This year’s NFL Draft is loaded with defensive play-makers at the secondary positions. Be it a safety or cornerback, there is no shortage of talent throughout the entire draft class.
Cincinnati’s secondary is already very strong, with guys like Reggie Nelson, Adam Jones, and George Iloka. For the Bengals, there is no question the defense is approaching dominance. But being great means not only sustaining dominance for years, but also having the depth to withstand injuries. Grabbing a cornerback with some potential, in one of the later rounds could possibly be a great decision for Cincinnati. It could give Vontaze Burfict and the rest of the guys up front some back end security. That is if Marvin Lewis and, new defensive coordinator, Paul Geunther do not feel it is necessary to use a first round pick on the secondary. If that is the case, there are the likes of guys such as Rashaad Reynolds and Dontae Johnson.
Reynolds is a defensive back that is not afraid to come up and play the run frequently. He doesn’t deliver the biggest blows, but the 5’10 man out of Oregon State is a Pac-12 All-American ball watcher that has great play recognition and football knowledge. Reynolds is also quick on his feet and is great at changing directions on the fly. This could be a guy that glues Cincinnati’s secondary together. Rashaad has unique athleticism and can stay connected on almost any route. He had the fourth best time in the 3-cone drill of all DBs, and this young man is an effective cover back versus a spread style offense.
Johnson is a cornerback that uses his speed to his advantage. Even if he is beat on a double move, Dontae has the recover speed to still have a chance to make a play on the ball. The N.C. State Alumn registered the top 60-yard shuttle time, and a 4.45 second forty yard dash time. Johnson has great size standing at 6’2. For a corner that is not very strong; Johnson’s height along with his long arms makes him a versatile defensive back. One that could slide up to safety, or even step inside and play some nickel. Dontae Johnson would give Cincinnati some good talent off the bench, and maybe a future key defensive element.
There are some other guys who could catch the Bengals’ eye as well. Bashaud Breeland, Antone Exum, and Travis Carrie could all be in the running as mid-draft steals for the Cincinnati Bengals. Making a move in the secondary could really push Cincinnati to the top of the NFL in defense, and give opponents much to worry about in the passing game.