With the draft quickly approaching, the Cincinnati Bengals need to start making up their minds as to who they want to target in the first few rounds. I say defensive backs are the biggest need for this team at the moment, and in the first or second round they should be able to find someone with enough athletic ability to challenge Dre Kirkpatrick, who has been a disappointment since being drafted in the 2012 NFL draft, for a starting spot.
The offense has enough talent, but it would not hurt if they went after an offensive linemen to add depth to their line after the departure of Anthony Collins to Tampa Bay. With defense being the main concern, here are my three late-round sleepers the Bengals need to go after:
1. Brock Vereen, Safety, Minnesota- Vereen is a good fit for the Bengals because he is versatile. He started all games in 2011 at cornerback but the next season went on to switch between cornerback and free safety. This ability to switch between the two positions is valuable for the Bengals, as he could be a good back up to Reggie Nelson at FS or fill in at cornerback if there is ever an injured player.
2. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Linebacker, Boston College- the LB spot is not in need of urgent upgrading for the Bengals, which makes Pierre-Louis a good pick. He is on the shorter side for a LB at 6-foot-1 which could be why he slips to the later rounds.
The Bengals cut linebacker James Harrison this offseason and need someone to fill his role. The team signed Harrison in hopes that he would be the pass rushing linebacker the club has lacked for the past ten years or so. Pierre-Louis could be the guy to do just that; with his smaller frame he would be faster and more elusive for the offensive line to keep off of their quarterback.
3. Seantrel Henderson, Offensive Tackle, University of Miami- Based on size alone, at 6-foot-7, Henderson makes a great late-round pick for the Bengals. With their offensive line needing a few solid draft picks to take the place of Anthony Collins and play back-up to any injuries, Henderson would be a steal in the late rounds.
Henderson is more mobile than you would think he is by just looking at him. His long arms will also swat any defensive linemen down that tries to come at QB Andy Dalton. While not being an immediate starter, Henderson will still have a great learning opportunity to have a mentor in Andrew Whitworth, one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL.
The Bengals will most likely go with a linebacker or offensive lineman in the late rounds of the draft. Both positions are not in dire need of upgrading or someone who can fill in and start right away, so the later rounds are the perfect places to snag someone who has the potential to learn and become better at their position. The Bengals are lucky to have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL both defensively and offensively, so going into this draft is just about improving upon what they already have, and not needing to rebuild with fresh talent.
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