Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin – He had 21 passes defensed last season, but he didn’t register any interceptions (I’m having flashbacks to Johnathan Joseph’s rookie season with the Bengals). His name has come up in conversation a lot, which leads me to believe the Bengals might be higher on him than others across the league. Nelson could be in play for the Bengals in rounds 4-5. He would give them a nickel corner who could sit and learn behind Darqueze Dennard.
Shaquem Griffin, OLB, Central Florida – Most of us know Griffin’s story by now. He only has one hand, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have success in the NFL. He’s a good athlete, who made his fair share of plays in college and will likely contribute on special teams as a rookie. I expect a team to pick him in rounds 5-6.
Tyrell Crosby, OL, Oregon – The Bengals need another offensive lineman, so why not take a guy who was supposed to be drafted by now? Crosby is far from a perfect prospect, but he would offer nice value in the fourth round. He’s a big, strong offensive linemen that could develop into a starter.
Jamarcus Jones, OL, Ohio State – Why not take another player from Ohio State? Jones started all 14 games at left tackle for the Buckeyes in 2017. He’s a solid lineman, but doesn’t project to be a starter in the NFL. I could see the Bengals considering Jones in the fifth round.
Korey Cunningham, OL, Cincinnati – Why not keep ‘Big Country’ in Cincinnati? Cunningham is a mountain of a man and might be worth a flier in round seven. The Bengals got to see him in person multiple times during this process and it wouldn’t shock me if they took a flier on him with one of their final picks.
Genard Avery, LB, Memphis – Avery was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference performer in 2017. He registered 80 tackles, 22 for loss and 8.5 sacks. He doesn’t project to be a star in the NFL, but I could see the Bengals taking another linebacker on day three. Avery would fit the bill.
Josh Sweat, Edge, Florida State – Sweat is still available because of medical concerns. He will get picked at some point early on day three. He’s too talented to continue to fall. I think he could be in play for the Bengals with pick 112. Last season Sweat made 12 starts, posting 56 tackles, 12.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, with three breakups. The idea of landing Sweat after drafting Sam Hubbard may not make sense to some, but I wouldn’t argue with them drafting another pass rusher with a lot of upside like Sweat.
Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida – Callaway is the wildcard in this draft. He has a ton of athletic ability and is one of the most talented wide receivers in this draft. He has the quickness and speed that teams look for. Unfortunately, he’s had his fair share of issues off-the-field. He faced a sexual assault trial the summer before his sophomore year but was cleared of those charges. He was also cited for marijuana possession in May of last year. Calloway never played in a game last season because of his involvement in a credit card fraud scheme with other teammates. He also tested positive for marijuana at the combine. EVEN with that type of history, I think a team will consider drafting him. The Bengals have three picks in the seventh round – they might as well take a talented, but troubled player, right?
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame – St. Brown is a tall, lanky wide receiver with speed. He’s 6’5″ tall and 214 pounds. He led Notre Dame in receiving in 2016 with 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine touchdowns. He has a gigantic catch radius and could be on the Bengals’ radar on day three.
Deon Cain, WR, Clemson – The Bengals love taking a flier on a player with size and speed. Cain ran a 4.43 40-yard dash. He is 6’2″ tall and 202 pounds. He was a big factor in Clemson’s win over Alabama in the 2016 National Championship – he had five receptions for 94 yards.
Other prospects they may consider: Quarterbacks – Kyle Lauletta, Mike White, Logan Woodside and Quinton Flowers are players to watch. Some offensive linemen worth monitoring are Will Richardson and Toby Weathersby.
Learn more about who the Bengals picked on day two of the draft below:
The Bengals picked Jesse Bates III in the second round. For highlights, analysis and more go here.
The Bengals picked Sam Hubbard and Malik Jefferson in the third round. For highlights, analysis and more go here.
My thoughts on the Bengals picking Billy Price with the 21st overall pick.
Not Another Bengals, Chiefs Preview
Week seven of the NFL regular season is upon us and the Cincinnati Bengals have a golden opportunity this Sunday on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Guessing that’s not where your mind went when you thought of this game?
The Bengals and Chiefs have squared off 28 times, over the years, with the Bengals holding a slight 15-13 advantage. Cincinnati holds a four-game winning streak over Kansas City with the last loss coming at Arrowhead in 2007. Marvin Lewis is 6-2 against the Chiefs and 2-2 at Arrowhead. The Lewis-led Bengals have outscored the Chiefs 167 to 136, in their eight meetings.
The last game between these two teams was in week four of the 2015 season. The Bengals won in Paul Brown Stadium 36-21 with four of the touchdowns coming from running plays. Three TDs were scored by Jeremy Hill and the other came from Giovanni Bernard. The lone TD pass was a 55-yarder to Brandon Tate from Andy Dalton.
This is a marvelous chance for Andy and the offense to get back on track. They managed just nine total yards in the third quarter against the Steelers, but will be facing a very pedestrian defensive squad, this coming Sunday night. In two games career games against the Chiefs, Dalton has completed 66% of his passes for 551 yards and three scores. He will face a Chiefs defense that ranks stone cold last in pass defense, allowing 340 yards per game, through the air.
Joe Mixon will be happy, though, as the Chiefs also allow an average of 127 rushing yards, per game. In fact, the Bengals offense, as a whole, should feast on Sunday. They’re averaging 29 points per game and the Chiefs allow 28.7 per game.
They’re banged up, and they’re outgunned in this matchup. Statistically, Cincinnati’s defense has fared only slightly better than Kansas City’s. The Bengals are allowing just over 400 total yards, a game, and 26 points per game. Couple that with the high-flying offense of Patrick Mahomes, who averages 418 total yards and 35 points per game, and I’d say you should bet the over, whatever Vegas has it set as.
Nick Vigil and Darqueze Dennard have been ruled out and Shawn Williams is listed as questionable. Given that eight different defensive starters came off the field last Sunday, at different points in the game, and this coming game may be crazy, simply from a health standpoint.
This matchup has a real chance at being a playoff preview as well as a carbon copy of the Falcons game, a few weeks back. The Chiefs will be in a battle with the Chargers, all season, for the AFC West and the Bengals, though on top for the moment, have no room for comfort with the Ravens and Steelers knocking on the door. Whoever has the ball last in this pivotal game could very well end up the winner.
I’d expect to see a lot of William Jackson and Tyreek Hill matchups. Some have said Hill is the best receiver, in the game, this year so Jackson will need to be on his toes for all 60 minutes. Meanwhile, Kansas City receiving threat 1-B, Travis Kelce, will probably be Teryl Austin’s biggest headache. The Bengals, no matter the personnel or the coaching staff, have always struggled to cover the opposing tight end. Enter, arguably, the best tight end in the NFL with his 468 receiving yards and three TDs. I’m no expert fantasy football predictor, but I’d bet he is a top scorer, this week. And I haven’t even mentioned the Chiefs’ stud running back, Kareem Hunt. Dude is a threat to run all over the place (456 yds, 4th in NFL) and be a pain to the Bengals pass defense (17 yards per catch). Pray for Austin and the Bengals defense.
Bringing it Home
That being said, this is a winnable game for the Bengals. They have the firepower to hang with Kansas City. If you jumped off the wagon after the loss to the Steelers and think the Bengals are going to get absolutely crushed by the Chiefs, you won’t agree with me, so whatevs, but this game isn’t that big of a mismatch. John Ross will be on the field for Cincinnati, giving them their bonafide deep threat to contend with the Chiefs’ big play abilities. AJ Green has nobody to worry about on the Chiefs defense, and will be able to roam free, looking for holes in the coverage. Which just means Tyler Boyd will be able to give as much of his safety blanket-ness to Andy as he can. Should the line have a rough day protecting the pocket, Dalton will have plenty of chances to scramble and make something happen while extending the play. One of these two teams will begin the game hot only to try to slow it down with the rushing game, but I believe both defenses will be porous enough to allow some highlight reel plays deep. This is going to be an entertaining game to watch, if your pacemaker doesn’t give out in the first half. Call me crazy, call me a homer (whatevs, I’m no professional), but I say the Bengals win.
Prediction: Bengals 42, Chiefs 38
Follow @jefffcarr and @lockedonBengals for more Orange and Black content on Twitter
WATCH: Houshmandzadeh says the Bengals are going to beat the Chiefs
Former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh says the Bengals are going to beat the Chiefs on Sunday night football. He also thinks Andy Dalton’s struggles in primetime games are just a ‘coincidence.’ He was a guest on ‘The Herd’ on Fox Sports One. Watch the video below.
‘Vontaze can be as great as he wants to be’
Vontaze Burfict has been talked about a lot this week. Not for his dominant play, but for a questionable hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 14, 2018
This isn’t new for Burfict. His play has been discussed for years. He’s been fined or suspended 11 times in his career, which has cost him over $1 million in salary.
Some people believe Burfict should be suspended for the rest of the season. Others think he should be out of the NFL forever. There’s no denying that he’s earned his reputation.
Burfict doesn’t like how he’s viewed in the media. If he wants to change it, he can start by playing like an elite linebacker against Kansas City. He doesn’t look like the player he once was. It’s probably because he’s missed so much time over the past few years. Burfict has appeared in 11 games or fewer in his last four seasons due to suspensions and injuries. He hasn’t forced a turnover since 2016, which is the last time he was playing at an elite level.
That leads me to a question that has been asked a lot this week: Is Burfict worth the headache? His teammates certainly think so.
“Vontaze can be as great as he wants to be,” Carlos Dunlap said earlier this week. “And as you’ve seen up to this level he’s played as one of the best linebackers in the league. And I feel like he has the potential to be even better.”
Sunday is an opportunity for Burfict to put on a show. It’s a chance for him to remind people that he is one of the best linebackers in the league. If he goes out there, dominates and does it without any questionable hits, then the entire country will see why the Bengals signed him to two contract extensions. Leading a struggling defense into Kansas City and getting a win would be huge for how people view him. Fans and media could discuss his stellar play, instead of a late-hit or a PED suspension.
He needs to remind people, including fans, that he can be a great player. Burfict just turned 28-years-old. He signed a contract extension with the Bengals last season. There has been plenty of chatter about Burfict this week, but that isn’t bothering rookie safety Jessie Bates.
“He’s so smart and he makes things easier for me communication wise,” Bates said on Wednesday. “Obviously he’s been doing this for a long time. He plays very violent and some people don’t like that. I’m glad that he’s on our team.”
It’s hard to envision Burfict changing at this point, but he can use Sunday to his advantage. He can show a national television audience that he’s able to play the game at a high level and do so without getting fined, flagged or suspended for questionable play.
Once upon a time Burfict was an undrafted free agent who impressed coaches with his knowledge of the game. Fast forward to present day and he’s a ‘dirty player’ who should be suspended or worse. Burfict has a chance to remind everyone of how good he can be. Whether or not he takes advantage of it is up to him.
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