
Weston Richburg (C) (Col ST)
Marcus Martin (C) (USC)
Lamarcus Joyner (CB/S) (FSU)
Cyrus Kouandjio (OT) (Bama)
Tre Mason (RB) (Auburn)
Carlos Hyde (RB) (OSU)
Antonio Richardson (OT) (Tenn)
Keith McGill (UT) (CB)
6’4″211lb 4.51 dash, 39 vert
Project type will need time but is a physical freak. All ah a Michael Johnson in 2009 type of pick at CB for this year. He is the best of the “big” corners but still needs to be molded to be an NFL CB. Has great leaping ability and length see the play breakdown where he is able to leap and break up a pass when he is 2 yards off the receiver as the ball arrives. Has such good athleticism he sometime gives too much cushion to the WR and gives up easy dig routes and back shoulder throws. His mechanics are not great so can get caught on blocks because his technique is bad or doesn’t notice the run play soon enough. He has great leaping ability and can break up plays even when he is behind the action. Played well against Shaq Thomas in the UCLA game. He is a press man guy that you would expect would play the run better but actually struggles there a bit. Needs refinement with footwork and play he is still raw and will need a year probably to play behind a vet and learn the ropes. See the pass break up play and int in the video and picture links. ( Pass breakup 1:40
Int 3:25 http://draftbreakdown.com/video/keith-mcgill-vs-ucla-2013/ )
Zach Mettlenberger (QB) (LSU)
Loucheiz Puriofy (CB) (FL)
5’11″ 190lb 4.61dash 35.5vert
This guy looks like a project that Zimmer could whip into shape and that Marv will want to gamble on can Gunther do it as well only time will tell. Was rated as high as the 2nd at times but has seen a huge drop in his stock as the process has gone on. Measured 3″ shorter then listed at Florida at the combine and didn’t run well. He looks quick on film but is not a willing tackler. Dances around the play and let’s others come up and make the hit. Gets caught on blocks and is out muscled and can’t get off to get to the play. He is great in coverage until the catch is made then his sketchy tackling can rear it’s ugly head. See 25 secs in bottom of screen. RB headed right at him and he tries to arm tackle and whiffs ( http://draftbreakdown.com/video/loucheiz-purifoy-vs-arkansas-2013/ )
I think if he slides to the 5th I am ok with him as a project and slot cover guy. The one thing you can’t teach is the willingness to hit and I don’t think he has that. He does have good mechanics as he gets into coverage, does a good job with his hips and can easily open them to stay with WR on deep routes. Good hands to intercept and has some playmaking after the catch and did some PR work at Florida. He will be drafted for his athleticism and to be coached up.
Jordan Zumwalt (ILB) (UCLA)
6’4″ 235lb 4.76dash 33 vert
He is a fiesty character and a tough competitor but he is basically the vanilla ice of football. The man that blew up Logan Thomas into the next century in the Sun Bowl. If you don’t know what I am talking about click here and enjoy ( http://youtu.be/w611j4vXtpk )
He is a strong tackler when he gets to the right spot he does take good angles most of the time. Has good knee bend and breaks down for tackles. Loads up for highlight real hits which also cause him to miss at times in the open field. He is a football player and lives to play the game that definitely shows and plays best when the lights are on the big stage. Not great in coverage limited range due to lack of speed and can get beat to the edge by quick backs and miss the point of attack. Does not have the strength and thump on most hits to drive back the bigger backs. In the pros he will likely be a special teams ace and fill in guy at linebacker. Has and can play all three positions in a pinch. The Bengals could look at him to be the Dan Skuta replacement.
Aaron Colvin (OK) (CB)
5’11″ 177lb 4.51 dash at senior bowl
Torn ACL probably out most of year 2-3rd round talent slipped due to injury at senior bowl.
Richard Sherman clone VERY physical corner not afraid to come up and make a tackle. Experienced with 36 starts in a power conference. Versatile played both CB and SS in college.
Aaron Lynch (DE) (USF)
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